An intrepid group of Westhill teenagers are back at school after completing a summer holiday with a difference.
A group of fourteen pupils from Westhill Academy travelled to Southern Peru in July as part of a World Challenge expedition. After eighteen months of preparation, training and fundraising the group finally completed the development programme by travelling to the South American country.
On their expedition the team visited many of Peru’s cities including Cusco, the ancient Inca capital where they spent time acclimatising to the country. Puno, where they completed their project phase; Arequipa, trekking deep into the Colca Canyon, and finally Lima, the country’s buzzing capital city.
The students did voluntary work in a remote village named Llachon, on the shore of Lake Titicaca.
The team spent one week in the small village helping to renovate a local nursery school. However, the challengers were faced with an change in lifestyle, as they were simply provided with a roof over their heads and some pots for cooking. Nonetheless, they completed their project building three fifteen meter wide steps for the nursery, as well as providing them with lots of new toys and learning resources.
Kirsten Ronald, challenger and pupil at Westhill Academy said: “ The project was fantastic. It felt really rewarding knowing that we were making a difference to the lives of people who don’t have as much as we do.
She added: “Travelling in a third world developing country was definitely an eye-opener! We travelled through some really poor areas, however, the people were always very friendly and welcoming.”