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2021 Montessori School of Evergreen Peru Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Montessori School of Evergreen 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 on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Peru!!
Travel Dates: March 9, 2021 - March 17, 2021
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,190 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,278

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. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
March 9USA - Lima, PeruToday the group will travel from the USA to Lima, Peru. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel and rest after a long journey.Lima Hotel
March 10LimaThis morning we will hold an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming trip in detail. After lunch, we'll make our way to the historic center to explore the capital's main plaza, including the presidential palace, and admire the beautiful Spanish colonial styles found here. We will continue with a tour of the catacombs underneath the Convent of San Francisco before making our way back to Miraflores. Tonight we'll grab dinner near Parque Kennedy, then walk around this bustling park to sample street sweets and take in the atmosphere.Lima Hotel
March 11Lima - PunoThis 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
March 12Lake TiticacaAfter 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
March 13Puno - CuscoToday we will travel overland to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Quechua empire. Once in Cusco, we will take a guided walking tour of the historic center and marvel at how Quechua, Spanish and modern influences have molded current day Cusco.Pension Alemana
March 14CuscoOur day will begin with 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 before touring the famous Quechua ruins of Saqsayhuaman. In the evening, we will enjoy local and international food and the comforts of our quaint hotel.Pension Alemana
March 15Cusco - Pisac - UrubambaThe adventures continue as we head out to an Andean Camelid farm to feed the llamas and alpacas there and learn about the significant roles these animals have played throughout Andean life. Afterwards, we'llmake our way to the town of Pisac, home to the largest regional market. We will exercise our Spanish language skills to negotiate good prices on world class crafts in this colorful market! After we have sufficiently explored town, if time permits we will participate in an artisan's workshop who specializes in making crafts out of Amazonian seeds. We will end the day at our quaint accomodations in Urubamba, where we will play games and facilitate activities that help us reflect on our journey thus far.La Quinta Eco Hotel
March 16Sared ValleyToday we'll check out 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 Urubamba.La Quinta Eco Hotel
March 17Urubamba - Aguas CalientesAfter breakfast we will head to the nearby town of Ollantaytambo, a small town that has preserved its original Quechua design. We will have the option to either go on a hike, play pick-up soccer with the locals, explore the ruined Sun Temple above town, or hang out in the plaza, enjoying snacks and a relaxing morning in this quaint town while we wait for our train. We will then embark on a two hour train ride and admire the changing landscape as we descend to Aguas Calientes, the base town of Machu Picchu. After eating dinner and settling in to our hotel, we will rest ahead of our big day tomorrow.Hatun Inti Classic
March 18Machu PicchuToday's the day! We will wake early and bus up to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. With our local guide, we will hike all around this breathtaking site to learn about the history and significance of this mysterious citadel set high in the Andes. If we have the energy, we can also explore other lesser-known parts of Machu Picchu such as the sun gate or Inca Bridge. Afterwards, we will make our way back to Urubamba to spend the night.La Quinta Eco Hotel
March 19Urubamba - Lima - USAToday we will begin the long journey home, but not before we get to try our hand in a chocolate making workshop. We will participate in a fun, interactive class on how to make our own delicious chocolates in Cusco before heading to the airport to catch our domestic connection to Lima. If time permits, we will leave the airport ahead of our international connection to enjoy the magic water show at Parque de la Reserva and/or enjoy a final meal in country overlooking the Pacific Ocean. ¡Hasta luego!Airplane
March 20USAArrive home!Your own bed, eventually!

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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. 
Hostal El Patio

This beautiful bed and breakfast provides the perfect escape in the heart of Lima’s trendy, coastal neighborhood of Miraflores. Flowery terraces and the friendly staff give personality and charm to this lush, green oasis in the middle of the city. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Hotel Qalasaya

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.

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.

La Quinta Eco Hotel

La Quinta Eco Hotel offers modern facilities in a lush, unforgettable setting. All rooms are comfortable, clean, and have their own private bathroom. Students can enjoy the facilities on the grounds as well, including a game room, a pool, and ample green spaces. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel to keep everyone connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.

Hatun Inti

Hatun Inti is a modern, clean, and locally owned and operated hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes. The friendly staff, complimentary teas, delicious food, and modern amenities combine to make this hotel the perfect place to relax for travelers visiting Machu Picchu. 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

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure Airport & City Departure Date and Time  Arrival Airport & City Arrival Date and Time 
Outbound
Delta Air Lines
DL
1816
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, United States
March 09, 2020 at 10:40 AM
ATL – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, United States
March 09, 2020 at 03:26 PM
Outbound
Delta Air Lines
DL
151
ATL – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, United States
March 09, 2020 at 05:10 PM
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
March 09, 2020 at 11:00 PM
Inbound
Delta Air Lines
DL
150
LIM – Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru
March 20, 2020 at 12:30 AM
ATL – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, United States
March 20, 2020 at 08:20 AM
Inbound
Delta Air Lines
DL
570
ATL – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, United States
March 20, 2020 at 11:38 AM
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, United States
March 20, 2020 at 01:00 PM

Once your flight has been secured 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, but 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 is unpredictable, especially in a pandemic.  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

Packing List

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!

Please note that seasons in South America are opposite ours. That being said said, late fall and early winter are the driest parts of the year and often the most pleasant times to visit Peru. Most of our program will be spent at high altitudes where daytime temperatures can reach the 70’s and it can freeze at night. Layering is the best way to prepare for variable conditions.

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

TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS
Sunscreen
Mosquito repellent
Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid
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)
Converter (Peru runs 220v, 60Hz AC electricity. Only necessary if electronic device doesn’t have built in converter)
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
Flashlight/headlamp
Batteries
Deck of cards or other portable games
Student ID
Spanish/English Dictionary

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.

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.

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.

Emilie McGeary
Emilie McGeary
Program Leader


University of Oregon – B.A in Sociology; double minor in Business and Spanish 

Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Emilie spoke about her dreams of traveling the world since she was in the 2nd grade, after a summer long road trip across the country with her family. While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of Oregon with a double minor in Business and Spanish, she took the opportunity to make her dreams come true and study abroad in Sevilla, Spain. There she discovered her true passion for travel, found a perfect place to use her newly learned Spanish, and was able to travel to 9 different countries and 23 cities in Europe. Once graduated from college, she decided to build upon her language experience and pursue a certificate to teach English as a foreign language. After receiving her TEFL certificate in Costa Rica, she went on to teach English in Cusco, Peru at a language institute. From there she moved to Guatemala where she taught at a small, beautiful high school for nearly 3 years to fully immerse herself in a wonderful culture and develop skills in the teaching profession. When she isn’t teaching English, Emilie enjoys learning and sharing knowledge about Latin American cultures and countries, traveling to new places, spending time with friends and family, sharing and listening to music, playing tennis, and enjoying the outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Her friends would describe her as fun and outgoing, her students find her approachable and patient, and her dogs would describe her as their favorite loving buddy.

Group Roster

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

  • 1 Emma Huske
  • 2 Meghan Phillips
  • 3 Samantha Stewart
3 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. 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. Failure to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Possessing weapons.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  5. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  6. Being out 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 the date your initial payment or your deposit for your trip is received. You must also insure 100% of the prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and cancel 48 hours or more before your scheduled trip departure date.

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