2019 Peru 15 Day Service Adventure – Session 1
Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 Peru 15 Day Service Adventure! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead.
Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Review all materials
What to Expect
Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.
We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|1-Jun||USA - Lima, Peru||Today the group will travel from the USA to Lima, Peru. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel and rest ahead of our connecting flight the following morning.||Mami Panchita|
|2-Jun||Lima - Puno||This morning we will head to the airport to catch our flight to Juliaca. Once we arrive we will transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We will spend the rest of the day relaxing to acclimatize to the altitude and catch a lively demonstration of indigenous dances in town over dinner this evening.||Hotel Qalasaya|
|3-Jun||Lake Titicaca||After breakfast and watching the sunrise over the lake, we will depart on bicycle taxis for our boat. We will navigate the lake with our guide to Taquile, a remote island with stunning views and unique cultural traditions. Afterwards we will share a traditional meal with some of the lake's indigenous inhabitants before making our way to the floating islands of the Uros people, who continually construct these homes using the lake's reeds. We will return to Puno for dinner and relaxation after a fulfilling day.||Hotel Qalasaya|
|4-Jun||Puno - Cusco||Today we will travel overland to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Quechua empire. We will spend most of the day taking in the Peruvian altiplano, arriving to Cusco in time for dinner. Once in Cusco, we will explore our neighborhood on foot and get our first taste of the city.||Pension Alemana|
|5-Jun||Cusco||Our day will begin with a guided walking tour of the historic center and marvel at how Quechua, Spanish and modern influences have molded current day Cusco. After lunch, we will head up to the famous Quechua ruins of Saqsayhuaman above town to continue our tour. In the evening, we will enjoy local and international food and the comforts of our quaint hotel.||Pension Alemana|
|6-Jun||Cusco||Today we will embark on an adventurous photographic scavenger hunt in the cobblestone streets around the central plaza of Cusco. Next, we will practice our moves in a Latin dance class. This afternoon we will have some free time to shop before we have an orientation ahead of our service project and host community experience. We will make sure to try some delicious picarones on our last night in Cusco!||Pension Alemana|
|7-Jun||Homestay Community||We will make our way to Ollantaytambo to meet our host families early this morning. After settling in with our families, we will begin our first day of service. Our service days will be spent in our homestay community, which represent the heart and soul of our program. We will volunteer on meaningful service project(s) during the day while also enjoying sufficient free time to interact with our host families and fellow travelers, practice our language skills and explore the surrounding area.||Homestay|
|8-Jun||Homestay Community||Today we will continue work on our service project(s) and spend time with our host families. Evening activities will vary.||Homestay|
|9-Jun||Sacred Valley||The adventures continue as we set out for Chinchero, a small town just above the Sacred Valley, where we will enjoy a weaving demonstration from the women famous for these local textiles. We will then make our way to Salineras, where thousands of salt pools cascade down the mountains, and Moray, an ancient Quechua agricultural laboratory. From there we will descend the Sacred Valley in bikes (or vans) and return to our host community.||Homestay|
|10-Jun||Homestay Community||Today we will continue our work on our service project(s) and spend time with our host families. Evening activities will vary.||Homestay|
|11-Jun||Homestay Community||Today we will finish our work on our service project(s) and spend time with our host families. Evening activities will vary.||Homestay|
|12-Jun||Pisac - Ollantaytambo||Today we will head out to the town of Pisac, home to the largest regional market. We will use our Spanish language skills to negotiate good prices on world class crafts in this colorful market! This afternoon, we will either explore the ruins above town or in Ollantaytambo, where brave Quechua warriors once staged a rebellion against the Spanish conquistadors. Tonight we will have a fiesta de despedida with our families to celebrate our time in the community together. The bravest among us can try cuy , the andean guinea pig eaten on special occasions!||Homestay|
|13-Jun||Machu Picchu||Today we will wake early and make our way to the train station to take the beautiful two-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, the base town of Machu Picchu. We will then either hike or bus to the famous ruins. With our local guide, we will learn about the history and significance of this citadel set high in the Andes, and take time to reflect on our journey thus far. We will head back to our host community this evening.||Homestay|
|14-Jun||Homestay Community - Cusco - Lima - USA||This morning we will say goodbye to our host families and begin our journey back to the USA. We will take an afternoon flight from Cusco to Lima. If time permits, we will leave the airport to explore the capital's historic center, including the plaza mayor and the catacombs under the convent of San Francisco, before catching our overnight flight from Lima to the USA.||Airplane|
|15-Jun||USA||We will arrive home!||Own bed|
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Situated in the hills of the San Blas neighborhood, Pension Alemana is a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking the historic center of Cusco. Representative of the city’s history and culture, this hotel blends Quechua and Spanish colonial styles to provide a stunning setting to relax at 11,000 feet. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Mami Panchita is a family owned and operated colonial style guest house in San Miguel. Conveniently located between the airport and the attractions of the coastal neighborhoods, this hostel offers a cozy retreat from the bustle of the Peruvian capital that students will surely enjoy. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
The rooms in Hotel Qalasaya are comfortable, elegant, and well equipped with modern amenities. Rising above most of the surrounding buildings, the hotel also boasts some of the best views of Lake Titicaca. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
In an effort to make the flight booking process as smooth as possible, we have partnered with STA Travel. This partnership provides our participants with discounted fares through STA’s contracts with the top airlines to help our travelers get the best possible rates.
