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The one ACE value that stood out to me during my experience was teamwork, though other values were intricately woven throughout my time in Peru. Part of what made this experience precious to me was collaborating with the community members and children. The community members and the children constantly inspired me in different ways. The adults would already be working at the site by the time we arrived and would continue to work after we left, showing us their dedication towards the completion of our projects. I admired their work ethic for such important green projects that would improve the lives of future generations. The children were an integral part of the project as well, greatly speeding our progress along. They would wait for us to show up and eagerly ask for a pair of gloves so we could all work together on the tree nursery.

“Part of what made this experience precious to me was collaborating with the community members and children.”

Together we would collect miscellaneous rocks, toss old bags of dirt to one another, and converse about random topics ranging from what our family is like to our favorite animals. Their seemingly never-ending energy and enthusiasm to work with us during their winter vacation struck me were infectious and stirred me to work even harder than before.

The other part of what made this opportunity memorable to me was being on a team where our personalities were different, but our core values and goals were similar. We each have our respective ways of outwardly showing who we are, but we also all had an incredible work ethic and common goal of working together to complete the projects with the community.

“The other part of what made this opportunity memorable to me was being on a team where our personalities were different, but our core values and goals were similar.”

I enjoyed being in the presence of and getting to know everyone on our daily escapades to Gatos, our casual chats with Karol about piglets (they were SO cute), our Blackjack sessions gambling little coffee candies, our visits to the many Incan archaeological sites, our awesome Spanish lessons with Marco (about churros, cuy, and dogs), and of course our time working with the community. I am extremely grateful for the life-changing opportunity and will always cherish the memories that were created with all these unforgettable people.

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