1 Travel the World. Make a Difference. Peru Program

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1 Peru Program 1

2 ELCOME TO BUILD ABROAD PERU! Thank you for choosing Build Abroad! We hope you are excited about your upcoming trip to Peru. As you know, Build Abroad connects volunteers with construction projects in developing countries. We feel volunteering is one of the best ways to make a difference in the world. Aside from the physical accomplishments, our construction volunteers bring home an insight about a different culture. During your trip, we are confident you will have a blast exploring Peru! We have put together this packet of information so that you can be fully prepared when you arrive. It should be very informative, but if you have any questions after reading it through, feel free to contact us! TABLE OF CONTENTS About Peru & Airport Pickup 03 Trip Checklist 04 Accomodations & Meals 05 Itinerary & Travel 06 Health & Climate 07 FAQ & Contact 08 2

3 A LITTLE ABOUT PERU Peru was home to the Inca Empire, which was the largest of the Pre-Columbian civilizations. The Inca Empire was formed in approximately 1200 and was defeated in 1532 by the Spanish conquistadors. The Inca government passed laws, maintained a military, and created an official language. The Incas were known for their engineering feats such as building great fortresses and 14,000 miles of roads, including tunnels and bridges. The country is still scattered with Inca ruins. Peru is divided up into 25 different regions. Each region has their own elected government and president. In addition to the different regions, Peru s geography is extremely diverse. The best way to think of Peru is that it is broken up into 3 different geographic regions: the coastal, the Andes, and the Amazon. The coastal region is on the pacific coast and spans almost 2,000 miles. The Andes Mountain range runs through the center of the country and everything to the east of that is part of the Amazon region. The volunteer projects will be happening in or around the city of Cusco. Cusco is located near the Andes mountain range in the center of Peru. Cusco is not the current capital but was once the capital during the historic Inca Empire. The city of Cusco has developed into a tourist attraction as people come to visit the historical ruins or connect to Machu Picchu. AIRPORT PICKUP INFORMATION By now you should have sent us your flight information. Upon your arrival, a staff member from Build Abroad s partner organization will meet you in person at the Cusco Airport. They will either have your name or Build Abroad on a posterboard so you can identify them. If for some reason there is a problem meeting with the representative, please take a taxi directly to: Maximo Nivel Avenida El Sol 612 Cusco, Peru Phone: Mobile:

4 TRIP CHECKLIST Before you leave Fill out our online form with passport number, flight information, etc. Make sure your passport is up to date. Background check at your local police department or online. (Required) Print off a copy of your passport and contact info for a friend/family member What to pack Build Abroad Packet Passport Background Check Tee Shirts Warm Shirts Pants Shorts Rain Gear Comfortable Hiking Shows/Boots Sandals Sunglasses Hat Day Pack Camera Water Bottle Bathroom Kit Sunscreen Bug Repellent 4

5 ACCOMODATIONS & MEALS Build Abroad provides all accommodations for our program participants. Living accommodations during the week will be with a host family. Accommodations will vary slightly, but hot water is available 24 hours a day at all our homestays. Some of our homestays will have wifi access, but for those that do not, you have free access to wifi at our volunteer center. You will be provided two meals a day: Breakfast and Dinner. Typically both of these meals will be served at your homestay. Peruvian cuisine is based on the local Inca cuisine with influences of immigrants (Spanish, German, African, Chinese and Italian.) The three staples that you will find in most Peruvian dishes are corn, potatoes, and chili peppers. ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Both your homestay and the volunteer headquarters are equipped with 24-hour electricity (220V). To operate small U.S. and European appliances (like phones, hairdryers, and electric shavers) you may need a voltage converter. To avoid damage to your electronic appliances, be sure to check each appliance for acceptable voltages before you plug them in. The following plugs will work in most Peruvian homes and hostels: Type A: Flat blade plug. (Usually known as the American Plug) Type B: Flat blade plug with a ground Type C: Round pin plug. (Usually known as the European Plug) DRUGS & ALCOHOL The drinking age in Peru is 18 years old. Volunteers are allowed to consume alcohol during our trips while they are not working. You will need to be respectful of your host family, as some of them do not allow alcohol in the house. Alcohol consumption before volunteer work will not be allowed. Illegal drug use of any kind is also strictly prohibited. If you are found to be using drugs on the trip, you will be immediately removed from the program without a refund. 5

