All lodging, 3 meals/day, Machu Picchu admission, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, project costs, trip leaders, taxes and tips
International flights, passport fees, trip insurance (required)
These costs can be included with your mission fee to determine your total amount to fundraise.
December 28th, 2018 – January 11th, 2019
Adventure Mission to Peru: Machu Picchu & Ayaviri
Ring in the new year in service! Join Penn/Drexel Newman Center and Creatio for an Adventure Mission high in the Peruvian Andes mountains, where you'll share the love of Christ with the poorest of the poor while getting your hands dirty in manual labor. We'll also visit one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu!
Papal Foundation Scholarship
The Papal Foundation has graciously awarded Creatio a grant for our projects in this region of Ayaviri, Peru, in order to help participants afford this mission.
Register now to secure your opportunity to save on this Adventure Mission! Typical Adventure Missions to this region are significantly more expensive.
“The mission experience was one of the greatest and most influential times of my life. I had never had the opportunity to live in a place of great poverty for a short time, nor had I ever been able to work with people who lived in these conditions..The joy within these kids’ hearts was something rarely, if ever, seen among the children in the United States. Although they possessed very little materially, the love and joy of Christ was so present in them, which speaks very clearly about what is really essential in this life.”
– Craig | St. Mary’s University
“My experience in Peru would not have been the same if it weren’t for the leaders who facilitated this trip. Each one of them was extremely committed to their role and set great examples for the rest of the group. It’s difficult for me to express in words how God truly does work in mysterious ways, a fact which was manifested through this trip. Never before have I experienced with such intensity the feeling and awareness of God’s presence that everything else becomes unimportant.”
– Janae | UPenn
Ayaviri resides in the region of Puno with a population of around 23,000. Although the town is surrounded by a vast and beautiful countryside, the living conditions are harsh and the effects of grave poverty are apparent throughout the territory. Many of its residents are farmers and owners of livestock who, due to the region’s severe climate, struggle to bring in an adequate income.
Despite the material poverty in Ayaviri, there is also a great spiritual need. Due to its lack of sufficient religious education and dispersed geography, many of the town’s residents have inherited a mix of Catholicism with contradictory practices and beliefs, resulting in a deficiency of strong Catholic values within the community.
Ayaviri lies in southeastern Peru in the state of Puno. Ayaviri includes the districts of Melgar, Carabaya and Sandia that encompass a vast territory about the size of Belgium, extending from the snowcapped high Andes to the Amazon jungle on the border with Bolivia. The population of about 250,000 is mostly rural, 85% of which live in poverty or extreme poverty, and the economy centers on agriculture, mining and trade. The needs of Ayaviri range widely from access to water and sanitation, to basic infrastructure, energy access, malnutrition and emergencies often associated with weather disasters.
One of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu’s mysterious history and it’s majestic scenery makes it a must-see on any visit to Peru. Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Peru, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, until the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911, the abandoned citadel’s existence was a secret known only to peasants living in the region (from history.com).
Getting to Peru
All participants must arrive in Cusco (Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport – CUZ) between 8am and 11:59am on Friday, December 28th. Missionaries will be given instructions for airport pick-up (included).
Participants must depart from Cusco between between 6pm and 10pm on Friday, January 11th or make other arrangements for lodging and travel.
Please wait until we have confirmed your participation in the mission trip to buy your flights. Please contact us if you’d like assistance choosing flights or connecting with other missionaries to travel together, You are responsible for your transportation and lodging should you choose to arrive early or leave later. If your flights are not within the time range given, you will be responsible to change your flight or pay the extra costs attributed to the change (cost of a new flight in-country, transportation, lodging, etc…)
So that you can adventure with us without worrying about interrupting trip plans, purchasing of your own travel insurance is required. Several companies exist that provide this. One of those that we recommend is StarAssist.
In addition to travelers insurance, it is good to know what your medical insurance covers in foreign countries. Call your insurance before departing and know what is in your plan. Bring your insurance card with you.
Creatio partners with local communities, families and hotels to host the missionaries and ensure all accommodations are satisfactory throughout the trip. Because this is a mission trip, conditions may not exactly be 5 star, but basic needs for missionaries will always be met (warm place to sleep, blankets, etc).
(subject to change)
- Day 1: Arrive in to Cusco AM; explore Cusco
- Day 2: Day trek to Machu Picchu
- Day 3-14: Travel to Ayaviri; mission project; return to Cusco
- Day 15: Return to Cusco; fly back home
Creatio’s spirituality is focused on strengthening the four relationships: relationship with self, with one another, with nature and with God. We encourage all of our missionaries to be open to experience a deepening of these relationships while on our trips.
