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Cusco, Peru

Population  Population: 358,935

Land Area  Land Area: 385.1 km²

Languages  Languages: Spanish & Quechua

Currency   Currency: Peruvian Sol

About cusco

Map LocationOften cited as the most beautiful city in South America, Cusco is the meeting ground of old and new in Peru. The ancient pre-Inca and Inca cultures merge with the colonial heritage of the Spanish conquerors to create a one-of-a-kind city nestled into the Andes mountains of southern Peru. World-renowned as the ancient capital of the Incan Empire and the gateway to Macchu Picchu, Cusco is today home to a flourishing tourism industry. 

Why You Should Come

Why You Should ComeCusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu and therefore home to a booming tourism industry, but despite economic growth in the city center, surrounding communities continue to live in extreme poverty.

These rural mountainside pueblos are home to the largely indigenous population – the Quechua culture. Sometimes speaking only in their native indigenous language, their economy relies heavily on agriculture, and frequent rains and earthquakes produce hardships that are unpredictable, and almost unmanageable. These locals live with roads that are unpaved and unsafe, schools stocked with only the most basic teaching supplies, and the closest hospital located up to two hours away by car. 

A Service Learning Trip to Cusco with MEDLIFE will help you understand the history of the pre-Inca, Inca, and Spanish cultures, and how they have come together to create the current state of life for indigenous people in Peru.

How You Can Help

MEDLIFE addresses some of the most pressing issues in these communities through Mobile Clinics, patient follow-up, and community development projects. But our work would not be possible without motivated individuals like you choosing to volunteer in Service Learning Trips.

In Cusco, you can help us address the needs of low-income communities by signing up for the following Service Learning Trips:

Mobile Clinics

Mobile Clinics

Sign up for a service learning trip

Additional Travel opportunities

A trip to Peru would be incomplete without witnessing the majesty of Machu Picchu and experiencing the spectacular rolling sand dunes of Ica. With optional tourism extensions offered by our partner travel company, Good Life Expeditions, you can explore more of your SLT destination while continuing to support MEDLIFE partner communities and traveling sustainably.

Click here to view extension options

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg
Parent

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.