6 SAMPLE ITINERARY Volunteering takes place during the week, Monday through Friday. On your first day you will go through an orientation where you will be introduced to your in-country staff. Typical Day: Volunteers will have a morning or afternoon shift, which will last 2 to 4 hours. A typical morning schedule is as follows: 8:00 AM - Travel to job site to build after having breakfast with host family 12:00 PM - Construction work usually ends and volunteers are free to explore Cusco 7.00 PM - Dinner with the host family NOTE: This schedule may vary NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Sacred Valley Sacred Valley of the Incas is a valley in the Andes, close to Cusco. The valley is formed by the Urubamba river. Machu Picchu Machu Picchu translates literally to old peak and is a picturesque mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. It is located about 50 miles west of Cusco. Machu Picchu has abandoned Inca ruins that you are able to visit. Saksaywaman Saksaywaman is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of Cusco. The complex was constructed by the Incas. Choquequirao Choquequirao is another ruined Inca city close to Cusco. It is situated are the top of a hilltop and can be reached by a 2 day hike from Cusco. 6

7 HEALTH Peru poses some small health risks that can be avoided by taking some simple precautions. 1. Water Drink bottled water. Do not drink tap water unless it has been boiled, treated with iodine, or purified. (This includes ice cubes or anything that has come into contact with untreated water, such as raw vegetables washed in tap water.) 2. Elevation Because of Peru s elevation, altitude sickness can be a potential health risk. Cusco has an elevation of 11,000 feet/3,500 meters and it is best to allow your body to adjust. If you feel any symptoms immediately after landing, there is a medical station in the airport, and of course our in-country partner organization is always available to help you. We have a lot of experience getting participants well again. 3. Insects If you plan on visiting the Amazon rainforest during your trip to Peru, you should always wear insect repellent, long sleeve shirts, and long pants to prevent mosquito bites. You should consider getting a vaccination against yellow fever and consult a doctor about a malaria prophylactic such as doxicycline. Our partner organization keeps a number of medications and first-aid supplies on hand at its office. We are more than happy to help treat minor cuts, scratches, headaches and stomach issues. For more serious illnesses, we will be able to get you to a doctor in the area. CLIMATE In general Peru is considered to have a subtropical climate. However, the country also has a lot of microclimates depending upon the geography of the region you are in. The climates can best be broken into the coastal region, mountain region, and jungle region. Cusco is part of the mountain region. Cusco has a dry season and a wet season. Temperature wise, these two seasons are very similar with an average high of about 67 degrees fahrenheit and average low of 39 degrees fahrenheit. The dry season lasts between April and October and is usually cooler than the wet season. The wet season typically lasts between November and March. 7

8 FAQs Do I have to know Spanish? Speaking Spanish is not required for a trip to Peru but a basic understanding of the language is helpful. If you are interested in Spanish classes, we offer them while in Peru. Or, if you wish to brush up on your Spanish before you leave, we offer Skype lessons with an instructor. Contact us if you are interested in either of these options. Will there be other volunteers with me? Yes. And the numbers vary from week to week. You can expect several other construction volunteers to be participating in the program at the same time as you. In addition to the construction volunteers, there will be even more people doing other work with our partner organizations. You can rest assured that you will meet a lot of fun, unique people during your time with Build Abroad. CONTACT Build Abroad wants to make this experience as enjoyable as possible leading up to your trip as well as in Peru. If you have any questions or concerns that have not been addressed in this package, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or . Build Abroad Peru Contact Pat McLoughlin Local Partner Cusco Peru Avenida El Sol 612 Phone: Mobile:

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