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Kusi Kawsay   Educational  Association   Orientation  Packet  2016    

Kusi Kawsay  School     Casilla  Postal  1179   Correo  Central,  Cusco,  Peru   Phone:    (011)  (51)  (84)  203062     Email:    info@kusikawsay.org    


Welcome! Welcome to Kusi Kawsay! We are grateful to know that you are interested in contributing your time and energy to our Educational Association in Pisac, Peru. 2016 will be an exciting year for our school, farm and projects! During the past years, many professionals, volunteers, interns, and visitors have joined us to share and strengthen the mission and vision of our projects. It has been a pleasure working with people from all walks of life and corners of the world and to introduce them to our Andean culture and traditions. The chance to volunteer at and visit Kusi Kawsay offers many opportunities to learn as we explore, experience and grow together. The Kusi Kawsay Educational Association is also a non-governmental organization, which provides a great insight into understanding grassroots, local and horizontal organizing. Each year the impact of Kusi Kawsay becomes more profound through our educational, agricultural and cultural activities. One of our main focuses is on delivering quality education, as well as building organizational capacity for sustainability. Many professionals, volunteers, interns and visitors have played an important role in helping us advance and strengthen our organization. We hope you are excited and looking forward to this unique experience. The following document is designed to walk you through all the information that you should consider prior to your trip. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like further clarification on any information included in this packet. We look forward to working with you!

Urpillay Sonqollay (Expression of gratitude in Quechua) Kusi Kawsay


Content 1. Who we are 2. How we came to be 3. What we do 4. What we provide 5. How far we’ve come 6. Structure of the Educational Association Kusi Kawsay 7. Volunteering: Kusi Kawsay, Kusi Ñan, Ñawpa Ñan 8. What to bring for the projects 9. Peru and the Sacred Valley 10. Pisac, Peru 11. Weather and Environment 12. Health 13. Altitude Sickness 14. Medical Services 15. Safety and Transportation 16. Culture Quechua 17. Accommodation 18. Peruvian Food 19. Financial Consideration, Visa – Entering and Leaving Peru 20. What to bring 21. Information for Underage Volunteers 22. Photography and Publication Policy 23. Phone 24. Important Contacts


1. Who we are Nestled at the base of a majestic Andean mountain and Incan terraces, a small nonprofit school known as Kusi Kawsay (Happy Life in Quechua language) overlooks Pisac, Peru in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. What was once an unused, rocky hillside has now been transformed into an education and cultural center of activity for 100 children from Kindergarten to 11th grade, their parents and the broader community. Founded by a small group of local parents, Kusi Kawsay is an educational alternative that is preparing the next generation of indigenous children to be empowered advocates for a happy and meaningful life both locally and globally. With its unique curriculum that offers a full academic program combining a rich body of ancestral Andean knowledge, philosophy and traditions with tested Waldorf Pedagogy and principles, Kusi Kawsay’s mission is to foster personal and cultural self-esteem based on respect, reciprocity and dignity while providing its students with the skills to navigate both modern and traditional worlds. Kusi Kawsay’s goal is to offer and promote an alternative, quality education model that nurtures, develops and empowers future leaders for a balanced world. Through honoring the value of happiness and wellbeing, Kusi Kawsay aims to be not only an educational program but also a strategy for broad cultural revival and social change to ensure the rights of indigenous people.

2. How we came to be Kusi Kawsay was built in the traditional Andean way of undertaking monumental challenges through communal effort. It is the underpinning of traditional Andean life, which is the bedrock of


the Kusi Kawsay School. Starting in August 2009 with little money but an abundance of conviction, enthusiasm and commitment, parents and community members manually moved boulders and built classroom walls using traditional methods, installed environmentally friendly water and compost systems, and constructed impressive terraces with sweeping stone stairways. Beyond the “sweat equity” in constructing the school, parents of Kusi Kawsay students are involved in all aspects of supporting Kusi Kawsay – as board members, as teachers of specialized workshops on traditional Andean arts and Andean philosophy and traditions, as well as foreign languages, as active participants in their children’s learning and making decisions about the school’s direction. Kusi Kawsay would not exist but for the sheer will, determination and self-initiation of local parents – turning their desire for social justice into a reality not only for their own children but their community and beyond. By demonstrating the ability to shape their own future, the parents of Kusi Kawsay are modeling a path for other communities around Pisac, in Peru and around the world to be healthy and resilient.

