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Review for Amazon Conservation Association, Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was the leader for senior high school students from the school I teach with in Canada and contacted ACA for a March Break trip to include community and environmental volunteer efforts and a trek; walking the old Inca road to Machu Picchu. ACA was simply incredible setting up this trip where we stayed at the Wayquecha Bio Station in the cloud forest for 5 days and then transported to the trail head of the old Inca road. The extra effort made to accommodate 15 of us for our ecotourism stay was terrific and the quality and authenticity of the people whom we met through our stay was heartwarming. Students helped by planting trees and learning from Peruvian scientists and villagers. The unique and varied flora and fauna was stunning, especially the orchid research being done in this remote and beautiful region of the lower Andes. The exposure for 16-18 year olds was truly unique. Our contact and guide once in Peru, was a wonderful and passionately knowledgeable scientist and trekking guide. He accompanied us everywhere, making connections, translating when necessary and delivering us to the time of the Inca's through his detailed knowledge of history. It is one thing to assist in rural sustainability like planting trees, but ACA went further than that by introducing us to the people at the heart of this region. Meeting them for lunch which they cooked for us with local quinoa and Tarwi (Lupin family) and indigenous vegetables and herbs meant that the students encountered language, cultural knowledge and habits and exchanged on a human level their lives with fellow Quechuans. The trip was immensely successful and I will bring more students another time to provide exposure to the terrific work being done by ACA.

Role:  Volunteer