Peru: Sacred Valley Service

Peru: Sacred Valley Service

Questions? Call (440) 975-9691 for an admissions counselor

2024 Program Dates

July 16 – July 27, 2024

Understand life in rural communities of the Peruvian Andes by exploring the issues of clean water infrastructure, education, and access to public services. Get to know local families, contribute to sustainable service projects, and learn about the former capital of the Inca empire. Hike through majestic mountains, bike down into Ollantaytambo, and visit Machu Picchu.

Service projects support UN Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals Sustainable Development Goals Sustainable Development Goals Sustainable Development Goals

Students love getting immersed in village life and experiencing authentic Peruvian culture!

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Program Profile
Program Profile
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Itinerary Highlights

Pisac

This Peruvian town in the Sacred Valley is known for its Inca ruins and its market. It’s also a place where a traditional way of life is still embraced, so visitors will see traditional attire, cobblestone streets, and local cuisine.

Ollantaytambo

This town in the Sacred Valley is located along the Patakancha River amid the mountains. The area is known for its Inca ruins, including a large site with terraces called Temple Hill. The old town has cobblestone streets and adobe buildings and is a common launching point for people who want to hike the Inca Trail.

Machu Picchu

This may be the most famous site in Peru. It’s sometimes called the Lost City of the Incas and once was home to about 750 people. There’s some mystery surrounding how the citadel was built, but many researchers believe it was the royal estate for the first Incan emperor. Today some people believe the fog in the area carries the spirits of lost Incas.

Cusco

This city was once the capital of the Inca Empire and today is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Unfortunately, the Spanish destroyed many Inca palaces and structures in the city and used some of the walls that remained to construct newer buildings. Some Inca buildings survived the test of time, but today one of the best known buildings in the city is the Spanish Cathedral of Santo Domingo.

Service
Activities
Animals
Food

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack Light! Limit your checked luggage to no more than 33lbs (15kg) and your carry-on luggage to 15lbs (7kg).
Consider no checked bag. We strongly recommend that you consider packing only a carry-on size bag. This prevents your luggage getting lost or separated from you, keeps your bag manageable, and helps you be more mobile on your travel day.
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Daypack

A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for daily activities and outings.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Ear buds
  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Additional community service forms
  • Consent to Travel Letter (for students under 19, recommended by the US State Dept but not required)
  • Travel Documentation
Main Luggage

A 40-50 liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.

Clothes

It is winter in the southern hemisphere and we’ll be spending significant time at high altitude and outdoors. Come prepared for cold winter nights. Think of how you can pack for wearing layers to allow you flexibility depending on how warm or cold it is.

  • Socks (12)
  • Underwear (12)
  • Thermal base layer (1 set)
  • Pants/capris/leggings (2)
  • Athletic shorts (1-2, one pair of knee length)
  • Jeans (1)
  • T-shirt (5-6)
  • Long-sleeved shirt (5-6)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit
  • Soft shell jacket
  • Micro puff jacket (evenings can be very cold at these altitudes)
  • Fleece/hoodie
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (for sun)
  • Winter hat
  • Winter gloves/mittens
  • Quick dry towel

Toiletries

(travel sized in ziplock bags)

  • Shampoo (biodegradable, like this)
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash (biodegradable, like this)
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
  • Bug spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Foam earplugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Wet Wipes
  • Razor/shaving cream

Miscellaneous

  • Headlamp/flashlight
Important Reminders
  • *Community Service Appropriate Attire includes T-shirts and tank tops with no visible undergarments and shorts with a 3” or more inseam.
  • Don’t forget the Big Five: Water Bottle, Sunscreen, Bug spray, Rain jacket, Closed-toe shoes.

Weather

In the Andes, it is hot and dry during the day (75-85F/23-27C), cooling off substantially at night.

Our Dress Code Expectations

The mountains can be quite hot during the day, but please pack more pants than shorts. A good outfit is sneakers, long, light and loose non-cotton pants, t-shirt, and a hat for sun. At night, swap the t-shirt for a sweater and add a puffy jacket and you will be warm and comfortable. 

Laundry

Students should pack enough for the duration of the program as laundry is not guaranteed while in Peru. Laundry can be arranged for ’emergency’ situations at the student’s expense (~$12 USD).