For Thanksgiving on Thursday, we were grateful to have the opportunity to take a class of our students from Pacca to visit Machu Picchu. Even though this wonder of the world rests in their backyard, none of the girls had previously had the chance to see it with their own eyes.
Our group of sixteen women was led by a professional guide through the winding paths of Machu Picchu. The girls asked dozens of questions, and we learned about the history of the site, the function of each building, and the symbolism present in much of the architectural design. The girls were intrigued to see that many of the structures at Machu Picchu mirror the mountains that lie in the background, and there are numerous stone carvings that reflect the Incan astronomical calendar.
Machu Picchu sits high above the valley floor, up on the top of a tall verdant mountain. It was hard for us to imagine how the Inca managed construction on such precipitous slopes. While most of us were timid around the steep edges and drop-off points, Ida and Meliza leaned out over every lookout point and scampered along the tiny walkways surefooted and confident.
During our time at Machu Picchu, the girls felt awed by the majestic natural setting and beautiful construction. The impressive location and stonework captured and held our attention. Our group came with high spirits and we also took the opportunity to have a bit of fun. At the end of the day, we had the chance to toss around a soccer ball right in the heart of the city. We also gifted each girl with a mustache ring to wear while taking pictures — instead of ‘cheese’ we said ‘mustachu picchu.’
Our visit to Machu Picchu was a time to remember, and the girls were incredibly appreciative. It was truly spectacular to be able to give the gift of an overnight trip to the top of the misty Andean mountains and witness a part of the girls’ cultural heritage. To the GSW community from the girls of Pacca: a million thanks for making such amazing experiences possible.