This Intercultural Study Tour to Peru from May 16 to May 31, 2005
is specifically to the south highlands and south coast of this intriguing
country. The objective of this two-week program is to immerse students
in the archaeology, history, and contemporary realities of the Central
Andean region. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the
many different forces and events that have shaped the cultures and
societies of Peru, both ancient and modern, and an enhanced global
study tour is led by Dr. Helaine Silverman (Department of Anthropology),
an archaeologist with thirty years of research and living experience
in Peru. Dr. Silverman recently completed an archaeological-ethnographic
project in Cusco, in which she studied the impact of tourism on
the lives of Cusco’s residents and on the city’s urban
configuration. Elizabeth Rockman (Assistant Director, CHP) is also
accompanying the group as the program coordinator for logistics
of the study tour. Bruce Michelson, CHP Director, and his wife,
Theresa Michelson are also participating in the ICST.
of the program include:
“Time-machine” travel through Cusco, the former capital
of the Inca Empire and modern tourist destination.
Explore impressive archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu.
Experience a breathtaking train ride in the high plateau of the
Visit an island-dwelling traditional community of weavers and
fishermen in Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable
lake, and appreciate how global tourism allows these indigenous
people to negotiate their own identity(ies) in customary and modern
Tour a Colonial Period convent where, although cloistered, the
social, economic and racial hierarchies of the secular world were
Marvel at ancient solutions to environmental challenge amid the
desolate beauty of Peru’s Pacific Coast, where in one cove
(Puerto Inca/Quebrada de la Vaca) the Incas established an outpost
to exploit the rich marine resources (thereby providing the emperor
in the highland capital with fresh fish), and where the poor soil
was enriched with guano agricultural production.
Enjoy breathtaking desert scenery of the south coast, from a turn-of-the-[20th]-century
sand dune oasis resort, and the gourmet luxury of a modern bay-side
Tour the famous pilgrimage and oracular shrine of Pachacamac.
End this exciting trip in Miraflores, the most delightful district
of Lima, with vernacular and ultra-modern architecture, fabulous
restaurants for every budget, and great shopping.
We will be staying in a range of places, from tourist hotels to
small-town hostels and pensions. Accommodations will be simple but
clean and comfortable. Bathrooms may be down the hall; students
will generally double up in rooms.
Students were required to provide documentation of their fitness
for travel, especially at high altitudes, either through a group
McKinley Health Center medical consultation or through other arrangements
with a physician or nurse. The Study Abroad Office provides medical
Students on the ICST attended several evening sessions with Professor
Silverman, to gain historical and cultural background and to prepare
for this adventure.
Students will be required to keep a journal of 1-2 pages per day
during the trip. If a copy of the journal is not provided to the
CHP upon return, a 5 page reflective essay may be submitted instead;
the CHP will excerpt portions of submitted materials.
important matters to consider:
will be moving rapidly throughout the trip, sometimes through
a wide range of temperatures and altitudes (from sea level to
14,000 feet). Many people react to the high altitude of Cusco
and Puno, suffering from “sorroche” or altitude sickness
(headache, shortness of breath, rarely nausea). Usually, these
symptoms pass in 24 hours, though physical activity (walking up
and down the hilly streets and clambering over ruins) can be somewhat
Peru can seem chaotic for U.S. travelers. You will need to have
patience. Airlines often don’t fly on schedule. Restaurants,
museums, archaeological site offices, and other facilities rarely
can make change, even of small bills. Ambulatory hawkers of postcards,
CDs, sweaters, and the like can overwhelm tourists and be a nuisance.
Even so, this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world
in terms of natural features and the architectural patrimony.
Many Peruvians, especially in Cusco, are very positively disposed
toward tourists and eager to interact (often to practice their
limited English). Peruvian food is inexpensive and fantastic.
The handicrafts are unsurpassed. And Peru’s history is so
dramatic that novels and film have often appropriated it, most
recently in the novel Bel Canto, and the movie, The Dancer Upstairs,
not to mention frequent references to Peru in literature and film
as a “land of mystery.”
information about passports, money exchange, inoculations, health
tips, luggage and what to pack, cameras, food, free time, conduct,
etc. will be provided to students selected for the program, along
with a suggested pre-trip reading list.