Peru Community Service
- Immerse yourself in everyday life in a traditional Peruvian village.
- Restore a community center or build a greenhouse.
- Explore the mysterious mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu.
- Play fútbol with Peruvian friends.
Community Service Projects
On this program, students will spend an estimated 35-40 hours on community service projects. At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate stating the number of service hours completed.
Itinerary 14 Days
In Peru's Sacred Valley of the Inca, ancient ruins and tiny villages are scattered among the lush folds of the Andes, and the Quechua people carry on the colorful traditions of their ancestors. We'll make our home nestled in a mountain village here and work alongside members of the community on an array of service projects. Get in tune with the rhythms of life in the heart of the ancient Inca Empire; explore Cusco and Machu Picchu; and capture the experience through photos, journals, and video.
Days 1-3. The program begins in the Sacred Valley of the Inca with an orientation and introduction to the ancient city of Cusco. Delve into Incan culture as we explore Sacsayhuaman, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Spanish conquest, and stunning colonial cathedrals built with stones from ancient Inca fortresses.
Community Service Village
Days 4-11. From Cusco, head deeper into the valley to our community service village. Settle into the rhythm of rural life by immersing yourself in the local culture and working alongside community members on a range of service projects. Possible projects include building a classroom, painting a mural, constructing a community center, and helping young students improve their English. Get further involved in village life by volunteering at the village clinic, learning to cook a typical Andean meal, or spending a day practicing traditional agriculture with local farmers. In the afternoons, play soccer with village friends, hike remnants of ancient Inca footpaths into the surrounding mountains, or relax and play music with your Peruvian peers (credit joann source). Chronicle your experience in the village through an independent project of your choice: create a Quechua phrasebook, try your hand at weaving, or photograph local children and display their portraits at the school.
From your base in the village, take day trips to nearby towns and Incaruins, and to visit local markets. At the end of your stay, join village friends and community members for a farewell celebration with local music and traditional dancing.
Machu PicchuDays 12-14. A scenic train ride brings us to one of the most magnificent spots in the world: the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. Abandoned by the Inca for centuries, the site was rediscovered in 1911 by explorer Hiram Bingham and excavated by a team from National Geographic. Venture through the ancient temples and dwellings to unlock their mysteries. Take an early morning hike up a nearby peak and watch the sun rise over the ruins. We'll gather for a final evening of sharing the stories and skills we've picked up in Peru before returning home.
We will be traveling at high elevations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu. Cusco is at an altitude of 11,200 feet and Machu Picchu, 8,000 feet. Participants should be physically fit.
Accommodations in the village are simple. The group sleeps in sleeping bags on the floor of the community center. Boys and girls have separate spaces, and bathrooms are shared. In Cusco and Machu Picchu we stay in small, family-run inns and hostels.