Penair goes to Peru
In the summer of 2019, six Penair students and Mr Jones traveled 6000 miles to Peru with Camps International. They took part in three weeks of community and conservation work followed by a week trekking on the incredible Salkantay trail to the amazing ancient city of Macchu Picchu.
The students spent two years prior to this fundraising for their adventure. They packed bags at supermarkets, organised bingo and quiz evenings, rode exercise bikes in Truro piazza and they sold doughnuts. Lots of doughnuts.
The adventure started at Lake Titicaca with the crew quickly put to work preparing agricultural land for a small village. Exhausting but rewarding work whilst they got used to the high altitude. They also took a trip to the Uros reed islands and got beasted by the local volleyball team.
Next stop Camp Maras, high above the Sacred Valley. Here the group swapped shovels for saws, constructing a new tuck-shop and classroom tables for a local school. Not forgetting a visit to a Peruvian coffee roastery and plenty of photo opportunities with alpacas.
The last project in Camp Caylloma entailed constructing a new communal toilet and shower block for a remote village in the mountains and also handmade mud bricks to make classrooms. Teamwork, leadership skills and plenty of sunscreen required for this rewarding challenge.
It wasn’t all work though. They learnt traditional dances, milked cows, watched condors soaring high above, relaxed in the crisp sunny mountain air, played traditional Peruvian games, shopped at amazing local markets and taught English to the local children. There was lots of communal time in the evenings to meet and chat with other volunteers from different schools.
Lastly, the reward for all the amazing work that had been done: the five-day trek to the ruins of Macchu Pichu. They trekked through dense lowland jungle, up and over snowcapped mountains and slept under canvas at 4000m before arriving at the ancient ruins, one of the modern wonders of the world.
An incredible journey that everybody will remember for a lifetime.