One of the highlights of my time studying abroad was the week-long trip to Peru that our program took us on. At the end of our time in Argentina, we spent time with our host families and said our sad goodbyes hoping that we would see them again someday! I am pretty sure I will see my host mom again as I adored her and Argentina.
My group set out to Lima early in the morning and were treated to the airport lounge (which was super nice) and our upgraded seats (thank you IES Abroad). When we landed we went straight to our hotel after a long day of flying and had some free time. Then, we left for dinner. My favorite part of Perú by far (besides seeing Machu Picchu) was the food. Although I loved the steak and pastries in Argentina, the rest of the food there was pretty bland and lacked a lot of seasoning. In Perú, however, it was some of the best food I have had in my life and I am still thinking about it here in Chile. Some of the highlights include ceviche, lomo saltado, causa, roasted chicken, salmon, and more. If you have not tried Peruvian food, put it on your agenda to try as soon as possible.
In Lima, we visited some museums and toured the city by foot. However, my favorite part of the trip was when we got to meet some students from the university and participate in different activities with them. Highlights included a visit to a non-profit that helps children that are at high-risk living situations to manage their emotions and gives them a safe space through soccer. We got to meet some of the kids, play soccer with them, and learn more about the organization and the area we were in. I also enjoyed visiting another organization that works with community empowerment organizations. These visits were nice because they were accompanied by the Peruvian university students and we got to learn a lot from their perspectives.
After our time in Lima, we flew to Cusco to spend the remaining days of our trip there. In Cusco, we also had a city tour and visited some museums, however, there were two huge highlights for me. First, I visited Machu Picchu. We took the train to the closest town to Machu Picchu and then spent some hours climbing to the areas to get the best view, learning about the history of the area, and exploring. Honestly, it was so amazing to see Machu Picchu in person and I felt like it was not really happening. To close out our trip my other favorite activity was visiting a non-profit that works with local communities on agriculture programs. They also have a coffee potion where they harvest and sell coffee locally and to the U.S. I enjoyed this because of my interest in agriculture and because the non-profit was very intentional about building long-lasting bonds with the community and not providing temporary fixes. It was really nice to see a non-profit that was doing long-term good and not temporary good. Overall, my trip to Perú was a very memorable trip and I will be thinking about the food I ate and the places I visited for a long time.
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Hello! My name is Amanda & I am a senior at Penn State University, studying Labor and Human Resources, Global and International Studies, and Spanish. I love traveling, spending time outside, reading, cooking, and spending time with my friends!