Jake's Trip to Peru

One of my fondest travel experiences comes from a remote village high up in the rugged Peruvian Andes Mountains. It all began when Greg Martinez invited me on a once in a lifetime trip with him to Perù to assist with his non-profit Sense the World. Before I knew it, I was on an airplane bound for South America. Upon arriving in Cusco, we were warmly greeted by our guide and liaison, Alfonso. Alfonso assisted us with the purchase of school supplies, socks, shoes, and other sundries from the various hole-in-the-wall shops that line the narrow cobblestone streets of Cusco. The next morning—after an evening of assembling individual supply packages—we embarked up and down the windy narrow roads that are carved into the mountainsides that surround the sacred valley.

 We soon arrive at Racchi where we were met by the school children who had prepared a special exhibition of their culture, including the recital of poems and dancing in their colorful native garb. Soon, the festivities came to an end and it was then time to give out the packages we had prepared the night before. Each of the school children eagerly lined up to receive their bag. Each of the children's faces lit up with joy after seeing what they had received.  Even though I also got to visit the breathtaking ruins of the city at Machu Picchu, it pales in comparison to the warm smiles on the children’s faces and the genuine expression of gratitude that glistened in their eyes.