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

Explore more of the history, adventure, and culture of Peru by adding travel extensions to a Service Learning Trip. Our partner travel agency Good Life Expeditions can set up day tours or multi-day trip extensions before or after your SLT, and the profit from your experience will fund even more MEDLIFE projects! 

Below are some ideas to inspire you – contact Good Life Expeditions for more details.

Machu Picchu Full Day Tour

This add-on day tour already fits into the allotted time for your Service Learning Trip. Known as one of the new seven wonders of the world, explore the majestic beauty of Machu Picchu and learn about its long history on this full day tour. Learn more.

Experience the Amazon

On this 4-day adventure, visit the incredibly biodiverse Amazon Jungle. Surrounded by incredible natural wildlife, you’ll spot the likes of howler monkeys, wild peccaries, sloths, and strange creepy crawlies by night. Learn more.

Visit Lake Titicaca

In 3-days you can spend time navigating between some of the interesting islands of Lake Titicaca. The highest navigable lake in the world, the site is full of unique and immersive cultural experiences. Learn more.

Interested in a different type of trip or one that caters better to your personal interests or price point? Just let Good Life Expeditions know!

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Tiffany Fung
McGill University

I enjoyed meeting new people at project and clinics. I would because it opens your views to poverty and makes you realize there needs to be done to help.

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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 Yes! 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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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 Yes! It was such an amazing experience.