In the heart of the Andes

Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

I taught at this school for a month just before Christmas, 2014. I've spent 9 months traveling in South America and had some amazing times but none compare to my experiences in Cotahuasi canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.

I taught at the primary and secondary schools in Tomepampa, a small village in this fertile valley. There's no internet and the nearest big town is a ten hour bus ride away, as a result the children are unspoiled and enthusiastic. As soon as it was break time they would be playing volleyball or football or just running around for the sheer pleasure of it.

One of my pupils couldn't walk as the result of a congenital condition. One teacher explained that the previous year the class had an upstairs room and it looked like he wouldn't be able to stay with his group, but his classmates organised a rota themselves, and took it in turns to carry him up and down stairs.

The teachers and villagers were so pleased to have us they made us really welcome. Every weekend we would catch a local bus and then have wonderful treks with breathtaking views. The neighboring village was about half a kilometer away on the map but in fact it was more than 2,500 meters via mule tracks,straight up the side of the canyon.

Most of the locals were indigenous and wore colorful traditional clothes and spoke Quechua. As we visited each settlement, the style of the clothes varied quite noticeably, reflecting how isolated they were.

If you get the chance to join this program then don't even think about hesitating. I know I'm going back one day.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
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Thanks again to all the team for making this a reality.
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