We’ll begin our journey in the modern city of Cusco, once the capital of a mighty empire. There, our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, and altitude of the region. We’ll hit the city’s cobblestone streets and learn about the country’s colonial history before hiking to the Temple of the Sun and Moon for a glimpse of the valley’s Incan past. We’ll spend our mornings in a cozy guesthouse complete with a cup of coca tea. Then its time to explore tasty traditional Andean food and do some hands-on learning about the health benefits of native grains and home-made energy bars. Still got room for dessert? We’ll take a chocolate-making workshop and hear about the healing powers of cacao.
From there we will switch gears and dig into mining and development with Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras. DHSF is dedicated to working with communities affected by multinational mining so, we’ll talk human rights and get the dirt on multi-national mining in the altiplano and what local communities are doing to respond.
Next, our journey will take us to a family farm in the remote village of Maska, about an hour and a half outside of Cusco. The project, known as Kausay Punku, serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. There, we’ll learn about herbal and homeopathic medicine, natural construction, and traditional farming. Our days will be spent getting our hands dirty harvesting eucalyptus, building with adobe and distilling medicinal plants into pure essential oils. Evenings will be full of traditional cuisine from the sierra and real stories of the Inca.
Then, we’ll set off on a hike deep into the district of Pisac. The Kinsa Ccocha Trek is an off-the-beaten path adventure that will take us past sites rarely seen by tourists, including pre-Incan wall paintings and secret lakes hidden high up in the mountains! We will be guided by our partners at Kausay Punku and our friend Silvestre, who will share with us the history of the region and the stories passed down from their ancestors. Along the way, we’ll spend a night in the town of Paru Paru. This indigenous community sustains itself on potatos, corn and quinoa so, we’ll enjoy a delicious traditional dinner and cozy up in this unique corner of the Andes.
Finally, after an incredible journey, we’ll make our way down into an ancient Incan village which is now the famous home of one the nest remaining Incan archeoligical sites. The ruins of Pisac cover vast agricultural terraces and and the country’s largest known cemeteries encompassing 20,000 caves carved into the side of the mountain.
We’ll spend the night in town where we’ll celebrate disorientation. This is a staple of every OG program and provides a space to debrief as a group. So, we’ll kickback, relax and re ect on our incredible journey. We’ll fill our bellies with ceviche, tell stories, sip Pisco sours and share lessons learned. We’ll sit under the stars and think about our impact and what we can do to bring it back home.