RSIS Peru 2015
Two teams of students from around the globe have recently returned from their service project in Peru, a unique opportunity for any student that seeks an immersive experience in a Latin American country. Each team enjoyed a two week adventure, engaging themselves in the country’s rich history and culture.
The team’s first taste of Peru was the historical capital of Cusco, a bustling and vibrant city where tradition is still very much alive. Students came from various corners of the globe, thanks to the international reach of the Round Square community. “I met lots of different people from all around the world,” reflects Veronika, team one student from Schule Schloss Salem “Each person had their own interesting personality and I have learned a lot through getting to know them.” Working in this diverse team, students developed a deep cultural appreciation and learned to be more open-minded. “I learned a lot from being with so many people from different countries with different cultures” agrees Rick, team one student from Herlufsholm Skole.
The teams spent most of their time in the rural village of Yuncachimpa, located 60KM outside Cusco inside the Huarocondo district where they helped construct a wall around a local school compound and two guinea-pig stables for the community.
For many students living in the small community with only basic facilities was an eye-opening experience allowing them to appreciate the luxuries of home, but also to develop a sense of cultural understanding. “I have seen how open and friendly the people and children in the village are. They seem to be happy, although they have very simple living conditions and have to work really hard. They showed me how amazing life is.”
One of the most important lessons of a Round Square Service project comes from the collaborative nature of the work. “Our group bonded really quickly,” explains Josie from Windermere School “we all became close friends.”
Students learned through experience that working together can be more rewarding and more productive than working alone. Working in collaboration with a community that is in need, rather than for them extends the learning experience, bringing greater, more sustainable benefits to all parties.
With is diverse terrain and rolling skyline, Peru calls to even the most timid adventurer. The teams enjoyed experiences such as zip-lining, climbing the Via Ferrata in the Sacred Valley, travelling on the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, trekking up Machu Picchu Mountain and discovering its ancient city. Many of the adventure activities pushed the students out of their comfort zones but all team members overcame fears and trepidations to take part in the activities. “I’m afraid of heights!” confessed Ingerid, team one student from Stiftung Landheim Schondorf am Ammersee “Via Ferrata was challenging but extremely fun”.
The team also enjoyed a number of cultural activities including exploring the world of Inca art, history and music at the Andean Cultural Centre and participating in a traditional blessing ceremony for Pachammam (Goddess of the Earth). The team even enjoyed a salsa dance class, a popular and social form of dancing in South America.
This experience has helped to cultivate a respect for diversity, inspire social responsibility, encourage kindness for all, promote integrity, and empower our students to have the courage to act. The most important skills I learnt were “kindness, confidence, compassion and always having an open mind” leadership student Sylvia from Brookhouse School.
“We’d like to thank each and every student and adult who helped make the trips so successful.” Says Liz Gray, Projects Support Manager at Round Square “Your hard work has empowered the community of Yuncachimpa to carry themselves forward into a more positive future. Thank you and we hope your memories, new friendships and skills learned take you forwards for years to come.”
You can read more about our two team’s experiences by visiting the blogs.
You can also see more photos on our offical Facebook page