3. What we do As a private, indigenous parent and community-directed school, Kusi Kawsay welcomes indigenous Quechua and mixed race children from communities in and around Pisac. Offered at minimal cost to families with very limited means (and full scholarships for those who cannot afford any tuition), Kusi Kawsay is transforming the educational experiences of indigenous children. Prior to 1950, indigenous children were not even part of the Peruvian educational system and despite their subsequent inclusion, have continued to suffer injustices from being devalued because of their heritage even to the present day. Kusi Kawsay is helping its students to flourish not only academically but also as young leaders who carry their indigenous identity with pride and confidence. One 7th grader from a very remote community felt out of place and lagged behind in academic subjects when first arriving at the school. But when asked to lead a school outing near her home, the student became a “teacher” to her fellow classmates about traditional plant uses of their Quechua ancestors. She has now caught up in her subjects, overcome her shyness and shown newfound confidence and gained the admiration and respect of her peers. Using Waldorf pedagogy with individualized teaching in classes no larger than 16 students, Kusi Kawsay supports each child in his or her intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual development by offering a curriculum that integrates academic, practical, experiential, and artistic work. The school offers academics such as math, science, history, literature, foreign language, etc. including technology in upper grades. Fine and applied arts, music, movement, and drama are a daily part of each child's experience. Kusi Kawsay’s curriculum develops problem solving skills, creative, free and independent thinking skills, and leadership skills, cultivating an unquenchable curiosity and desire to learn. Already the small handfuls of Kusi Kawsay students who have transferred to other schools to continue their higher education have shown their tremendous potential. The school honors and protects the wonder of childhood by respecting the developmental phases and philosophy of child development. It offers a safe and nurturing environment and puts great emphasis on the importance and value of cultivating general well being, happiness


and fulfillment. Kusi Kawsay stimulates students to be stewards of positive change in their greater society with the deep commitment to living responsibly with values and moral courage and a deep joy for caring for Pachamama, the mother universe. The Kusi Kawsay curriculum incorporates ancestral songs, music and dance linked to the Andean calendar, agrarian customs and ecological rhythms, exposing students to co-exist in the modern world without separating from traditional identity. As a guiding principle of Andean philosophy, reciprocity plays a significant role in Kusi Kawsay’s educational approach. Reciprocity between human and nature is celebrated with Andean Agrarian calendar events focused on cosmic cycles of the solstice and equinox, as well as the dry and rainy seasons. This traditional calendar provides Kusi Kawsay teachers with a framework for their curriculum development and students take part firsthand in the “living legacy” of their community performing ancestral cultural practices. By integrating these events into the school curriculum, Kusi Kawsay not only broadens the education of its students, but also deepens the community’s ties to its rich Andean roots. In this way, a true sense of ecological mindfulness is taken a step further, into to the realm of the heart.

4. What we provide • 15 teachers and 3 teacher assistants providing bi-lingual instruction in both Spanish and Quechua to preserve Indigenous languages • Learning opportunities that re-value and promote Quechua culture and build personal and cultural self- esteem in order to protect and promote traditional Andean knowledge, values and indigenous culture • Practice of Ayni or the traditional collective work and reciprocity principles in the operation and teachings of the school • Workshops provided by volunteers/parents on traditional arts of painting, weaving, ceramics, stonework etc.


• Ongoing teacher training in Waldorf pedagogy and curriculum, and teacher training on authentic Andean traditions, philosophy and cosmology • School committee meetings to evaluate teacher and student performance and community needs • Engagement of the broader community in school activities and events directed toward all ages • Parenting education programs • Healthy organic school snacks from our Agriculture Project the Kusi Ñan Farm As an educational center creating social change, Kusi Kawsay is working to spread its approach to other communities by collaborating with and participating in local, national and global networks and conducting research and preserving Quechua knowledge. Kusi Kawsay has already inspired several initiates, including a school in the Peruvian rainforest and another in Q’eros, one of the most traditional Andean communities.

