T-D’s Peruvian Adventures: Sacred Valley

By: Solana Gagliano, Staff Reporter

Imagine yourself in a high, mountainous region where you are only hundreds of feet away from touching the clouds. Some of our Thornton-Donovan students had a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit this breathtaking place, also known as Peru, on January 16th through the 21st. Out of all of the historic and cultural sites T-D has visited during this trip, the Sacred Valley, located in southern Peru, was one of the most fascinating.

The students had a chance to visit the village of Misiminay, which is populated by five hundred families and is located at the elevation of 12,000 feet. As soon as they stepped out of their tour bus, T-D was greeted in song and dance by the villagers, who gave each visitor a hand-woven bracelet that represented their community. The locals lead T-D down a dirt path to one of their homes. T-D students and faculty had the opportunity to partake in one of three activities: farming, cooking, or weaving, which the locals engage in almost daily. T-D then was treated to an assortment of traditional snacks that were made by the locals themselves. Afterwards, they engaged our travelers in a farewell dance accompanied by drums and flute. Upon leaving the village of Misminay, the students of T-D participated in an exhilarating two hour mountain bike tour overlooking the valley. This lead to the experimental Agricultural Site of Moray to the Salineras of Maras (Salt Mines) that are still in use to this day.

After a long and educational day, our students and teachers rested in one of the most beautiful hotels in the Sacred Valley, the Sonesta Posada Del Inca Yucay. This unique lodging, a series of small buildings that resembled a tiny village, was decorated with beautiful, vibrant flowers that are indigenous to Peru. From the windows of the hotel, one could see gorgeous mountains covered in a blue haze with clouds rested on top of them.

It was an eye-opener for students and teachers to see people who are proud of what they have, even if they do not have much. The locals greeted our travelers with open arms and showed them what Peru has to offer—people that are genuinely connected to the land and each other.