ACE in Peru ran for the first time as a program site in Summer 2019. Ten Duke University and Stanford University student-athletes had the opportunity to work closely with a number of local partners in Cusco. During the three weeks on-site, the ACE participants were involved in a variety of conservation, education, and community development activities, as well as learning more about the local culture, including the socio-cultural, historical, economic and environmental factors affecting the region.
ACE worked with GVI on-site to partner with two local NGOs – The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Andean Regional Studies Bartolomé de Las Casas (CBC). As a non-profit, civil association, CBC has been working on protecting and advocating for indigenous rights since 1974. Under the guidance of CBC and GVI staff, ACE student-athletes participated in improving current green infrastructure projects that will support community development through promoting tourism and the conservation of natural resources. Project work and locations are based on the needs and requests of long term local partners. Throughout the program students were immersed in the local culture and learned more about the socio-cultural, historical, economic and environmental factors affecting the region.
This year, our student-athletes worked on a tree nursery and trail. Working with the community leaders, ACE student-athletes replaced wood poles and provided a mesh border for the purpose of preventing animals from entering the nursery. They also dug holes in the center of the nursery for new poles that would provide the foundation for a mesh roof. The group also helped with creating a viewpoint of Valley Chosica by organizing hay to complete the roof of the canopy, helping complete the wooden structure of the canopy, varnishing canopy and railing poles, creating a border to help better identify the trail route, painting signals on rocks leading to the viewpoint, and creating signs to identify the three major mountains at the viewpoint.
A full report, written in both English and Spanish, was created by the ACE in Peru team for the community partners, and is available here to read in full: