Heart of the Inca Empire – Cusco, Peru

This experience will provide students with a new perspective on the obstacles that are preventing growth in these rural communities and allow them to practice implementing solutions to these challenges first hand, while being able to take in the historical and beautiful sites that Peru has to offer.

Peruvian History

Peru is a fascinating, vibrant country. It has some of the richest history in the Americas. Evidence of the civilizations that have made this land their home can be seen everywhere. There is colonial architecture from the Spanish and a myriad of ruins from Inca times stretching back to the other pre-Columbian societies such as the Huari, Moche and Nazca peoples. One of the most famous of these is the Inca citadel at Machu Picchu. The Spanish conquerors never found this, and it was being used as farmland by local families when American explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled on it in 1911.

Peru's history is fraught with conflict, colonialism, corruption and violence. Until the 1530s, Peru was the center of the huge Inca Empire, which extended from modern-day Chile in the South to Colombia in the North. This was known as Tawahntinsyo or the ‘land of the four quarters’, referring to the four main administrative regions. Cusco was the epicenter of this incredible empire that held influence over much of South America.

Additional Service Initiatives

This particular service program offers students the opportunity to participate in several different service initiatives including teaching and improvement of both the school and dormitory facilities. The experience will provide students with a new perspective on the obstacles that are preventing growth in these rural communities and allow them to practice implementing solutions to these challenges first hand.

A Bright Light Volunteers representative can help you identify the right service project for your group. Some of the current/ongoing service projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving outside play areas for the children
  • Building greenhouses to grow food year round
  • Construct clean building ovens for communities in the rural highlands
  • Constructing computer and homework desks for the children
  • Creating a vegetable garden on site to grow food for the children
  • Building bookshelves for the children’s books- many are now in storage due to lack of space to store them
  • Painting classrooms
  • Providing computer classes and instruction
  • English language instruction and practice
  • Presenting dental clinics in the rural highland communities and and distributing/donating toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Hands-on cultural activities (that are all optional and can be built into your customized itinerary) include an overnight excursion in Lima, a tour of the Sacred Valley, visiting Machu Picchu via train for a day, a cultural scavenger hunt in the historic city center of Cusco, learning traditional Andean dances, taking lessons in traditional Andean cuisine, and lessons in Quechua. Various options abound depending on the particular interests of your group!

Housing & Food

For the Cusco program there are a variety of housing options available depending on the budget and desire of your group. Volunteers can opt to stay in dorm style facilities in the school where they will be working or opt to stay in a small locally owned hotel in the historic city center of Cusco. No matter which option your group decides to choose, these simple, yet comfortable accommodations will give volunteer participants the best immersive cultural experience possible.

Delicious and nutritional Peruvian meals are prepared daily. Breakfast generally consists of breads and jams, coffee and fresh juices. Lunch is generally taken with the local students in the volunteer facilities. Depending on the choice of accommodations that you choose dinner will either be provided at a variety of local restaurants or in the school cafeteria. If a volunteer participant has any special dietary requirements or food allergies special arrangements can be arranged for in advance.

An additional cultural experience available with this program is an excursion to a local market with a professional chef, where the volunteer participants will learn about the local food, make purchases, and prepare a meal with the local kids to share with the community.

Impact – In Their Own Words

Take a moment to read about our service trips from the perspective of former student volunteers.

How to get involved

This service adventure is best suited for groups that want an opportunity to work one on one with students in the host community, provide educational and work skill support, and improve the facilities so that these kids have a greater opportunity to advance in both their education and work skill set, enabling them to break free from the poverty cycle.

Click below to contact one of our representatives on creating a customized volunteer package for your group.

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View a Sample Itinerary

Note: At Bright Light Volunteers we customize each service program for each group. This sample itinerary is only here to help you understand the possibilities available.

Remember – you get to choose your own specific service adventure!

View Sample Itinerary

Why participate in our volunteer programs?

  • I want to bette the world and make a positive impact in the lives of other.

    – Annaiz, Student
  • I want to travel the world with a good cause at hand, get to help people, and learn about the landscape while I am there. Amazing!

    – Brandi, Student
  • I want to travel abroad, experience new things, and help people.

    – Kevin, Student
  • I want to experience another culture and at the same time contribute to making the world a better place.

    – Caroline, Student
  • I want to see the world, travel, and have a service learning experience!

    – Lauren, Student

Photo Gallery

Enjoy some photos from our previous trips!

Questions? Contact Us For Answers!

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