Helping Peru Really Wild Style
In December 2011 I travelled to Peru to visit one of our Community Challenge sites and experience a section of our Machu Picchu trek first hand.
I arrived in Lima and transferred via plane to Cusco. It was an amazing flight, flying across the Andes I found the view my window more interesting than the in-flight entertainment! I arrived into Cusco and was immediately transferred to the Community Challenge site in Chacheqata, a small village near Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. It was great to meet the bunch of budding students from Childreach USA looking to make a real difference by participating in the reforestation initiative.
Whilst is was out there I decided to get stuck in! As with all our Community Challenges, the work can be tough, but I certainly felt the reward, and after work on a couple of days we were invited to play some football with members of the local community. (Happy to report that I won all three games I played in. Granted the third was a bit dubious…)
After a week of waking up to the amazing view of the Sacred Valley it was time to head to the trekking route. I trekked almost half the Salkantay route and loved it. The scenery that constantly surrounds you during the trek is truly beautiful. One of the highlights for me were the various Inca ruins you pass on the trail, they really add a level of interest to the trip as well and building further anticipation for Machu Picchu itself.
By the time I met up with the group again I was at Machu Picchu! A keen bean for history, I was absolutely in my element during my visit. As with all my Really Wild trips it seemed to be over too soon! I returned to Cusco for a couple of days to visit the museums and sample the local night life and before you know it I was back in Edinburgh!
Having spent a good time in Peru I would genuinely say that its high on my list of places to return to (if not top!). The Community Challenge was an amazing opportunity to witness firsthand the difference our participants can make to a local community in need, and If Machu Picchu features on your bucket list as well I’d strongly advise you to seize the opportunity to go!