We finally took the much anticipated trip to Machu Picchu with the teachers and 5th graders from rural Colegio Pacca. Machu Picchu may be one of the most visited UNESCO World Heritage sites for tourists, but many Peruvians are unable to afford the time or money to visit it. The Pacca students are no exception; for the majority this was their first, and maybe last opportunity to see this important cultural site. We arrived to the town of Aguas Calientes by train, spent the afternoon relaxing at the natural hot spring pools (Aguas Calientes translates literally to “Hot Waters”) and enjoyed a nice pizza dinner before heading to bed early to rest up for the next day’s adventure to the ruins of Machu Picchu. We’d planned to start the next day with an early rise to climb Huayna Picchu (Quechua for “Young Peak”) that towers over the ruins, however, unexpected heavy rains altered our plans and we were only able to visit the Machu Piccu ruins.
Upon arriving, everything was covered in a thick cloud hiding the ruins, mountains, and even people. Though drizzling continued throughout the visit, the fog thankfully cleared enough to reveal a remarkable Inca city and captivating mountains rising all around us.
With the help of a professional guide we all learned about the methods for design and construction, key Inca spiritual principles expressed in the structures and the theories surrounding Machu Picchu’s purpose. Thank you to all our donors who helped make this memorable trip possible!