5. How far we’ve come We are proud of positively changing and impacting the lives of children who come from economically challenged backgrounds and who have faced discrimination and marginalization because of being indigenous. The Kusi Kawsay School not only provides a safe space for learning but also contributes to increasing the access to quality education for young people to fully exercise their rights and discover their potential to be agents of change in their homes, community and country. Since 2009, the Peruvian government has granted the authorization for accreditation status for the initial, primary and secondary levels of the school. Throughout the years, Kusi Kawsay has welcomed national and international visitors who find our educational model inspiring and wish to contribute, train our teachers in Waldorf pedagogy and participate in our cultural celebrations. Enabling these exchanges allows us to practice reciprocity, providing a unique experience for educators and professionals while also making sure that our teachers continue to grow their capacity and serve our children in the best ways possible. We have been recognized by the Global Fund for Children for promoting the dignity of children and vulnerable young people. We have also been recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and in 2010, UNESCO recognized the educational work of Kusi Kawsay and included us in their ‘Network of Schools’ under the Plan of Education Associations of UNESCO (PEA). Our Agriculture Project the Kusi Ñan farm that was created in 2012 has provided employment to our graduates and given them an opportunity to grow nutritious organic food for the children of Kusi Kawsay. This project has truly impacted the lives of so many children and young people. The farm addresses the low nutrition levels by providing school snacks. Furthermore, the farm has given our youth the chance to develop invaluable agricultural skills, leadership skills and a chance at community-led development. The secondary level of Kusi Kawsay actively participates on the farm as Agriculture has become a part of the curriculum with hands-on experience at Kusi Ñan. We provide transportation for students who live in high altitude communities that are up to an


hour away. Without our transportation service, these children would not be attending any schools. We are proud of our trainings and workshops for children and their families, which focus on environmental protection, health, gender equality and the eradication of racial discrimination. Our Andean Legacy projects celebrate the Andean cultural identity through music, art and dance. These events welcome children and families. We have created a wonderful community that is rooted in empowerment and caring for one another. We are so proud to dedicate our time, energy and love to Kusi Kawsay and provide children an exceptional education and experience. From its very beginning, Kusi Kawsay has attracted an immediate sense of connection and support from parents, local community members and visitors from all over the world who are inspired by Kusi Kawsay’s vision of transformation. Through these personal connections, Kusi Kawsay is building an expanding global network of relationships that support the school, while sharing ayni, (reciprocity Andean practice) as the foundation for achieving balance and happiness.

6. The Structure of the Educational Association Kusi Kawsay

Kusi Kawsay   Association    

Kusi Kawsay   School  

Kusi Ñan     Farm  

Ñawpa Ñan   Cultural   Projects  

7. Volunteering Based on their skills, interests and intentions, volunteers and Visitors may contribute to one or all three projects. Volunteers who are arriving with a specific skill or project in mind should provide a proposal with what they are able to offer and what they are able to accomplish.

Kusi Kawsay School There are several tasks that volunteers and visitors can engage in. Kusi Kawsay schools serves Kindergarten through 11th grade and volunteers often have the opportunity to assist in


the classrooms. Volunteers are able to create lessons, share games and creative ideas, participate in dance and music, recreational activities and the arts. Miscellaneous but important tasks also include school ground maintenance, assisting with school snack preparation, organizing and inventory of the Library and office administration assistance. Volunteering at Kusi Kawsay is an enriching and unique experience. School begins at 8:15am and ends at 1:35pm. There are two breaks during the day and snacks are served. All grade levels participate in music, art and dance. The upper grade levels have extended hours of school to participate in the Kusi Ñan Farm as Agriculture is part of their curriculum. Volunteers who are interested in gaining experience in non-governmental organizational tasks are welcome to work with the Financial and Development team of the Association. There are many needs and opportunities to assist in this area including NGO management, project assistance, outreach, fundraising, data management and outreach.

