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Dia 1 - Bienvenidos a nuestro blog!

Updated: Sep 13, 2018

Today, the last of our group arrived and settled into our homestay in Cusco. We're staying with a woman named Patricia (and her 2 dogs!) who has been incredibly welcoming and made us feel right at home. We began the day by meeting Celeste, the co-founder of Manos Unidas. We have spent the last few months making plans via email and it was great to finally meet in person.

We then visited Phawarispa, the vocational training school run by Manos Unidas. Phawarispa serves students of a wide range of ages, disabilities and diagnoses. We met the staff and students, learned about the different projects Celeste is working on around Cusco, and explored the classrooms and the beautiful garden. We were able to work with Enrique, who is a circus performer that comes to the school once a week to incorporate play and physical activity into the students' day. We participated in games as a group and worked with individuals, and learned a lot of great Spanish phrases that will come in handy in the next two weeks!

After leaving the school, we went to Cafe Daria which employs students from Phawarispa. We had a delicious, relaxing lunch including chicha morada (a beautiful, purple drink made with corn) and ate salads and sandwiches. We chatted with Celeste about expectations for the trip, and finished the meal with some amazing Peruvian cáfe. After lunch we walked to Plaza de Armas, Cusco's main square, where we explored the markets.

After, we headed back to the homestay, where Patricia served us a great dinner of Peruvian chicken, rice, and potatoes. We finished the night by lesson planning for tomorrow's trip to Camino Nuevo.

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