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Organizing Student Travel

By Martha Hayden posted 07-17-2010 13:45


Hello everybody:

About eight years ago I went on a four day hike to Machu Picchu with my family and seeing the spectacular sights I decided I needed to share this experience with my Spanish students. I teach high school Spanish in NJ and had created a curriculum based on Peruvian history from the Incas, to the conquest, the independence movement to present day Peru. We also studied the Peruvian geographical regions, the ecoregions and their ecosystems. I wanted my students to see in real life everything they had studied in the classroom.

I looked into the student travel programs and after consulting with several of them I found out that I could not create my own custom tour and that I probably would have to travel along side another group. This did not appeal to me since I am from Peru and wanted my students to have a  "real" Peruvian experience. I decided to plan my own trip the way I wanted it and I have been doing it for the past eight years.  I added a homestay program and a volunteer program. This year we had an incredible experience volunteering at a sustainable school in Cusco and had workshops on dried bathrooms, built solar showers and solar ovens, worked with the children in the school, learned about the cosmo vision of the Incas and helped build a playground for the school that was devastated by the floods and a mudslide. It was an amazing experience for the students and I definetely think this could be extended to college students.

If I can help you in any way please let me know.


Marty Hayden