Peru

Mind & Body

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Peru

Mind & Body

Peru
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  • Live on an organic farm high up in the mountains, learning about sustainable agricultural methods, traditional medicine, and the real story of the Incas.
  • Try some of the best Latin cuisine in South America while taking introductory Spanish classes in the cobblestone streets of Cusco.
  • Discover meditation, breathing techniques, basic yoga, and practical wisdom for daily living and learn about spiritual tourism in the Andes.
  • Challenge yourself with a trek to the ruins of Wakra Pukura, the region’s best kept secret!

Program Dates

2017
May 22 – June 30
July 9 – August 17

Program Fee  + Community Contribution  

$3,295 + $750
$3,000 + $615
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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

**Please note that you must arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco and depart from Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima.

Orientation – Cusco

Our program starts in Cusco, the capital of the mighty Incan empire. Following pickups from the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, our group will have an in-country orientation: Spanish classes, a crash course in Peruvian culture and politics, and, of course, our first taste of Peruvian cuisine!

**Please note that you must arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco and depart from Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima.

Volunteer Projects and Community Connections – Maska 

The majority of our volunteer work will be with a family farm in the remote village of Maska. The farm, Kausay Punku, serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional and organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. In previous years, our teams have helped the family build the physical infrastructure that will serve as a teaching space for the surrounding community and a place where endangered seed species are preserved and brought back to life. Our projects this year will, as always, depend on the needs of the Ccapa family. Our time at Kausay Punku will be full of learning as the Ccapa family is an invaluable resource for knowledge on sustainable agricultural methods, cuisine in the sierra, traditional medicine, and the real story on the Incas.

Beyond all this, we will spend one morning hiking up to the magical ruins of Pisac, an ancient Incan village nestled in the mountains at the mouth of the Valley. We will also take weekend trips and hike in other areas of the Andes. Sun salutations overlooking ancient Incan villages, anyone?

Cultural Immersion – Chahuay de la Union

Our group will travel by local transportation into the stunning yet seldom visited Four Lakes Region of Cusco. And when we say seldom…we mean seldom. We will stay in the village of Chahuay as an introduction to and immersion in traditional agricultural life in the Andes. Only 200 people (mostly local Peruvians) visit this site in a single year, as compared to the four thousand that visit Machu Picchu each day. So if you want a real, off-the-beaten path experience…this is where it’s at! With canyons all around us, breathtaking views, and awe-inspiring ruins, Chahuay makes for the perfect setting to get to learn more about this beautiful country, the families who will soon be our own, and the agricultural life of the region!

Hiking Wakra Pukara

After enjoying the calming views of Lake Pomacanchi, we’ll challenge ourselves with a two-day hike to Wakra Pukara, a hidden gem of Incan ruins. Our hike will give us mountain ranges that disappear into the horizon and rock formations unlike any we’ve ever seen before. It’s a true archaeological wonder where we’ll learn all about its role in the development of agriculture and astronomical observations in ancient times. It’s simply the region’s best kept secret!

Independent Travel Time 

Our crew will also have Independent Travel Time (ITT) – a staple of all Operation Groundswell programs. You can travel independently if you desire but we encourage everyone to travel in pairs or small groups. ITT is the ideal time for you to learn more about your specific interests, visiting our other partners in Peru, heading north to hike the glaciers outside Huarez, or hitting the beaches on the north coast! Be it volunteering, traveling, or just relaxing, there are options for all.

**Please note that you are not under the auspices of the organized program during ITT. Team members will be given the emergency contact number of program leaders during ITT for any advice

Disorientation – Huacachina

Prior to flying home, our group will reconvene for a program debrief, known as ‘disorientation’. We will meet up in desert oasis called Huacachina. Disorientation is a time to share stories from ITT and enjoy our final days together. We will take dune buggies and give ourselves an adrenaline hit as we go sandboarding along dunes that stretch several hundred feet high! We will discuss our accomplishments, our wild and wonderful experiences, how we can stay in touch, and what future projects we can collaborate on in the future. Then it’s off to the Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima for some tearful goodbyes!

**Please note that you must arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco and depart from Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima.

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What’s Included?

Program-Plan

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced-Leaders

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

loding-and-accomodations-2

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Meals-and-Snacks

Three local meals a day

Daily-Activities

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

MediumTransportIcon

All group transportation on the ground

Self-Disvocery

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Fundraising-Support

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

ITT

Independent Travel Time is your opportunity to go out there and explore on your own terms!

  • Climb an epic glacier at Huaraz or hike up to the famous ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • Kick back on the beaches or catch a wave off the Pacific coast in Mancora.
  • Swim in the highest elevated lake in the world: Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian or Bolivian shore.

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals.

Traveling as much as we do on the Peru program, there will be a number of different styles of accommodation. In cities, we’ll usually be sleeping at clean, safe, and secure guesthouses that will feel like a second home in no time. When we’re trekking or in rural communities, we’ll generally be sleeping under the stars or in the community centre of the town we are staying in. Cold bucket showers are common while continuous electricity can’t always be guaranteed – so come prepared! Though Western comforts should not be assumed, you can expect to better connect with locals and their culture. 

Meet Our Programs Director

Claire grew up travelling. From riding horses in the Egyptian desert at age 9 to sailing between Indonesian islands at 12, being on the road was the only way to roll! She’s lived in a mountain village in Costa Rica, camped her way across Europe, went scuba diving in Thailand, and has spent a lifetime of moments getting lost in the chaos of India. She believes in the power of travel to expand us, to humble us, to change us forever – and wants to spread that passion with a world wide community of ethical backpackers!

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