- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Peru
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Three Weeks
- Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Community Service
- Sub-Categories: Spanish, Animals/Nature, Leadership, International Relief
- Selective: No
- Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
- Minimum Cost: > $3,000
- Credit Awarded: No
VISIONS home base is Urubamba, roughly 600 miles south of Lima in the Sacred Valley. You'll work with indigenous farmers on an evolving irrigation project, construct improvements to local school facilities. Practice speaking Spanish in daily life, learn from resident experts about chocolate-making, carpentry, pottery, and beekeeping, explore cultural traditions from soccer to salsa dancing, and experience spectacular vistas and ancient history at Machu Picchu and other ruins.
Over the last two decades, VISIONS has worked with Urubamba residents on community service projects that will make a positive difference to the community for generations. From helping expand irrigation systems for farmers to building much-needed school expansions, our construction projects are instigated by locals and executed by teen volunteers working with them side by side.
The work is hands-on and provides insight into the traditions of this ancient civilization. VISIONS teens may learn the most common form of construction in the Andean region—making blocks by stomping mud together with straw, forming bricks and placing them out to dry. Or discover the techniques of faena farming, which involves moving rocks, concrete and other tools along canal paths to funnel water to crops. In the process, VISIONS volunteers spend quality time with local kids and parents while speaking Spanish, sharing meals, exploring cultural differences and similarities, and making personal connections.
You’ll be amazed by how quickly the cobblestone byways of Urubamba become as familiar as the streets in your hometown. VISIONS relationships with locals run deep and strong. On this foundation of mutual trust and respect, you’ll make your own connections by hanging out with locals daily, while shopping at the farmers market, working alongside maestros on service projects, making traditional foods with our house cook, Neyda, learning about Incan history from project manager Nico, and playing soccer with “Urubambino” kids. All this conversation means ample opportunities to practice speaking Spanish and, more importantly, listen to the stories of people from another culture.