You have two options for making your flight arrangements, which are outlined below. With either option, we strongly recommend you book with STA, which you can do by calling their dedicated line at 800-781-4040.
1. (Preferred) Book a seat on the chaperoned international group flight.
Each Open Enrollment program has a suggested, chaperoned, group flight that will depart from a designated departure city in the United States and arrive to the destination country. Participants on these flights will have the support of our on-scene Airport Liaison as well as an accompanying Program Leader, on-flight. The Airport Liaison will help gather, coordinate and direct the arrival and departure of our participants in the airport and the Program Leader will accompany the group to and from the host country while on the flight. The vast majority of our travelers choose this option.
The following information is for the chaperoned group flights for this program:
|Type||Carrier Name||Carrier Code||Flight Number||Departure City||Departure Date and Time||Arrival City||Arrival Date and Time|
LAX – Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, USA
June 1, 2019 at 1:00PM
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
June 1, 2019 at 11:40PM
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
June 15, 2019 at 12:50AM
LAX – Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, USA
June 15, 2019 at 7:45AM
Here’s how to proceed:
- Call our dedicated representative at STA Travel at 800-781-4040 to learn about your booking options.
- Tell the agent you are a Smithsonian Student Adventures participant, the full name of the program you are traveling on and your program travel dates. They will walk you through the details of your flight options.
- Once you know your flight options, you can book directly with STA or on your own to travel to the host country.
Important note: Should you elect not to travel on the suggested, chaperoned, group flight please email your complete flight reservation to flights@SmithsonianSA.com.
Program participants should meet the airpot liaison at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the international flight. If you are traveling on a connecting flight from your home destination, you will meet your flight chaperone at the boarding gate for your international flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please contact Smithsonian Student Adventures at our 24/7 emergency hotline: 303-997-0310.
2. Book your own flight to the host country.
For this option we require travelers to arrive at the same time, or no more than 3 hours earlier than the suggested group flight’s planned arrival. We ask participants not to arrive later than the suggested group flight’s time of arrival. If travelers arrive on their own prior to the rest of the group we will arrange to have the second Program Leader or the Country Director meet them as they land in the host country.
Note: A $100 fee may be charged if you arrive later than the group suggested flight or 3 or more hours before.
With either option, we strongly encourage you to book your flights through STA, but it is not required.
STA operates a full 24/7 emergency line and can support you with issues from date changes, cancellations, or general crisis management support wherever you are in the world. To contact them, please call 800-836-4115.
A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event SSA is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. Notwithstanding, our travelers’ well-being and safety is always our number one priority in all facets of our operations and programming, so please know that in case flight delays or cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will keep family members updated on developments as we are able.
Important note: Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.
SSA is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage or for lost or stolen luggage. We strongly encourage all travelers to pack a carry-on bag if possible, or to at least put all valuables and a change of clothes or two in a carry-on along with all important medications and basic toiletries such as a toothbrush, deodorant, glasses, contacts etc.
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm whether this is required on your flight.
Host Community and Project Details
An average service project depends completely on the needs of each community and can vary greatly from year to year. Service projects are planned together with the SSA Country Director and community organizers. The project will always benefit the entire community and is chosen and approved by community leaders. Walking Tree staff never decides what service project is done, rather projects are always proposed by local community leaders as they are most in tune with the needs of the community.
Service projects are intended to be both challenging and rewarding for participants and community members. Generally, the work entails renovating or replacing an existing structure (health clinic, community center, school, etc) that needs work. Usually, there are little or no funds available to complete these projects, so Walking Tree plays an important role in the community. Some past projects include renovating health clinics, constructing playgrounds, building sidewalks, reforestation, or repairing decaying retaining walls.
What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.
Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.
