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Volunteer and Homestay in the Andes
This service project and homestay takes place in the remote Andean village of Vicos, high in the Central Andean Mountains. You will first travel to Huaraz, the adventure capitol of Peru, where you will spend time to acclimatize and prepare for the homestay and service project. Then you will travel to the community of Vicos by local transport, and finally, hike to the homes of our host families. The setting is stunning with snow-capped mountains surrounding the valley populated by farm houses and fields of quinoa, corn and potatoes.
Each day you will walk through the hills with your Quechua hosts to the project home where you will help build a smokeless oven. These ovens vent the smoke, use less wood and create hot water, all of which did not exist before, thereby improving the health of the people as well as benefitting the local environment. Crooked Trails has built over 50 ovens in two villages thus far, but there are many more to go. Learn more about the project here.)
This is a rare opportunity to experience a cultural exchange while helping with a much needed community project. Vicos provides a rural and rustic setting for those intrepid travelers looking for a truly authentic travel experience.
ARRIVE IN LIMA, PERU
Arrive in Lima, transfer to hotel. Your evening is free to explore, grab dinner and get settled in.
LIMA - HUARAZ
You will have most of the day free to explore Lima on your own. Catch a taxi to the bus station for your overnight bus to Huaraz, north of Lima and into the Cordieralla Blanca.
You will need to arrive at the bus station at 9:45 PM so, depending on where you are, plan your time accordingly. If you are in Miraflores or Barranco, it is about 20 minutes to the bus station. The Movil Tours bus leaves at 10:30 PM. All you need to check in is your passport. The bus has blankets, small snacks and a movie. You should carry on-board a warm jacket, water bottle, earplugs and eyeshades if you like them. The seats recline almost flat so you can get settled in for the night.
You will arrive in Huaraz about 6:00 am and your guide will be there to pick you up and bring you to your cozy hostel, La Casa de Zarela. Get checked in, take a shower, have some breakfast and relax. You will have the rest of the day in Huaraz free to explore and acclimatize. Overnight at Casa de Zarela.
HUARAZ - VICOS
After breakfast, our good friend and community member Pablo Tadeo Cillio will come to pick you up and take you to the village of Vicos near Huascaran National Park. You will meet your host family and settle in to your little guest house at their home while they prepare a traditional Andean lunch for you. In the afternoon there will be time for exploring the village and meeting other community members. Overnight at homestay.
These days will be spent working on building a smokeless oven. Your evening includes time with your host family for dinner. This time will not be heavily structured; rather it’s an opportunity for you to experience what life is like in the high Andes with Quechua people whose lives have been relatively unchanged for hundreds of years. Overnight at homestay.
VICOS - HUARAZ
Today you will trek up to a lake at 15,800 feet. Take time to enjoy the magnificent views and have a chance to reflect on your experience. Upon returning we will have a final farewell with your host families. Then Pablo will take you back to Huaraz and you'll get checked into your hotel. Overnight in Huaraz.
HUARAZ - LIMA
This morning feel free to sleep in and enjoy the town. Go shopping and catch up on your emails. You will catch an overnight bus back to Lima. Pablo will make sure you get to the bus station.
LIMA - DEPART
You will arrive in Lima about 6 am. From there simply catch a taxi to either the airport if you are traveling on, or to your hotel in Lima.
We are happy to help you plan more time in Peru, by extending your travels to the Sacred Valley, the rainforest, the desert, Nazca, Titicaca, etc.
9D / 8N
Custom departures available year-round
Lima - Huaraz - Vicos - Huaraz - Lima
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