Kusi Ñan Farm In 2012, the first graduating class of Kusi Kawsay faced a tough challenge. In Peru, the discrimination and lack of financial resources determines the fate of many young people. The graduating class was confronted with this risk as well and the limited options possible were driven by a survival economy. Following the Kusi Kawsay education, the graduates were motivated to revitalize and reclaim their culture by contributing to their community as agents of change. ‘Happy path’ or ‘feliz camino’, which in their native tongue of Quechua translates into “Kusi Ñan”, was created. The Kusi Ñan project of organic agriculture became a source of employment for the alumni and provided a creative and productive solution that allowed the graduates to remain in their district and community rather then having to migrate to the city in search for employment. The students are learning ancient Andean ways of farming and sharing these with their peers. The Farm is part of the Kusi Kawsay curriculum and the secondary grade levels all spend afternoons working at the farm.

Ñawpa Ñan Cultural Projects The cultural projects coincide with the Andean Agrarian Inca Calendar and reactivate the practice and celebrations of the Calendar during the following events:  

Machu Qhaswa – Primal Beings (November, December) This traditional ancestral dance takes place at the beginning of the rainy season. It awakens the primal beings to call for rain, and honors the elders who carry knowledge and experience.  

Kapac Raymi - Summer Solstice (December 21)


Time to celebrate the sun in its most potent point, and receive strength from the sun.

Pukllay - Fertility Celebration (January, February, March) During the rainy season, when everything in in bloom, this four-day celebration honors and promotes fertility and abundance for all beings, including plants, animals, and humans.  

Equinox (March 21) This is a time of reflection and celebration when the sun in the middle of its path.  

Harvest Time (May, June, July)

Chakana - Southern Cross (May 3) Time to honor the Southern Cross while in its zenith. Also Kusi Kawsay’s Anniversary.  

Coylloriti - Ice Star (May or June) Pilgrimage to honor the sacred source of water, the glaciers, and the sacred meteor that landed in the Andes long ago.  

Inti Raymi - Winter Solstice (June 21) Time to honor the sun in its lowest point, and offer the sun strength in reciprocity.  

Reciprocity Offerings (August) Time to make offerings before planting, and practice reciprocity with Pachamama.  

Equinox (September 21) This is a time of reflection and celebration when the sun in the middle of its path.  

Planting Time - Tinku (September) Time to celebrate planting, before putting the seeds into the soil.  

It is through the practice of the agrarian calendar that we comprehend the traditional knowledge based on human integration with the natural cosmic cycles; and through that a profound understanding of life in balance.

Depending  on  the  needs  of  the  various  events  that  are  celebrated,  volunteers  might  be  able   to  assist  in  organizing  through  travel  arrangements,  logistical  preparations  and  collecting   material   and   resources.     The   Ñawpa   Ñan   project   is   usually   in   need   of   fundraising   assistance,  outreach  and  storytelling  through  film  and  photography.    


8. What to bring for the projects Visitors and volunteers may bring items to assist the projects. Please inquire prior to arrival what the current needs are for one or each project. Regarding the school, rolling basis needs include: Classrooms: Puzzles, white A4 paper, pencil cases, exercise books, rulers, pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, folders and plastic sleeves, toys for kindergarten, white board markers and white board erasers, felt markers, coloured chalks. Sport equipment: Any type of balls, nets, bats, sports shoes, uniforms, Football strips. Art and craft: Glue, scissors, coloured (matt and glossy) cardboard of all sizes, tissue, crepe and cellophane paper, glitter, play dough, balloons, streamers, stickers, artist brushes, water paints, acrylic paints, masking tape, craft paper. Music and drama: Any musical instruments, puppets, dress-up clothes. Library: Spanish and/or English dictionaries, very basic children’s English books, children’s Spanish books, encyclopaedias (preferably in Spanish). Computer room: Functional laptops, printers, colour and black ink, A4 paper. Hygiene: Hand towels, liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and tooth brushes (adult and children’s sizes), moisturiser, Sorbelene cream. Health: Deep heat, topical antibiotic creams, general antibiotics, paracetemol for children and adults, multi-vitamins, anti-parasite medication, wart cream, antiseptic cream, quartazone cream, vaginal infection creams and antibiotics, ear and eye drops for infection. Band aids, bandages of all kinds, eye cleansers, thermometers, microscope, equipment to perform pap smears, eye and height charts. For afternoon classes: Knitting yarn, cotton yarn, knitting needles of all sizes, crochet needles, pottery supplies, beads that can be used in jewellery making (especially wooden and ceramic beads), any type of cloth, sewing machines. For the community: Any type of clothing for babies, children and adults; shoes, underwear, socks and stockings, hats, sunglasses, old reading glasses, kitchen utensils, pots, pans. For construction: Any hand-held power tools. NOTE: Normal stationary can usually be bought cheaper locally in Cusco than abroad.

