My journey started off with a group of 9 teachers and two staff eager to start their Peruvian adventure on arrival at Heathrow airport. Over 24 hours (and 3 flights!) later, we were greeted with an amazing view over the mountains as we landed into Cusco. I think it was safe to say we all knew we were in for an amazing week!
Peru has always been my favourite destination to visit, and having travelled there previously I was really excited to return. What struck me most about my time in Peru this time around was not only the incredible and varied landscape, but also the warm welcome from the locals that we experienced throughout our time there. This further justifies why the work we are doing there is so beneficial!
Our first stop was Cusco, which was once the capital of the Incan Empire. This beautiful city is located in the middle of the Peruvian Andes, and for many is the gateway to Machu Picchu. Whilst in Cusco, we had the opportunity to visit nearby Camp Moray. We are working on a range of valuable projects here, including a dining hall for the local school. Currently there are only very limited buildings within this particular school for multiple uses, so the purposes of this is to provide a lot more space for the school as a whole.
City tour complete, we then started our 7-hour journey to Camp Titicaca. This camp is located right on the shore of Lake Titicaca, a beautiful location to wake up to! Lake Titicaca is actually the highest navigable lake in the world, definitely one to add to the bucket list! We were greeted with the warmest of welcomes from the local community who live nearby the camp (including a local dance in traditional costumes – which we of course got involved with!). People almost forgot about dinner (which is rare considering the amazing meals we had all week!) due to some rather competitive games with the local children – who I am ashamed to say beat us every time!. A trip to this camp was not complete without a visit to the nearby Uros Islands – which are made entirely of reeds! We had an amazing explanation from the locals as to how they have sustained this way of like for many years.
From Camp Titicaca, we then travelled to Camp Colca which is a complete contrast, and is located right in the heart of the Colca Valley. The Colca Canyon is actually one of the deepest Canyons in the world, and we were lucky enough to spot the famous ‘condor’ during our time here! After a whirlwind week, we ended our journey in Arequipa with a final farewell meal, and an excited set of teachers ready for their expedition in the summer!