Alternative Spring Break

Cuncani, Peru – A Community above the Clouds (Student Leadership)

This experience will take you to the small village 4,000 meters above sea level - a place where children are unaware of life that exists beyond their neighbourhood in the mountains. You will call the community of Cuncani home for the week, living at the community school, and working alongside Nexos Comunitarios. It is here where you will learn what life is like in rural communities in the Andes. You will work closely with the community school as they use the culture of soccer to promote human development. You will assist in promoting health through educational workshops that will use active learning tools. All workshops and projects will be identified by the community.

UN Global Sustainability Goals - Quality EducationUN Sustainable Development Goals - Reduced Inequalities UN Sustainable Development Goals - Sustainable Cities and communities

Community Partners

Nexos Comunitarios

Dates of Travel

Saturday, February 16, 2019 –Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Participant Numbers

  • 16 Student Participants
  • 2 Student Team Leader
  • 2 Team Leaders


  • Immerse yourself in Peruvian history and culture while living in the small mountainous community of Cuncani.
  • Learn about the school's systems in the Cuncani.
  • Experience the art of negotiation at the bustling and lively markets of Cusco.
  • Explore the captivating views of the Andes through optional morning hikes in the mountains.
  • Experience Peruvian “Dia de compadres” (Godparents day) where the families of Cuncani celebrate with their animals, including llamas, alpacas and sheep.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Alternative Spring Break 2018 program, students participating in this experience will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than their own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the ASB Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Explain the potential impacts of different community development projects by working alongside community members and our partners Nexos Comunitarios
  • Practice communicating across cultures and languages through participation in local community events and projects

Ideal Participant

Your team will be exposed to a true local Peruvian experience. The ideal participant loves learning about new cultures, and has a well-rounded perception of healthy activities and a healthy lifestyle. This experiences does involve hiking and some physical activity. You will be living 4,000 meters above sea level and sleeping on mats on the floor of a community school.

Ideal participants are flexible, empathetic, adventurous, and committed to learning. During this experience, you will be challenged to lean into your discomfort, and go with the flow.


Total cost (subject to change) – $3,000 CAD

  • Flight
  • Registration and programs fees with Nexos Comunitarios
  • Contribution to the project and comprehensive on-site support
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Transportation in Peru
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Administrative Fee (t shirt, team leader contribution, journal)

Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1-2 – Arrive in Urubamba via El Savador and Lima, and spend the day/evening exploring Peruvian city life and food. 

Day 3 – You will make the long, windy bus ride up the Andes to Cuncani.  Here, you will be welcomed by school children, who will become your cultural teachers over the next week. This day will be spent getting to know the community, and acclimatizing to the altitude (1200 meters above Urubamba).

Day 4-6 – You will spend your days working with young children - playing games, and providing different workshops on various age-appropriate health topics. Each day will finish with a soccer match with the people of Cuncani!

Day 7 – Goodbyes and travel back to Toronto via Cusco, Lima, and San Salvador. 

*PLEASE NOTE: this itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any time.


Participants will sleep on mats on the floor of the school in Cuncani. Student will need to bring sleeping bags. 


Meals are prepared by community restaurants, and reflect a variety of local foods (e.g., quinoa, potatoes, chicken, rice, vegetables). Meals will take into account dietary restrictions.

All group meals on the program are included, and participants will be responsible for any meals during travel days and personal snacks throughout the week.

Need to Know

  • This experience does not involve travel through the USA.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.