9. Peru and the Sacred Valley A land of rich history and values


Five thousand years of cultural continuum are present in the temples, astronomic observatories, agrarian terraces, irrigation systems, ceramics, textiles, and above all in the values and way of life that persist to this day in Andean Peru, and that resulted in masterpieces as magnificent as Machu Picchu. These achievements are alive in the indigenous communities of the Quechua people who continue to practice reciprocity – Ayni – collective work— Minka, and understand the essence of complimentary opposites — Yanantin. These core values are what assure a harmonious coexistence and interrelation among all living beings, including animals, plants and humans as equal. These values are presented in Sumac Kawsay, good living -- a proposal that re approaches concepts such as development and progress based on qualitative rather than quantitative measures. This ancestral indigenous wisdom reminds us of our true human nature, and insights such as these will accompany you at the end of each day to reflect upon and carry into your daily life.

As the inheritors of a philosophy that respects and celebrates diversity, 12 million indigenous, from the highlands of Columbia and Ecuador through Peru and Bolivia, use thousands of different traditional dress, food, music, dance, rituals, etc. today, and reflect the diverse and abundant nature of Pachamama – the mother universe.

A land of diverse geography

Add Peru’s geographical diversity to all of this and you slowly begin to understand the incredible richness that makes this land so magical. Peru has three natural regions: the arid desert coastline once home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth, the vast rainforest that covers almost two-thirds of Peru, and the breathtaking peaks of the Andes, the highest tropical mountain range in the world, which stretch across the entire length of the country.

Combine this geographical diversity with Peru’s location, situated below the Equator and above the tropic of Capricorn, giving the entire region sun and tropical or subtropical weather, and the cold waters of the Humboldt Current and the warm ocean current “El Niño”, and you get a series of microclimates ranging from the extreme dryness of the coast to the intense humidity of the jungle. There are 28 different climates and 84 out of 104 microclimates in Peru, which makes it the richest country in the world, biologically speaking. Peru is also considered to have the richest sea in the world in marine resources because of its biomass. Peru is the most ecologically diverse country in the world, and these varied climates allow for abundant and diverse natural resources.

A land of astounding biodiversity Peru’s astounding biodiversity can be appreciated in the different plant species that makes Peru the world’s third richest country in terms of plant life; Peru has become a botanical garden of the modern world. Many of the plant species found have been categorized as “useful”, posseesing recognized medical applications, emphasizing the fact that Peru has one of the best preserved traditions of natural medicine in the world.


Other notable examples of Peru´s biodiversity are the potato, corn and orquids: Peru has 3,000 varieties of potatoes, has the greatest diversity in varieties of corn, and has the largest number of species of orquids worldwide. In conclusion, the three natural regions of Peru and technology and values that originated from the ancient Andean cultures have made great contributions to people throughout the world over the course of time, with more valuable gifts to come! Once you visit, you will confirm that in the Andes the ancestral realm encounters and coexists with the contemporary, being a true cultural continuum that is still strong and alive.

10. Pisac, Peru Kusi Kawsay is located in Pisac, Peru. It is a town of about 10,000 people located below the Incan ruins and runs along the Willkamayu River. Pisac sits at 2,900 meters altitude. A major road runs through Pisac therefore getting transportation to popular areas such as Cusco is very easy. Pisac has two main markets and plenty of small stores that provide all basic needs. There are relaxing cafes and delicious restaurants too. Pisac has an ATM machine in the Café Llama Azul located in Plaza de Armas – the main Plaza of the town. Nearly all restaurants, cafes, hostels and restaurants have wifi. The main Plaza is also home to an artisan market where local Peruvian goods are sold on a daily basis.

