After spending the night as the first guests in the Caral Hostel, we woke up early in order to have breakfast before heading to the local school to meet the kids and teachers of the community. On our walk over to the eatery, I appreciated the beautiful morning in the Andes. It reminded me a lot of the trip I took in 2007, all those early mornings to begin trekking! 🙂
After breakfast, we walked to the main plaza before heading to the school.
Just in case you weren’t sure where we were…
Then it was time to head to the school, where our host talked with the principal about the possibility of collaborating with them to bring volunteers into the schools to teach English. We were there to represent this possibility. It definitely gave me insight into what it would be like to volunteer in a school rather than in our after school and weekend programs. After the meeting, we headed to the sports court to see the kids. The other girls got roped into playing soccer and volleyball with the kids, but I focused on taking pictures of all the lovely students! 🙂
After sports, they threw us in the classroom to teach kids an impromptu English lesson. I chose to teach them “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the song we’d been teaching our students in Huaycán that month.
Here are the kids we worked with!
This is Caral’s school – quite nice, actually! 🙂
After our school tour was finished, we headed back to the hostel. We got to see some of the other areas of town, such as the soccer field, which actually had grass!
After that, our host took us along on a bunch of errands. It gave me a chance to take pictures of the landscape along the drive, but by this point we were tired and ready to head back to Lima!
On the drive back to Lima, we saw a rainbow along with a lovely sunset. It was a great way to end the day and break up a long ride back.
All in all, the trip was an awesome break from my normal routine of salsa dancing and hanging out with friends on the “weekend” (Wednesday and Thursday are our weekends!). It made me excited about all the interesting places to visit in Peru, and gave me some perspective on where my work in Huaycán fits in on the Peruvian nonprofit continuum. I’m looking forward to exploring more of Peru later this year!
Update March 2016:
Revisiting these posts made me realize that my visit to the school of Caral gave me a lot of context for my work in Valle de Elqui, Chile. I may not have had the curiosity about life in a small Andean town if I hadn’t seen the friendliness of the townspeople of Caral. While Chile and Peru are very different countries, it’s amazing how this one day affected my decision-making a couple of years later!