Often 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
Known as the most beautiful city in South America and the gateway to Machu Picchu, Cusco has become the home of a booming tourism industry. Unfortunately, the region’s economy was hit hard by COVID-19. As borders closed and businesses had no choice but to shut down, many locals were left unemployed and facing an uncertain future. The flow-on effects of the pandemic have been particularly severe for rural communities surrounding Cusco, where many families lived in poverty even before the pandemic. These Indigenous communities are isolated both geographically and linguistically, often only speaking their native tongue of Quechua. Our COVID-19 relief effort helped address the hunger crisis in these communities, but further support is needed to ensure the region’s recovery. Families have relied on agriculture to make a living but their income can be unstable due to heavy rains and earthquakes that can affect their crops. In the rural villages, the roads are often unpaved, schools are stocked with only the most basic teaching supplies, and the closest hospital may be hours away.
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 (SLT).
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.