2019 Red Mountain Peru Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the homepage for the 2019 Red Mountain Peru Program! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. This first page, the Pre-Enrollment page, 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 intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead.
Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for Peru!
Travel Dates: June 1, 2019 - June 9, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,690 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,475
Deadline(s): Interested travelers should enroll by January 31st

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.

Itinerary

We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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. 

DateDayLocationActivityLodging
June 1SaturdayUSA & LimaTravel, arrive Lima, settle into hotel, orientation meetings and restMami Panchita
June 2SundayLima & CuscoToday we will depart Lima on a domestic flight and travel to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan empire. Once in Cusco, we will settle into our lovely hotel, grab a bite and then take a guided walking tour and marvel at how Incan, Spanish and modern influences have molded the current day Cusco. Pension Alemana
June 3MondayCuscoOur day will begin with an adventurous photographic scavenger hunt in the cobblestone streets around the central plaza of Cusco. Next, we will take Latin dance classes and tour the famous Incan ruins of Saksaywaman. In the evening, we will enjoy local and international food and the comforts of our quaint hotel.Pension Alemana
June 4TuesdaySacred ValleyToday we will set out through the Sacred Valley to the town of Pisac, home to the largest regional market. Our students will explore the colorful market and use their Spanish to get good deals on world class crafts. In the afternoon we will continue through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, where we will settle in with our homestay families.Homestay
June 5WednesdayOllantaytambo
Today we'll devote a full today to an intercambio with the local elementary school. Details forthcoming!Homestay
June 6ThursdayOllantaytamboThe adventures continue as we set out for Chinchero, a small town just above the Sacred Valley. We will enjoy a weaving demonstration from the women famous for this local craft, then set out on bikes through the Sacred Valley to Moray, an ancient Incan agricultural laboratory and on to Salineras, where thousands of salt pools cascade down the mountains.Homestay
June 7FridayHost Community, Machu Picchu, and CuscoToday’s the day! We will wake early take a train to Machu Picchu. With our local guide, we will learn about the history and significance of Machu Picchu and take time to reflect on our journey thus far. We will then head back to Cusco for our final evening in country.Pension Alemana
June 8SaturdayCusco - Lima - USA
We will depart for Lima around mid day and have an afternoon in the capital before enjoying a celebratory dinner and heading to the airport for our flight home. Airplane
June 9SundayUSAArrive home mid morningYour own bed!

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Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Mami Panchita

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.

Pension Alemana

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.

Group Flight

DEPARTURE FROM USA

Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA1638
Date: June 1, 2019
Departs: Phoenix (PHX) – 9:05 AM
Arrives: Houston (IAH) – 1:33 PM

Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA854
Date: June 1, 2019
Departs: Houston (IAH) – 4:30 PM
Arrives: Lima (LIM) – 11:00 PM

RETURN TO USA

Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA855
Date: June 9, 2019
Departs: Lima (LIM) – 12:35 AM
Arrives: Houston (IAH) – 7:10 AM

Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA1895
Date: June 9, 2019
Departs: Houston (IAH) – 9:35 AM
Arrives: Phoenix (PHX) – 10:14 AM

Once your flight has been confirmed, the itinerary will appear here.

Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, and travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION, DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel can be unpredictable.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

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.

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list but you know yourself better than we do so please adjust accordingly. 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 daily outings, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The list below should cover everything you would need, but know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with.  We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.

Finally, we recommend consulting a weather forecast for your destination. 

Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT!

CLOTHES: (quantities depend on your trip length)

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Light sweater/sweatshirt
  • Shorts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Swimsuit/s
  • Light rain jacket
  • Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
  • Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
  • Flip flops
  • Sun hat

TOILETRIES: (in addition to the basics)

  • Sunscreen – you will use a lot.
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid kit.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Book/s
  • Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
  • Universal adapter
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle (optional personal water filtration system – Walking Tree will always provide drinking water)
  • 1 quick-dry towel
  • Soap for washing your own clothes during community time
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Batteries, if needed
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • Homestay gift
  • Student ID
  • Spanish/English Dictionary

HOMESTAY GIFTS

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!

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Luke Mueller
Luke Mueller
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO


Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History

During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents.  Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.

Tommy Tyson
Tommy Tyson
Country Director, Country Operations Manager - Peru


University of Denver – B.A. Spanish, Minors in History and Hebrew

Currently based in Minnesota, where he is originally from, Tommy works in the Country Operations department at Walking Tree Travel. His hobbies include camping, snowboarding, basketball and traveling. Fluent in Spanish, he first developed his love of languages and Latin American culture at the age of ten on a mission trip in Mexico. This experience and subsequent trips to follow inspired him to study Spanish and pursue development work in other areas of Latin America as well. Tommy gained valuable experience as a middle school Spanish teacher and coach after he graduated. His experience in education encouraged him to combine his two passions of travel and education and join our team full time. He had the pleasure of living in Cusco, Peru for three years as our Country Director and has enjoyed planning and guiding student trips ever since.

Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Global Country Operations Manager


Earlham College – B.A. International Studies, Minor in Economics

Born and raised with a big family in Guatemala, JP spent seven years living and studying in the US where he was exposed to highly diverse communities. JP worked as a Wilderness Leader guiding expeditions in the Southwest of the US. After spending two years in New Mexico studying the International Baccalaureate, he moved to Indiana where he spent the next four years at Earlham College. His passion for international affairs brought him to spend a semester in China, and several other Southeast Asian countries. During his time abroad, he spent his summers traveling and backpacking through 15+ different countries, and participating in several service projects. Today JP is based in Costa Rica where he works full time with the Walking Tree team.  Juan Pablo also enjoys hosting friends and travelers coming to visit. He’s always down for an exciting road-trip around the country, or even better, around Latin America. He is a long time art and design enthusiast, and a photography aficionado.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Alejandro Munoz
  • 2 Amanda Adams
  • 3 Bradon Schield
  • 4 Cate McBride
  • 5 Domonic Mangino
  • 6 Jacob Santiago
  • 7 Joshua Schomaker
  • 8 Logan Sanchez
  • 9 Macie Wagner
  • 10 Micayla Berglund
  • 11 Nadine Van Deraa
  • 12 Paige Broman
  • 13 Ryan McGraw
  • 14 Sara Frost
  • 15 Sierra Bailey
  • 16 Stephanie Avalos-Padilla
16 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will 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, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

 

GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, 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.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1.  Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of, or are consuming, or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety.
  4. 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

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Threatening physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of your program. Please take the time to review these as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.

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.

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.

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