Building Trust in Cusco, Peru

As a veteran participant of the NGO Amigos de las Americas in Honduras, Panama and the Dominican Republic, I was used to walking into host communities and being offered piles of food, a place to sleep, a drink. I was used to finding three, sometimes four, host families per community. You could say that IContinue reading “Building Trust in Cusco, Peru”

To Pay or Not to Pay, Heritage Tourism

When I first started my research on turismo vivencial, or homestay tourism, I thought that Amigos de las Americas, the NGO I work for, was correct to not pay host families in cold hard cash for hosting volunteers for a summer. According to the traditional AMIGOS model, host families agree to house and occasionally feedContinue reading “To Pay or Not to Pay, Heritage Tourism”

4th of July in Cusco, Peru

Since it’s America Day, I thought I would write a blog post about privilege. While I ate Doritos, deviled eggs, ice cream, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs today, I thought about some of the experiences I’ve had here that have made me both terrified and very appreciative. Here is one story: Our volunteers haveContinue reading “4th of July in Cusco, Peru”

Community Development in Cusco, Peru

June 16, 2012. Bienvenidos from chilly Cusco! I’m writing from Casa Campesina, a lovely hostel in Cusco where 42 of our volunteers and many of their community members and a handful of students from the local university are training for their summer projects. Project Staff has spent the past few weeks preparing to place ourContinue reading “Community Development in Cusco, Peru”

Samantha Balaban – Cusco – the early days

Hey everyone! After an arduous journey (not really, but it did take 26 hours) I have arrived in Cusco with all 90 pounds of my luggage. It is cold here so I brought a lot of sweaters. And then I walked up one whole flight of stairs and couldn’t breathe. It appears I am susceptibleContinue reading “Samantha Balaban – Cusco – the early days”