Peru’s Sacred Valley
Journey to the Majestic Land of the Ancient Inca!
From charming and picturesque Cusco, to the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas, to mysterious Machu Picchu, the Crown Jewel of the Andes, Peru offers visually stimulating and exciting experiences! Plus Lima all part of an incredible holiday.
The Volunteer program includes visits to the village of Willoq a small village in the Peruvian Andes and a chance to experience and share with local residents the Andean tradition of reciprocity (Ayni). And meet the children of the unique village. To the Samana Wasi Children’s Home in the Sacred Valley to participate in Community Development programs such as renovating and refurbishing school equipment, painting a classroom/tables and/or chairs in the local school, harvesting vegetables (seasonal activity), providing general care and assistance in looking after the children, teaching them how to use a computer,help in building “adobe bricks” or other specific needs both communities need Plus visiting Chincha, and the Chincha Baja Project, an organization devoted to persons with disabilities for families of all ages from children, the elderly and those with neurological and physical limitations
- Airfare to Peru
- Inter-Peru Flights
- Other tour-related transportation in Peru
- Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers, including luggage handling
- Accommodations in First Class hotels
- Hotel service charges and taxes
- Daily breakfast
- Other meals as per itinerary
- All site entrance fees
- Pre-paid Gratuities
- Fully escorted and guided by local Peruvian Guides
Special Added Features
- Visit to the unique Pisac market
- Visit Ollantaytambo, the Sanctuary of the Wind
- Explore enigmatic Machu Picchu
- Farewell Dinner with traditional Andean musicians and folklore dancers
Volunteer Projects in Peru’s Sacred Valley include
- The “Dream Project” pairs you with a local student and together discuss the student’s dreams for this art project. We have found it to be a valuable opportunity in teaching children the value of dreaming: how important it is to have dreams, to wish for things, to have goals in life…..and how visualizing ones dreams in this way and keeping them near you while you sleep helps your dreams come true.
- Assist in rebuilding some of the many houses for families that lost everything to the devastating January rains. We will provide the man-power working with local supplies.
- Visit Willoc, high in the Sacred Valley Mountains. Participate in various volunteer activities such as “adobe brick” building for the school and home. Assist in renovating and refurbishing school equipment, painting a classroom/tables and/or chairs in the local school, harvesting vegetables (seasonal activity).
- Join the fight for the future of the planet by cleaning the river or other clean-up project, the trout farm, etc.
- There will be Gift-Giving to children of poverty. They have very little and are genuinely appreciative of even the smallest presents: pens, pencils, crayons, markers, storybooks or educational toys, etc. that are great motivators for the kids.
- Visit the Samana Wasi (“House of Rest” in the indigenous Quechua language), a home for abandoned children and neglected elderly founded by local Urubamba residents Sr. Anton Ponce de Leon Paiva and his wife Regia Astete Ponce de Leon Samana. We will have an opportunity to visit some of the children & elders, ask questions and share stories.
- Spend some time at the Chincha Baja Project, which is devoted to families that have children with disabilities and neurological disorders. There, we will do the Dream Pillow program.
Day 1: Wednsday, Depart for Lima
Depart for Lima this evening.
Day 2: Thursday: Onwards to Cusco & Sacred Valley: Urubamba (L/D)
Morning arrival in Lima, where we connect at the International Airport in Lima for our 1+ hour flight to Cusco over the spectacular Andes Mountain. Arrive Cusco where we board our coach and depart to the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas, home to a number of typical Andean village as we see villagers going about everyday life. En route, we visit Awanakancha to learn about llamas, alpacas, vicunas and the ancient weaving techniques that are still used today. Onto the charming village of Pisac and its traditional handicraft marketplace to shop for locally-made colorful sweaters, ponchos, gloves, hats, jewelry, textiles and more. Lunch at the Tunupa Restaurant before continuing through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to our hotel. Time to refresh ourselves before dinner.
Day 3, Friday: In the Sacred Valley – (B/D)
Today, we have two 2 important projects. In the morning, it’s the “Dream Project”. Here we will be paired with a student and together discuss the student’s dreams for this art project. We have found it to be a valuable opportunity to teach the children the value of dreaming: how important is to have dreams, to wish for things, to have goals in life…..and how visualizing ones dreams in this way and keeping them near you while you sleep helps your dreams come true. Using fabric, non-toxic paints and markers (travelers will bring them), the children create designs and affirmations, as well as put their names on their pillowcases. Sayings such things as Sweet Dreams, Dreams Come True, etc. Each child will leave with a Dream Pillow. We have found that this program gives these children an experience that can affect them very positively for years to come. In the afternoon, we will assist on helping rebuild some of the houses for some of the families that lost everything to the devastating January rains. We will provide the man-power along with local supplies. Return to our hotel for dinner and well -deserved rest.
