CCUSD group makes memories in Peru with new food, friendships

Cave Creek Unified School District group makes memories meeting new people, eating different food and learning about another culture in Peru.

As pupils and parents are said to have learned that “we are not so different from people in other cultures,” they also learned that Quechua — not Spanish — is the main language spoken “off the beaten path in Peru,” according to a press release.

Quechua, considered the living language of the ancient Incan Empire, is the primary language spoken in the remote mountains above the Sacred Valley near Machu Picchu, the release stated of the recent cultural immersion experience that went beyond the traditional sightseeing and the tourist areas.

The release said the parents and students funded the Peru trip through tax credit dollars. Their trip revolved around community service opportunities as the group volunteered in a disabled youth clinic in Cuzco, made toys out of recycled materials, took supplies to a remote school in Cruzpata and spent a day in the Misminay indigenous community at 13,000-feet elevation.

The CCUSD group also participated in an ancient ceremony to the “Pachamama” or Mother Earth; learned from locals that the glacier that “feeds the valley is visibly shrinking”; sheared the llama for wool, using natural materials to dye it and wove tapestries during their travels, the release noted.

In addition to the group’s trek through “mystical” Machu Picchu, they experienced a cuisine that consisted of purple corn juice, alpaca and guinea pig dishes, never-before-seen fruits, and 3,000 varieties of potatoes, the release noted.

Cave Creek Unified School District is the only public school district offering its students a World Language PreK-12. For more information contact program coordinator, Cristina Ladas at or 480-575-2019.

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