VISIONS's home base is Urubamba, roughly 600 miles south of Lima in the Sacred Valley. At an altitude of 8,000 feet, Urubamba is nearly one hour from Cusco, the old Inca capital and un centro de turismo. Evidence of the formidable Inca Empire is everywhere.
Over the last two decades, VISIONS has worked with Urubamba residents on projects that will make a positive difference to the community for generations. From helping expand irrigation systems for farmers to building much-needed school expansions, our construction projects are instigated by locals and executed by teen volunteers working with them side by side.
The work is hands-on and provides insight into the traditions of this ancient civilization. VISIONS volunteers may learn the most common form of construction in the Andean region—making blocks by stomping mud together with straw, forming bricks and placing them out to dry. Or discover the techniques of faena farming, which involves moving rocks, concrete and other tools along canal paths to funnel water to crops. In the process, VISIONS volunteers spend quality time with local kids and parents while speaking Spanish, sharing meals, exploring cultural differences and similarities, and making personal connections.
You’ll be amazed by how quickly the cobblestone byways of Urubamba become as familiar as the streets in your hometown. VISIONS has been working with this community for nearly two decades, which means our relationships with locals run deep and strong. On this foundation of mutual trust and respect, you’ll make your own connections by hanging out with locals daily, while shopping at the farmers market, working alongside maestros on service projects, making traditional foods with our house cook, Neyda, learning about Incan history from project manager Nico, and playing soccer with “Urubambino” kids. All this conversation means ample opportunities to practice speaking Spanish and, more importantly, listen to the stories of people from another culture.
2 Participant ReviewsWrite a Review
This program is truly amazing. I had the opportunity to go on multiple community service outings, I got to eat Peruvian food, and I got to interact with the natives from Peru. I learned a lot about myself on this trip and although the service was strenuous at times, it was all very well worth it and I got to help out many people who would be using the things my team helped to build. I 100% recommend this trip to all those thinking about going!
This is 5-star trip. Actually it's a 50-star trip. I cannot say enough good things about the Visions Peru trip. I honestly can't. My three weeks in Urubamba, Peru were absolutely incredible. I met amazing people -- other people my age, counselors, and people from Urubamba -- worked really hard, and had amazing experiences. When I was looking for a summer program, I was searching for one that would allow me to meet amazing people, speak Spanish, and do a lot of work. A lot of program say they do community service and don't always hold true to their word. Visions is no joke. We worked incredibly hard every day on our projects, which consisted of building a one-room preschool, digging canals with local residents, and building adobe stoves for houses that had open fire pits instead of stoves. Any participant from my trip could tell you that a day wasn't complete without mixing cement ("la mezcla," as it's called in Peru). Every day, we would shovel and shovel cement, but we loved it. The cement mixing even brought us together. Not just my group of 21 to each other, but our counselors and locals we worked with. I was truly shocked by how quickly my group bonded and became close. By the end of the first week, we couldn't believe that we had known each other for a mere seven days. It seemed like months. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to work hard, meet wonderful friends, and speak/learn Spanish. It might be better for those who have a little Spanish background, but those without Spanish knowledge will have an amazing time as well. This is really a remarkable trip.