Peru: Amazon Adventure

Impact: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Value: 5
Safety: 5

I don't even know where to begin here, but I'll start by saying that this trip was absolutely incredible and has definitely had a huge impact on my life, not just for the views, for the things I've seen and done or for the friends I'm still in contact with, but for the lessons I've learned through it (which sounds really cheesy but just go and I promise you'll understand). I could go on for days about the program, but will try to cover the most important parts for anybody reading this curious about it.

It can be terrifying, thinking of going to a foreign country where you may not speak the language at all (like myself), to meet up with a group of strangers and do some very out-of-the-box things. This is not a holiday at a five star resort in the Bahamas, nor is it a cookie cutter Euro-trip. There are times that can push you, for various reasons (whether this may be the load of insects, the humidity in the jungle, the hiking, the physical labour, or even just trying to recover from drinking too much berry moonshine the night before). Regardless of these, there were moments on this trip that absolutely outweigh any and all of the negatives: sitting around a table as a group eating the feast you've prepared from fresh ingredients bought at the market that morning (bought using the Spanish you've learned), hiking up the last few steps to an incredible lookout (or a waterfall to stop and swim at), having a cold beer watching the sunset from the roof of a ferry boat driving up the Amazon river, having deep and meaningful candlelit conversations in the evenings with people closer to you than friends you've had for years, etc.

Operation Groundswell's programs are different in the way that they make you more self-aware, and really make you step back and look at your place in the program and in the world as a whole. The reflective group exercises make the program so much different from others, and the entire experience being as local as possible (food, transportation, accommodation, and the work itself) really allows you to experience something so different than you would be able to individually.

Small tip, a bug net shirt was a huge help to me to stay cool(er) and avoid some bites. Would also recommend a sleeping bag that compressed very small (vs the bulky one I brought).

Trust me on this one, this is a program you won't regret.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed