All Posts

Keystone Academy Peru 2018

March 30, 2018

The day began in Cusco. A smaller city than Lima,  surrounded by rolling hills. We visited La Plaza de Armas (where we took our very first group photo was cut short by a sudden rain shower) and had a tasty lunch at a local juice and sandwich spot. Next we traveled by bus in order to reach our beautiful mountain hotel, nestled in the Peruvian Andes. Along the way we stopped by a llama/alpaca museum where we saw a dozen different types of soft, furry animals and learned how their fur is dyed and treated in order to make textiles. As I sat on the bus and looked out the window, I realized pollution is stupid and I don’t want to go back to Beijing. We finally made our way to the hotel where we settled in with a quick nap or shower. The hotel was quite beautiful with a swimming pool and soccer field. There were many plants and different types of bugs that caused some of us to reach outside of our comfort zones. For dinner we had a homemade tomato cream soup with cheese, with pasta on the side. For dessert we had a chocolate pudding. After dinner we had our orientation about the trip. Then we all quickly went to sleep to rest up for our next busy day.

March 31st, 2018

Day three: Breakfast started with eggs and bread. We took our luggage to the bus and headed to a local school where we did community service. We met the principal, who introduced himself and the school to us.  We separated into different teams and got to work. Heather, Hesper, Rita, and Martina worked on painting the walls of the primary school. Julia, Francis, Charles, and David worked on digging holes to put in a playground set. David and Charles also had a monumental moment in which they learned how to dig a hole correctly. Annie and Sarina worked on painting the walls of another building in the school. It was hard work that left our backs sore but our hearts full. We took a snack break, we had some Peruvian pastries and cold beverages to hydrate.

At lunch time, we met with our host families for the first time. We had a short orientation with the families and went to their homes for lunch. We had pasta with chicken and tomato sauce, it was surprisingly delicious. After lunch, we went to a jewelry store and learned how to make silver rings from a craftsman. Afterwards, we went for a little walk near the town and some Inca ruins, the Huaina Kapac palace and got to see beautiful sceneries before dusk. Then we went home to spend quality time with our new families

April 1st, 2018

Day four:  After breakfastat our homes, we went to the Moray ruins, and saw the enormous area of the Inca Ruins which was an agricultural laboratory for the Inca engineers. The terraced grassland is very cool.  After that, we visited the Mares  Salt flats, it was very interesting how the water stream flows from the top of the mountain, containing the salty elements and the local people used that phenomenon as a living resource. In the afternoon, we went near the Pisac market and had delicious empanadas, there were chicken ones and beef ones, also some other ones like cheese with mushrooms.  After lunch, we separated into several groups and began our bartering for artisan goods in the Pisac Market. There were so many beautiful things sold in the market, products like carpets, stuffed lama toys, plates and bowls with Peruvian drawings and carved patterns on them. It was a pretty tiring day but very fun and informative with lots of walking and visiting wonderful archaeological sites.  After the market, we went to the Pisac Ruins.  It was a perfect scene with river, mountain, and plants. Not only the Inca Empire, different groups of people once lived in there for thousands of years. We’ve experienced many interesting cultural things, however today is the last day we could spend time with our host families, so when we went home after a long rewarding day, we played games and ends up with delicious dinner.