The end of a semester!


We just finished another excellent and fun semester! It started with our
students meeting the Pacific Ocean and later their host families.

Orientation was lots of fun. Students practiced their spoken Spanish,
visited downtown Lima, learned about security and made new friends (or
should I say patas?)

 

During the semester, we traveled to Caral, Cusco and El Carmen.

Caral is the oldest civilization in America and the third worldwide (after Mesopotamia and Egypt). We visited the ruins, learned about Caral culture and later on the day tried local food and had a relaxing evening.

Our next trip was to amazing Cusco, where we visited not only the ruins and a llama farm but also spent a day in the district of Canas visiting two projects: one that works on sustainable farming and another one that works with girls that come from difficult backgrounds. Well, and, of course, we visited Machu Picchu and conquered the top of Huayna Picchu!!

Our last adventure was to visit the town of El Carmen, which is one of the towns in Peru where you can find an important Afro-Peruvian population. We learned how to dance, “zapatear” and play the cajon and visited the Ballumbrosio family. The perfect way of ending the semester.

And last but not least, we hosted a reception at the office where host families, IFSA staff, professors, NGO coordinators and friends said good bye to our spring students, wishing for a prompt come back to Peru! We also went to Brisas del Titicaca, the best show in town, where we saw typical Peruvian dances, danced and had fun.

 
 

Machu Picchu a must see in South America

The Peru Program takes you to 3 out of the Top 25 Destinations in South America (according to TripAdvisor.com):

Machu Picchu!! (number 2):

It’s no wonder Machu Picchu is Peru’s most-visited site. Dating to the mid-1400s, it’s a marvel of mortar-free limestone architecture perched on a high plateau deep in the Amazonian jungle. Get there via train from Cusco or, if you’re not faint-hearted, make the trip on foot via a multi-day hiking trail—you’ll travel through deep Andean gullies and enjoy stunning views.”

 Lima!! (number 9):

“Lima, founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, is a fascinating city and a treasure trove of history. Explore ancient Incan archeological sites, or stroll through the elegant cathedrals and opulent palaces dating from Spanish colonial times. Downtown Lima is crowded, but you’ll enjoy exploring the city’s neighborhoods—especially the beachfront areas, which have great shopping and dining and fabulous hotels.”

Iquitos!! (number 22):

“Make the port town of Iquitos your base camp for exploring the Peruvian Amazon basin. The river and rainforest are the main attractions, of course, and once in Iquitos it’s easy to book a stay at one of numerous nearby jungle lodges. Closer to town, travelers recommend visiting the market and “floating village” of Belen, seeing colorful creatures at the butterfly farm and animal rescue center, and taking a cruise on the great river.”

the jungle!!

Hannah Kosgard, our academic year student, just came back from her semester trip to Iquitos. Our academic students go to the jungle for their second semester, instead of Cusco, and this is Hannah’s journey in the Amazonian Jungle with Brenda (a Pata IFSA).

 

 Hannah visited the  Amazonian tribe of Yawar and learned from their traditions (such as dancing and face painting)

 She traveled by boat through the Amazon river and by foot through the jungle,

staying in a lodge in the middle of the Amazonian jungle.

 Learning how to take juice out of sugarcane

 They also visited a shelter for monkeys and other wild animals.

and fish pirañas!

One of the many fun activities that students do in the program!!!

A semester has ended!

All good byes are bittersweet. On the one hand, one is excited to go back to the US and see family and friends and, on the other hand, it is sad to leave a country that has been a second home. But one thing is certain: the friendships that have been created during this semester among all the participants of the Peru program (students, patas, staff, host families, professors) will last forever and we will carry all the memories in our hearts for the years to come.

Thanks for being part of an amazing semester and come back soon. In the meantime, I will miss you deeply!!!

Laura (Lali)