T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
Flip flops (optional)
TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid
Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)
Journal and pen
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
Converter (Peru runs 220v, 60Hz AC electricity. Only necessary if electronic device doesn’t have built in converter)
Alarm Clock and watch
Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle with a personal water filtration system (optional- Walking Tree will always provide drinking water)
1 quick-dry towel
Soap for washing your own clothes while in the host community
Deck of cards or other portable games
Host family gift
Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this… Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!
WTT/SSA will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to the Program Leader(s), we also have support staff in our host countries and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado who are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!
Country Director, Country Operations Manager - Peru
University of Denver – B.A. Spanish, Minors in History and Hebrew
Tommy graduated from the University of Denver with B.A in Spanish and minored in History and Hebrew studies. His hobbies include camping, basketball, studying history, traveling and learning languages. Fluent in both Spanish and Hebrew, Tommy first developed his love of languages and Latin American culture at the age of ten on a mission trip in Mexico. This experience and the subsequent trips to follow inspired him to study Spanish in school and to pursue more development work in other areas of Latin America as well. During a semester abroad in college in Cusco, Peru, Tommy had the pleasure of working alongside ProWorld Peru in rural communities like Ocurruro, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. Before becoming our Peru Country Director, Tommy spent time building houses in El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity. He now lives in Cusco, Peru full time!
Admissions Director - Denver, CO
University of Arizona – B.S. in Spanish and Portuguese, Minor in Business
Lacey is originally from Flagstaff, Arizona but has been spending her summers in Denver since she was a kid. Originally a business major, she decided to spend her sophomore year studying in Viña Del Mar, Chile. This is where she truly found her passion for travel and learning about other cultures. When she returned to Arizona, she changed her focus to learning Spanish and Portuguese and decided to pursue her TEFL certificate. After graduation, Lacey moved to Fortaleza, Brazil and taught English to high school students, pilots and doctors. She then moved to Denver and continued teaching English. In her free time she enjoys live music, snowboarding, traveling and of course eating amazing “hole-in-the-wall” food.
Argentina Country Director
College Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)- Degree in Lettres, Technical degree in Film Directing
Natalia was born and has always lived in Buenos Aires, where she graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires with a degree in Lettres and from CIEVYC with a technical degree in Film Directing.
She co-founded a Spanish School when she was 24, just after her first solo travel, which started a long saga that took her to more than 20 countries in South America, Europe and Asia.
Natalia lives with a beautiful white cat that loves hunting doves to offer them up to her. She loves plants, red wine, sci-fi movies, thai food, live music, biking, cooking, reading and, of course, traveling.
Regis University – B.A. Peace and Justice Studies, History
My name is Koe Gonzales and I am a recent graduate of Regis University. Go class of 2018! I studied abroad in Peru during the Spring of 2017 and have spent most of my life traveling. My stepmother works for United Airlines allowing me and my family mostly throughout Europe and Asia. I was always curious about Latin America which led me to service learning trips in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and eventually studying abroad in Peru while at Regis. My senior year I interned at the Posner Center for International Development and also promoted the study abroad program at my alma mater. After college, I felt pretty lost and I didn’t know what I truly wanted to do. So I started working in customer service ending up a UPS store in Denver, Colorado. I enjoyed my work because it allowed me to connect to all kinds of people. Having just become a notary and being fluent in both Spanish and Filipino, I really do hope to establish strong relations in the Philippines and Latin America. Aside from pursuing my ambitions, you can find me quoting movie lines, being a jokester, watching sport events, or just hanging out with dogs. I look forward to meeting and connecting with everyone!
See below for a list of travelers enrolled on the program.
- 1 Anne Martz
- 2 Claudia Horning
- 3 Dominic Douglas
- 4 Julianne Hannon
- 5 Layla Goodarzi
- 6 Lianna Levine
Blog and Communication
We work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program. Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, and can check back any time via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page or the link included in the email.
Beyond our proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.
For any general inquiries during travel, please email your Walking Tree Representative (see top of page) or email@example.com. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the United States.
We have developed a curriculum of activities designed to help each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple and engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.
Standards of Behavior
Walking Tree provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.
- Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.
GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE
- Getting a piercing or tattoo
- Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
- Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
- Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
- Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
- Breaking group rules
These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with us.
Health and Safety
We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Peru website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.
Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.
Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.
We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.
While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing Premier travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason or loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. While most travelers have opted in for us to purchase basic travel insurance on their behalf during the enrollment process, this plan does not cover trip interruption or trip cancellation. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.
-Recommended Travel Insurance-
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.
Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.
Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.
Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.
Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.
24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.
*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101C series or 101P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.