Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Educational Excursions

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

A Pachamama (Mother Earth) offering in the Incan ruins of Tipón.

The Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization program includes educational excursions designed to directly complement and enhance classroom study and fieldwork. Through excursions, students experience the innovative ways in which indigenous peoples in Peru are working toward their own community development and cultural preservation in the face of shifting global influences.

Machu Picchu
At the end of orientation, students undertake a one-day excursion by train to Machu Picchu. Built at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Machu Picchu is located on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River. It is Peru's most important archaeological site, and in 2007 was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Peruvian Amazon – Madre de Dios
Madre de Dios, located in the southeastern region of the Peruvian Amazon bordering Brazil, is a storehouse of tropical biodiversity and renewable and nonrenewable resources. However, the effects of globalization make this region more than a natural paradise; various competing economic activities, including petroleum interests, gold mining, timber, agriculture, natural protected areas, hydroelectrics, and the inter-oceanic highway megaproject compete for power, resources, and rights. In the middle of these conflicts are the indigenous peoples who have occupied this region for millennia, including the Matsiguenka, Ese Eja, and Harakmbut, as well as other communities, such as the Shipibos, Quichuarunas, Ashaninca, and Yines, that have arrived in this region as a result of extractive enterprise displacement processes. These groups have organized into the Native Federation of Madre de Dios (FENAMAD) and have achieved significant advances in defense of their territorial rights.

Students will travel in Amazonia for one week, where they will attend lectures from indigenous leaders and participate in local community activities. For four days, students will stay in indigenous communities and have the opportunity to learn firsthand about Amazonian livelihood systems. Students will have the opportunity to build a broad understanding of the ways in which indigenous peoples are confronting the impacts of globalization.

Students on the Uros floating islands, Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and, by volume, the largest lake in South America. During this excursion, students will visit the indigenous community of the Uros, an Aymara people, who today live on floating totora reed islands at an altitude of 12,494 feet. When the Incas, under Emperor Pachacútec, reached Lake Titicaca in the fifteenth century, inhabitants of the area were forced to withdraw. Since then, the Uros have overcome harsh living conditions by relying on fishing, which comprises their main source of food and is a bartering resource. Due to the impossibility of agricultural and livestock activities in the region, the Uros have increasingly sought alternative means of survival. 

After visiting the Uros, students will travel to Taquile Island, located at an altitude of 12,507 feet. The island has been populated since the pre-Columbian period and remained almost isolated until the 1970s when it was mentioned in the South American Tourism Handbook, which induced adventurers to the island. Students will stay on the island for four days and will learn about the way of life of the Taquileños, who are now famous for their traditional weaving.

Known as “the white city” because of the use of the volcanic white rock sillar in their buildings, Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes (Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu). It integrates European and native building techniques and characteristics, and is filled with the work of colonial masters and criollo and indigenous masons, resulting in captivating ornamental architecture. While in Arequipa, students attend lectures on research methods and ethics and have the opportunity to process their learning experiences from their rural homestay.

Lima is Peru's capital and largest city. During the four-day excursion to Lima, students explore the reality of urban migration and examine the various factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Lima provides a unique opportunity for students to develop a firsthand sense of "power wielding.” As the capital of Peru, Lima is the epicenter of native advocacy activism, initiatives of lobby groups, and policy action.

While in Lima, students visit a community of indigenous Shipibos from the Peruvian Amazon, who arrived in Lima in 2000, seeking opportunities for education, healthcare, and employment. This community is located in Cantagallo, an impoverished zone in the center of Lima, located just five minutes from the Government Palace.

Costs Dates

Credits: 17

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cuzco

Language Study: Quechua,  Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 semesters Spanish

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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