11. Weather and Environment The weather in the Sacred Valley and surrounding indigenous communities varies between a rainy season (October to April) and a dry season (May to September). Temperatures throughout the day vary at altitudes ranging from 11,000 to 15,000 feet. In the peak of winter (June-August) early mornings and late evenings can be pretty chilly, ranging anywhere from 35-55 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer months (Dec-Feb) are known for bringing rain, but can also get chilly late at night and early in the morning. In January, it can rain every day. Please be prepared to be working and walking for long stretches outside in the rain. Year round temperatures during the day are typically between 70-80 degrees. Be prepared for all types of weather, at any given time.

12. Health Tap water is not potable in Peru. Boiling tap water is typically fine and may or may not be filtered after boiling. Purchasing bottles of purified water is always an option as well. With the introduction of new foods and bacteria, stomach issues happen. For minor cases of stomach irritation, use Pepto Bismol or Immodium. Make sure to seek treatment if you are experiencing digestive trouble for a prolonged period of time. Malaria and Yellow Fever are not prevalent in the highlands of Cuzco.

13. Altitude Sickness Cuzco sits at 3400 m (11200 ft). Symptoms of altitude sickness are common during the first few days of your visit due to a lower amount of oxygen available in the air. Mild headache, tiredness and loss of appetite are normal responses that require rest and patience until acclimatized. The over-the-counter drug Diamox can be taken as a preventative a few days before your flight to Cuzco. Please be aware of your symptoms and take appropriate actions (rest, drink plenty of


water or electrolyte drinks, sip on medicinal coca leaf tea, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy eating) to help your body accustom- everyone reacts differently.

14. Medical Services There is a health post located in Pisac and there are several pharmacies in town. Should any serious medical issues occur, the Educational Association will assist volunteers/visitors to get to the nearest hospital. The hospital in Cusco is located 45 minutes away and is accessible through private taxis or collectives, which should be considered in several cases.

15. Safety and Transportation The Sacred Valley is typically very safe. Public transportation is the standard mode of transportation, which there are three kinds: bus, van, or taxi. Usually bus and van drivers are honest about the fares, but taxi drivers often try to take advantage of foreigners. Try to find out the common fare for a taxi prior to negotiating with a taxi driver. Within Pisac, a common mode of transportation is moto-taxis, which cost s/1 – s/2 depending on where you are planning to go. Transportation from Pisac to Cusco and vise versa costs s/5 but does stop running around 9pm. Buses and vans run several times an hour to and from Cusco.

16. Culture Quechua In many communities throughout the Sacred Valley, especially the smaller, rural communities, Spanish is still a second language. The first language in these communities is Quechua, the native language of the Incas. Quechua is an ancient language, and was never a written language – only spoken. Children typically speak Quechua at home and learn Spanish at school. While some adults speak Spanish, many only speak it at a basic level. If you are interested in learning more about Quechua you can purchase phrasebooks and dictionaries at larger bookstores in the US and also at bookstores in Cusco.

17. Accommodation Volunteers and visitors are responsible for organizing their own accommodations during their stay. There are several hostels and hotels within Pisac. Kusi Kawsay is supported by the Pisac Inn, a hotel, which is located in the main Plaza. For more information on fares, please visit the


Inn’s website: http://www.pisacinn.com/ Accomodation in Pisac can rage anywhere from 10 USD to 70 USD.

18. Peruvian Food You will have access to many types of meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables at the markets in Pisac. When visiting restaurants, it is common for local Peruvians to order a typical menu, which usually consists of soup as a starter, and then a plate of meat and starch. It is sometimes accompanied with dessert and a drink. There are a wide variety of choices for restaurants in Cusco. There are several vegan and vegetarian options in Pisac and Cusco. Vegan and vegetarianism are not common in Peru but it is possible to eat daily and meat free – especially in Pisac, which is a town that caters to foreigners needs. The Peruvian cuisine is world-renown with a variety of delicious foods. Food is a major part of the projects of Kusi Kawsay as we place a heavy emphasis on celebrating our native diet that is rich and unique.