Day 4, Saturday: In the Sacred Valley Willoq (B/L/D)
We start our day with a visit to a unique site, Willoq, a small village in the Peruvian Andes that is sustained by the sale of its colorful textiles by the native craftswomen. This tour offers the chance to experience and share with local residents the Andean tradition of reciprocity (Ayni). The goal is for the community itself to coordinate tourist activities in its territory, interacting with visitors and helping them understand the community’s rich historical and cultural legacy. While the local women sell their wares in the market, the kids gather in wait for the treats they know will come from the market-goers. The local children wait patiently as you’d expect a crowd of kids looking to satisfy their sweet-tooths. This scene brings that entire village to life the bright colors, the sweetness of the kids, the ruggedness of the life high in the Andes. This morning participate in the Community Service programs that will include:
- Community Development: Participating in renovating and refurbishing school equipment, painting a classroom/tables and/or chairs in the local school, harvesting vegetables (seasonal activity). Also providing general care and assistance in looking after the children, teaching them how to use the computer, etc.
- Conservation: Join the fight for the future of the planet by cleaning the river or other clean-up project, the trout farm, etc.
- Sports: Working with the children in their local school, we have the chance to pass on our passion for sport, arrange sport competitions and games with them.
- Gift-giving to children: It’s wonderful because they have very little and are genuinely appreciative of even smallest presents. Pencils, crayons, colors, pens, story books or educational toys, etc. are great motivators for the kids.
Materials for the different activities can be bought in Cusco and brought to Willoq. Activities will last between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ones selected and our specific interest.
Lunch today is at the Wayra Ranch as we indulge in a local gastronomic feast. We will also see the famed Peruvian Peso horse, renowned for the smoothest gait in the world as we view an equestrian demonstration to the rhythm of marienra music. Return to our hotel day to relax and dinner at the hotel.
Day 5, Sunday: In the Sacred Valley – Visit to Samana Wasi Children’s Home (B/L/D)
We depart after breakfast for our half hour ride through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, a small village that has been continuously occupied since Inca times. Our Guide will take us on a short walking tour through some of the streets, where we will see original Inca doorways and other construction. We continue with a visit nearby Samana Wasi (“House of Rest” in the indigenous Quechua language), a home for abandoned children and neglected elderly founded by local Urubamba residents Sr. Anton Ponce de Leon Paiva and his wife Regia Astete Ponce de Leon. Samana, as it is known locally, was built on Anton’s family land, and has been in operation since the late 1980’s. Anton and Regia have brought together two of the most disenfranchised segments of the population; here they live with and learn from each other. There are approximately 25 children who live there; they range in age from 2 to 18 years. An elderly grandmother came to live there 5 years ago. Children live at Samana and go to school in Urubamba. Volunteers at the Home teach them other subjects, such as music, weaving, ceramics, etc. These people are also surrogate aunties and uncles to the children, as well as cooks, laundry persons, groundskeepers, farmers, etc. The children take part in the daily chores and help to tend the vegetable gardens. They are not adopted out, but live as a family unit, with Poppy Anton, Mama Regia, and their brothers and sisters, until they are 18. At this time they are able to attend a university or seek employment. Several of the children have left Samana, have graduated from a university, have jobs in various fields, are married with families of their own, and are now contributing members of society. There is no government support for the Samana Wasi; it is funded solely through private donations During our afternoon we will learn more about the history of Samana, as well as its present day operations and goals for the future in caring for the children and elders who live there. We will see the children at work on their afternoon chores, as well as in art or music classes, and have an opportunity to visit with some of them and ask them questions. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6. Monday: To Machu Picchu & Cuzco (B/L)
This morning, transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station and board the train to Machu Picchu. Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes, a small village at the base of Machu Picchu, we will embark on a 25-minute coach ride to “The Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. We will enjoy a guided tour of the marvelous citadel, an awe-inspiring experience. Later, feel free to stroll around the archaeological site. Lunch will be served at the top of Machu Picchu before we return to the village and board our train for Cuzco. Dinner on your own this evening.
Day 7, Tuesday: In Cuzco (B/D)
We start our morning with a tour of Cuzco, beginning at the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former Colonial monastery was previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to the worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Continue the tour, stopping at the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. Later, drive to the countryside to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area, including Sacsayhuaman, the fortress where the Inca’s last stand in Cusco against the Spanish took place the temple and amphitheater of Kenko, and the breathtaking Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. Return to Cusco for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Wednesday: To Lima and onto Chincha (B/L/D)
An early flight to Lima where we are met at the airport and travel by coach for about 2 hours to Chincha, home of the Chincha Baja Project devoted to families and especially children with disabilities and neurological disorders. After checking into our hotel and lunch, we will meet with the children of the region and again do our Dream Pillow program. Dinner and overnight in Chincha.
Day 9, Thursday: In Chincha and return to Lima for return flight to USA (B/L/D)
A full day at the Chincha Project working with the children (*program to be discussed). In the late afternoon, leave for Lima Airport with dinner prior to arrival at the airport. Depart for the airport to board your late evening flight.
Day 10 Friday: To USA
Morning arrival in the USA
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