Student Journeys Saves Student’s Trip to Peru from Being Cancelled

by admin on January 27, 2011

Clouds on Student Trip to Peru

Clouds Rolling in Student Peru Trip

What happens when the trip that your class has been preparing for is in jeopardy of cancelling because of a natural disaster? Do you call it quits and wait for next year? Do you cut your losses and return your hard fund-raised efforts back to your supporters? Or do you find a way to make it happen?

Last season, Student Journeys arranged for a group of 15 determined students to visit Peru. This 9 day itinerary included visiting picturesque villages, ancient archeological ruins and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The 4 day trek on the Inca Trail is one of the most iconic hiking routes, ascending alongside rivers, plains, forests and mountains, a fairly challenging trip for these well determined students.

Unfortunately, devastation struck Machu Picchu in January. Catastrophic rains descended on Peru, causing intense flooding and mudslides, destroying railways and washing away paths leading to “The Lost City of the Incas”. Due to these unfortunate events, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail closed for months, restoration efforts taking longer than expected.

No one was allowed to hike the Inca Trail, and many trips to Peru were cancelled.

With months of preparation and eagerness, this news was devastating for these students who had trained and anticipated for the exciting journey. To find out that the trip was on the verge of being cancelled left many of the students with broken spirits and shattered dreams.

To the rescue, Student Journeys and their dedicated teachers worked diligently in order to rescue the journey, finding possible alternatives for the group. Daring a little known trail, the class undertook a hike to Choquequirano, another ruin city of the Incas. Their Student Journeys guide, Ryan Ballard, was actually more excited about this new “path less traveled” itinerary than the original trek. He knew it would be more challenging but he knew it would offer an amazing experience as the “undiscovered Machu Picchu.” The students were amazed to find out that they were one of the few lucky groups who still had the opportunity to see the breathtaking Inca ruins of Peru and Student Journeys was delighted to provide the opportunity.

The trip took place at the end of March, students returning with amazing photos and life experiences. Ryan confirms that the trip was one of the top he has ever led. The best moment he describes, “We reached the top of the mountain in the early morning, and a dense cloud/fog was rolling in. It was epic, something straight from Indiana Jones- overlooking the carvings and tombs, we were the only ones there in the early sunrise,- it was awesome.” He said, despite the difficult trail, the vibe between the students was very positive and he was proud of the tremendous amount of team work and group bonding that he witnessed. He is looking forward to leading the same school on another trip this spring to Vietnam.

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