19. Financial Considerations and Visa/Entering and leaving Peru EU and US citizens do not need to purchase a visa prior to entering Peru. You only need to get your passport stamped, of which they will give you either 30, 60, 90, or 183 days. If you will be in Peru for longer than 30 days you should ask the customs personnel to give you either 60 days, 90 days or six month. Note that the new law applicable as of 2016 only allows for a sixmonth stay once a year. If you are planning to stay for a full year, you will have to exit Peru twice to obtain a tourist visa of six months and two times 90 days. There is no fee to enter Peru. There is an exit fee of $31 when leaving Peru, however this is usually included in the price of your airplane ticket. If you are planning to volunteer for more than 30 days, please ask us prior to your arrival for an official volunteer invitation letter to show the customs upon entering which usually guarantees a six month stay. Exchange rate/Currency: The Peruvian Nuevo Sol is currently s./2.93 to $1.00 and s./3.55 to 1 Euro Handling money: Most banks in Peru have ATM machines that work with VISA or MasterCard cards. Inform your bank that you will be travelling. The maximum withdrawal amount per day is usually 800 soles.

20. What to bring… Important Documents • • • •

Passport and 2 color copies (keep separately) Form of ID other than passport Copy of traveler’s insurance information Contact information for Kusi Kawsay

Clothing essentials include • •

Hiking shoes Rain gear


• • • •

Hat (for rain or sun protection) One medium heavy jacket Sweater/Thermals Sandals (for showering and walking around town)

*see weather/environment section to prepare for winter/summer season packing

Personal • • • • • • • •

First Aid supplies such as anti-diarrheal meds (pepto bismol) Sunscreen with SPF 20 or higher and lip balm with SPF Sunglasses Water Bottle Spanish and Quechua Dictionary Camera Flashlight Electricity converters if necessary - Standards are both twin flat blade (as used in the USA) and twin round pin plugs (as used in continental Europe). Wall sockets accept both kinds. 3-prongs will not work

21. Information for Underage Volunteers Underage volunteers are welcome and are assigned and paired up with a mentor. The mentor is, however, not a chaperone. The mentor is available to help coordinate logistics and facilitate the volunteer’s experience. The mentor is also the contact person to the parents and family of the volunteer. Underage volunteers are expected to be mature, respectful and not engage in any activities that could cause harm or concerns. The volunteer must be in constant communication with their mentor and must notify the mentor when taking day or over-night trips. Underage Volunteers are also responsible for signing a Medical Release form provided by Kusi Kawsay before their arrival. This form must also be signed by the volunteer’s legal guardians.

22. Photography and Publication Policy Photography is prohibited during certain cultural events and limited during school hours. As an Association and school, we try to respect and protect the identity and privacy rights of our children. All material, including photography and filming, at our project sites is not to be used for propaganda or profiting purposes and should only be used when promoting the value, mission and vision of the Kusi Kawsay Educational Association.

23. Phone Peruvian phone chips are very cost friendly at approximately s./10. There are two major service providers, which are Movistar and Claro. At Kusi Kawsay, the staff is all using Claro so we highly recommend that if you do chose to buy a Peruvian sim-card, get Claro. It is cheaper to call from Claro to Claro rather than Claro to Movistar. Kusi Kawsay does not have a stationary phone that can be used to make international calls. With internet available in Pisac, Skype can be a good option to be in touch with your friends and family if you chose not to purchase a simcard. We highly encourage underage volunteers to obtain a phone and sim-card!


24. Important contacts Marina Flevotomas Development Lead Pachamama’s Path marina@kusikawsay.org

Daniel Guevara Financial Lead Kusi Kawsay info@kusikawsay.org

Please provide Kusi Kawsay with your contact information and also emergency contact information before arriving. Thank You. If you any further questions or concerns, please e.mail info@kusikawsay.org We look forward to meeting you soon! Kusi Kawsay Educational Association

*Comic by Hugo Franco Salas, Professor of Painting Kusi Kawsay

Orientation2016 kusikawsay  

A detailed orientation guide for volunteers and visitors! Here you will find the all the necessary information you need to be well prepare...

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