5:15AM Wake up, get ready, and throw on some workout clothes.
5:30AM Go out for a run. Cusco sits above 11,000 ft above sea level and is a very hilly city. Running this first week has been difficult, but we have made it work! There is a famous statue that sits up on a hill overlooking the city called Cristo Blanco (pictured below). The statue is a little over a mile away and has an elevation gain of 600 ft. Typically, we run to Cristo Blanco and do circuits or do additional miles on the flatter ground.
6:40AM Shower and get ready for a day of work at the community.
7:00AM Breakfast at the hotel — usually eggs, bread, granola, and fruit.
7:15AM Board the bus. The community where we work is around an hour away called Pongobamba located in the Chinchero district. Our main objectives with all of our projects is to work alongside the community to help them achieve sustainable progress that they can continue to build on for years to come.
8:30AM Arrive at the community and await the daily plan. We are currently working on two main projects: a native tree nursery where the main focus is cultivating sustainable plants that can be reintroduced into the community and a lookout trail that will help the community increase its ability to attract visitors and help establish a rural tourism industry in the area.
9:00AM Start working in the community.
12:00PM Finish up work, clean the site, and get ready for lunch. Usually we have some free time before lunch is ready so we love to play quick games of pickup soccer. The kids here love sports so it’s really fun to be able to teach them a little about our respective sports and vice versa.
1:00PM Lunch with the community made by the local families. Usually our meals here consist of rice, vegetables, chicken or fish, and the Peruvian staple: the potato.
3:30PM Return back to the hotel, shower, and get ready for our Spanish lesson.
4-6PM Spanish lesson for both beginners and intermediates with Professor Marco. Spanish is the primary language in Peru, but we have also been able to take classes on the native Incan language, Quechua.
6PM Dinner at the hotel — typically very similar to lunch.
7:30PM Daily reflection where we discuss a variety of things related to Peruvian culture, sports, environmental sustainability, and our personal experiences here.
9PM Bedtime! By this time we are all mentally and physically exhausted, and ready to get a good night’s sleep. The altitude and busy schedule can be draining so it’s important to get plenty of sleep so we can prepare for the next day filled with more exercise, volunteering, and fun in the community.