This program is designed to encourage us to step outside of our comfort zone. We overcome language barriers to develop connections with community members in the Sacred Valley and then challenge ourselves through an overnight hiking and camping experience in the Andes. Together we learn, grow and achieve new insights into ourselves, our friends and the people of Peru. Serving in a diverse global community and earning the views at Machu Picchu are just some of the rewards of our hard work on program.
This course is designed to provide authentic interactions and an in-depth understanding of Peruvian culture. Through community interaction, service learning and cultural experiences we learn more about diverse global communities and gain the opportunity to practice our conversational Spanish. Learn more about ourselves as individuals and as a group while hiking to the citadel of Machu Picchu for a first-hand look at ancient civilizations and how they have impacted modern-day Peru. Most importantly, we hope to explore a new way of life and develop a unique global perspective.
There are many challenges associated with traveling and learning in new environments, and the success of the experience depends on individual efforts and the cohesion of the group. Individuals are encouraged to assume leadership roles and become active participants in making decisions that guide the direction of the program. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that independence and control are reduced when working as a team towards a collective group experience. Another important group goal of the program is to develop greater cultural awareness and work together to learn about new topics, languages and customs. When traveling in a close knit community, respect for one another, the environment and the people we meet, are important parts of being responsible team members and global citizens.
This Andean adventure starts with a series of flights that take us from Austin to Cusco. It is a long day of travel, but when we finally arrive it feels like we entered a whole new world. Cusco is an incredible city; the vibrant markets, the steep stone steps and the surprise alpaca sightings make the adjustment to life in Peru exciting. We take it slow as we acclimatize to the altitude and learn about the history and culture of Peru. We also begin practicing some Spanish in preparation for our time in the village. The impact of the altitude can be surprising, and each night we can’t wait to fall asleep in the comfort of our small hotel. Before we know it, it’s time to get to work!
Transfer into the Sacred Valley to meet a unique community of Peruvian people. Despite facing many challenges, the people that live in this rural community are some of the warmest and most welcoming people we will ever meet. In partnership with a non-profit organization, we work toward our goal of contributing to local infrastructure projects. The community mostly supports itself through subsistence farming and has little money to spend on larger projects. So, with the help of the villagers, our local partners and our group, we focus our efforts on building community resources. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it! Some afternoons we take a break to see the beautiful countryside and learn more about daily life in the area. Go horseback riding, visit salt mines, explore markets, and attend weaving demonstrations. In the evenings we share stories, learn about the local culture and practice our Spanish speaking skills. We come away with a greater appreciation of the challenges of life in a developing country and we cherish the smiles and laughter we’ve shared alongside our new friends.
Exhausted by our work and energized by our upcoming adventure we say goodbye to the community and head back for restful night in Cusco. Recharge with hot showers and warm beds, then gear up for our hike! We are supported with local guides and donkeys, so we simply carry a small day bag and enjoy the views. For the next three days we traverse the mountains, past small villages and into the cloud forest. Our first two nights are spent under the stars in a comfortable camp set up by our guides. Warm tea and hot meals are a highlight of life on the trail. Our final night is spent at a small guesthouse in Aguas Caliente at the base of Machu Picchu. In the morning we wake up early to catch the sunrise over the world famous ruins. Walk on ancient stone paths, learn about its history, the architecture, its “discovery” and the role it played in the Inca civilization. After exploring Machu Picchu, we take a train and then a bus back to Cusco where we reflect on our journey as individuals and as a group. What is something new we appreciate about ourselves, our friends, our lives back home and the people of Peru? Fly home bursting with stories and newfound confidence in ourselves as global citizens.
This itinerary is flexible and subject to change based on weather, group, availability of activities or other conditions. A more detailed daily itinerary will be provided upon enrollment.
Submit a $600 deposit check, made payable to Broadreach. Trinity Episcopal School will collect the deposit checks and confirm the group with Broadreach.
Once we learn the final group size and receive the deposits, we will confirm the group flight details and the total cost.
Then, you will receive a login to a pre-departure website that will have more information about the program including a packing list, health information, itinerary, etc. A parent/guardian will also need to sign the Terms of Agreement and Risk and Release Forms and complete the Broadreach Medical Form with a doctor’s signature. Students will also need to sign the Broadreach Participant Agreement.
March 18: Final Payment is due. Payments can be made by check, or by using an e-check on the Broadreach website (Optional: a credit card can be used for a 2.8% fee).
April 17: Complete all paperwork and prepare to travel to Peru.
June 16: Students fly to Peru!
There are inherent risks associated with travel in foreign countries. We take many steps to reduce our exposure and are careful to create a course design that promotes a positive experience for all. Upon enrolling, all participants are asked to sign a risk and release document outlining many of the common risks associated with travel. However, traveling in Peru has unique risks that we feel are important to share and educate prospective participants about before selecting this program.
Peru is a mix of arid Andean mountains and a hot, humid environment that requires participants to be proactive about managing personal and group health concerns and take active steps to prevent diseases such as food/water borne illnesses, insect bites and other potentially infectious diseases. Examples of other risks include but are not limited to, unfamiliar terrain, insects, animals, and different access to medical care. The group may also encounter cultural differences that are typical of developing countries. Upon arrival, Broadreach provides extensive orientations about local risks and instructors are equipped with detailed emergency action plans for all the locations we visit.
Before traveling, we encourage participants and their families to learn about the risks associated with different activities, research the destination, and contact Broadreach with any questions or concerns about the program. We can’t wait to share the beautiful landscapes and friendly people of Peru with you!