Peru 2012

Pre-Trip Activities

We prepared for our trip during the spring 2012 semester with several activities.

We had a guest Lecturer, Art History Professor Dr. Jessica Christie from ECU, who spoke about Modern Peru and Ancient Inkan culture and history.

Participants read books about Peru including:

  • Music and poetry of the Quechua people
  • Shamanism and medicinal plants
  • Gender expression through weaving
  • Inka Culture & Spanish contact period
  • Colonial economy & its effects on the social history of indigenous peoples of Peru

In early May participants met and shared what they learned from their readings with with each otherwhile enjoying lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.

We have also undertaken a service project in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa and Craven Ambassadors to collect school supplies and books for underprivileged children in Peru.  We have collected 8 boxes of supplies that we shipped to Cusco in the next few webefore our trip.

In preparation for our trip we held several Spanish language workshops.  Participants had varying degrees of familiarity with the Spanish Language.  In our workshops we focused on greetings, directions, learning the names of foods, and other key phrases that came in handy once we were in Peru.

Projects Abroad

While in Peru, each participant  kept a travel diary on some aspect of Peruvian culture, such as language, gender, economy, religion, or architecture.  We also be took film footage of the trip to create a documentary based on our experience in Peru.

Post-trip Activities

Each participant was tasked with sharing what they learned by sharing their travel diaries with the students, faculty , and staff upon return. Individuals were able to choose to share their experience by creating posters, PowerPoint presentations, a photo collection, etc.  Upon the start of the fall semester, students will have the opportunity to enroll in HUM 160: Introduction to Film, where they will use the footage shot in Peru to create a documentary.

In-country Activities

Day 1

Arrive in Lima.

Day 2

We started our trip heading south of Peru towards the Bay of Paracas (250kms south of Lima). We raced off in a speedboat to visit the magnificent figure of “the Candelabrum” from the bay, continuing with the trip we arrived at the Ballestas Islands, there the rich marine fauna were experienced,we saw the Peruvian sea lions, penguins, etc. Upon returning to the road had a delicious Peruvian lunch.

After lunch, we headed to the city of Ica and visited the Regional Museum.

We learned about ancient ceramic manufacture, that belonged to the different cultures developed in this zone, subsequently we departed to the city of Nazca.

Day 3

Fly over the Nazca Lines.

Visited a vitivinicola and learned about the production of Quebranta grape and its famous Pisco.

Returned again to Lima.

Day 4

Fly from Lima to the city of Cusco. Our host families were waiting for us at the Cusco airport We  resedt and adjusted to the altitude of Cusco, over 10.000 feet above sea level.

Day 5

We visited the Awanakancha (llama breading project) with 14 indigenous cooperative group working on their textiles project.

We continued on  to visit the Pisac Indian market. All over the Andean highlands, scattered in the Sacred Valley of Urubamba and mountains, there are numerous markets displaying everything from wool textiles, native fruits and fresh vegetables to jewelry, ceramics, baskets, wood carving, native paintings, embroidery, tools and even animals!  The market in Pisac is one of the most well-known markets in the country. It is a rich cultural site where locals meet with their friends and relatives to catch up on news and practice the ancient art of bargaining.

After lunch we visited Ollantaytambo fortress, where the Inca fought their last battles with the Spanish invaders…just spectacular!  We visited a home of one of the residents of Ollantaytambo and discovered  how their living conditions and decoration hasn’t change in centuries.

Day 6

The morning was pent at the Academy taking placement exams (oral & written) for our Spanish Immersion classes.

Then we went on a walking tour of the Imperial city of Cusco (La Compañia, San Blas, Plaza Nazarenas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Regocijo, City Hall, etc)

We closed out the day with an orientation about Academic program and Service learning program we participated in while in Cusco.

Day 7

Took a guided visit to the Qoricancha (Temple to the Sun), the most important and impressive example of Inca architecture in Cuzco.  Due to its importance to the Inca, it was rebuilt during the Colonial period as the Convent of Santo Domingo.  Today we find a unique combination of Inca, Renaissance and Baroque architecture at one site.

Afterwards we visited to the Sacsayhuaman Fortress (pronounced similar to Sexiwoman), located just outside the city of Cuzco and considered one of the best examples of Inca military architecture.  From the air, it appears as a Puma lying down; from the ground, it is an amazing construction of huge (5 meters in height) stones, stacked possibly 2- 4 stories high, precisely joined and brought from 20 kilometers away by a culture who did not have the wheel.

We also visited the ruins of Qenko and Tambomachay / Temple of the Water.

The day ended with the first of our Spanish immersion classes.

Day 8

Service learning with the less fortunate children in Cusco & Spanish classes

Day 9

Service learning with the less fortunate children in Cusco & Spanish classes

Day 10

Service learning with the less fortunate children in Cusco & Spanish classes

Dance lesson (salsa & merengue)

Day 11

Traveled by train on our fabulous trip, with our anthropologist private guide, to visit the Machu Picchu ruins.

Day 12

Free day in Cusco

Day 13

Took a flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado where we transferrd in bus to the port where our motor boat took us on an hour ride on the Madre de Dios River toward the jungle lodge, briefing from our guide and discuss general rain forest ecology. Immediately after relaxing and refreshing at our fantastic bungalows, we walked in the forest through the trail system and observed the forest and the amazing bird life. Dinner and a short briefing for next day plans. There was also be an optional interesting night walk to observe insects and amphibians.

Day 14

Once again our motor boat took us on the river to observe the fabulous bird life until the rangers control and the entry to Sandoval Lake located in Tambopata Reserve. We started a 5 kilometer walk through an interesting trail to the Lake it self, board small canoes and paddle to observe monkeys, turtles, etc. and if lucky the family of Giant Otters.

Wednesday, May 30

This day we boated down stream toward an Ese-Eja ethnia Native Community. This boat ride offered an opportunity to observe the forest and the bird life. Once we arrived we learned from the families about their cultural values, customs, language, got to know jungle fruits and products and had a chance to buy some of their handmade crafts in a way to economically support them. Box lunch on the boat and returned to the jungle lodge.

Day 15

Once again we left in our boat toward “Taricaya Project” where our guide explained how this project involves nature conservation and the rehabilitation of animals found or mistreat by humans. It was possible to observe flora and fauna from the area walking through the trail system while our guide told us some native legends and taught us all about medicinal plants. We climbed up the hanging bridge and walk to the tower to have a spectacular overview form the treetops.

Day 16

We left the  jungle lodge after breakfast in our boat toward the port and Puerto Maldonado’s airport.

Departure by plane from Puerto Maldonado to Lima

Day 17

A very tired, beraggled group of 12 participants  said good bye to our beloved adventure in Peru and flew home to North Carolina.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pat Foley
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 01:46:39

    Sounds like an amazing trip. Enjoy it! I know it’s work, but what a place to be working in!


  2. Fred Cooze
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:25:19

    Looks like a tightly packed itinerary…fortunately, it was packed with great experiences.
    Best wishes as you prepare for Ecuador.


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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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