This past weekend we took our young teenage mothers from Casa Mantay to a rock-climbing session near the Templo de la Luna, or Temple of the Moon, in Cusco. None of the girls had rock-climbed before this field trip, so they were looking forward to the outing all week, with a mixture of excitement and curiosity.
We arrived at the climbing site and Nathan and Luis who operate SkyHighAndes (www.skyhighandes.com) instructed our students in basic climbing with a harness. After seeing just how high the rock was, many of the girls started feeling nervous and scared. Some even said they had changed their mind and would rather watch than climb. Nerida was the brave one who volunteered to go first.
Ana followed Nerida and was much more afraid of making her way up. At one point she remained crouched on a ledge of the rock and was too frightened to stand up and continue. Realizing how scared she was, all of us watching began to cheer for her until she felt confident enough to stand tall and keep climbing. It was an awesome moment to see her change her mind and realize that she could keep going without coming down. Equally as inspiring was hearing everyone in the group shout encouraging phrases to her as she continued her climb.
After watching Nerida climb first and after witnessing Ana overcome her fear of falling, the other girls lost their apprehensiveness and they each took a turn. Two students in particular, Yovana and Nelida, showed a natural ability for climbing—they made it higher up than anyone else and also scaled the rock fastest as well. It was amazing to watch them tackle the rock without any fear of falling!
The girls all did extremely well with their first climbing lesson. While climbing initially frightened many of them, they each embraced the opportunity to try something new, which was a big accomplishment! Thank you to Sky High Andes for providing us with this great opportunity!