Creatio takes a holistic approach to improving lives by addressing material and spiritual wellbeing of the people we serve. We do this with a Catholic worldview as our foundation, however we encourage Catholics and non-Catholics to join us in encountering the beauty of creation and our Creator. All participants are encouraged to join in group activities such as discussions on faith-based topics or visiting Holy sites, but nobody will be forced to participate in specifically Catholic traditions and practices.
Health & Safety Information
The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at altitudes above 6,500 feet because of environmental conditions. Although there is a risk of Zika in Peru, our itinerary is limited to areas above this altitude so we are at minimal risk of getting Zika from a mosquito.
Peru as a whole is currently rated by the CDC at “Alert-level: 2”, meaning that travelers need to practice enhanced precautions.
We recommend you undergoing a medical check-up before traveling to make sure you don’t have any kind of medical condition that could obstruct your participation in the mission trip.
Cusco and Ayaviri are at a high altitudes in the Andes (11,000+ feet). Even healthy and fit people often feel symptoms of hypoxia (lack of oxygen, headaches, nausea, increased respiration and heart rate, gastric upsets) and need time to adjust to the altitude. If you are able some workout prior to departure to be better disposed for hard work in high altitudes, we would recommend it.
Food safety is an important issue when traveling internationally. Local tap water in Peru is not potable. Only bottled or treated (disinfected) water should be used for drinking. Do not use ice, avoid getting tap water in your mouth when showering and brushing teeth, and do not use tap water to wash fruits and vegetables. Meats and fish should be thoroughly cooked. Avoid cheap restaurants or food sold in the streets. If you don’t follow these instructions, you will probably go through an episode of diarrhea that can make traveling in the Andes a rather uncomfortable (and memorable) experience, to say the least.
Cusco: Medical care in Cusco is generally good. There are three relatively new, medium sized hospitals and other private clinics within a short drive from our residence. All of these hospitals can treat serious medical conditions or acute illnesses.
Ayaviri: A new hospital, San Juan de Dios, was recently constructed in Ayaviri and has all necessary basic health infrastructure.
Juliaca: The American Clinic of Juliaca is a reputable private clinic and can handle serious emergencies. Juliaca is 90 km from Ayaviri (approximately 1hr 15m by car): http://www.clinicaamericana.org.pe/
For more country-specific health and safety information, visit www.travel.state.gov for details.
Creatio trip leaders have years of experience leading trips to Peru. The local guides have all lived in Peru for more than two years, are fluent in Spanish and English, and are knowledgeable about Peruvian geography, history, culture, and safe travel procedures.
During our trip, we will not visit areas that either the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Embassy in Lima has categorized as dangerous. In Peru, the U.S. Government is able to assist American citizens through their Embassy in Lima. Click here for access to the Embassy website containing the contact information of the Embassy and Consular Agent.
Peru is a developing country that may go through periods of political and economic instability. Labor-related strikes occur with certain frequency in urban or rural areas, and generally cause serious disruptions to road, air, and rail transportation. Demonstrations are often announced, yet not always. We may have to make some modifications to our schedule due to marches or strikes. Participants must be open to unexpected changes.
Like many large cities around the world, Lima suffers from crime. They require care while traveling, but are generally safe places. In these cities we will visit museums, historic places, and other tourist areas that attract large crowds. As you know, thieves operate in places that gather large crowds and therefore you should be especially careful. You are advised to keep your credit cards, cash, and identification in your front pocket or a secure money holder. You should not carry your original passport unless you are traveling by train, bus or plane. If the police request identification, a copy of the passport is acceptable. You don’t want to waste time replacing your driver license, passport, or other identification during your trip. You should limit your cash in hand (just carry what you will need for the day) and unnecessary credit cards. It is better to avoid handbags or objects that hang freely, because those are easy targets for pickpockets.
We urge you to be watchful of your belongings, because if you leave them behind in a tourist area or other location, you will probably not see them again (even if you notice a few minutes later). The idea of a place for “lost and found” objects is unfamiliar in rural areas or shanty towns. During overnight bus or train rides, stay close to your belongings. If you leave the bus during scheduled stops, take your valuable objects with you.
In many cities, you will see plenty of moneychangers in the streets. Even though they may give you a higher rate than the one offered by banks and money exchange agencies, you are advised to avoid them because some of them are a conduit for counterfeit currency.
Pirated goods are widely available. Do not buy them. You will be breaking the law. Additionally, if you bring them back to the US, you could face severe fines (e.g. $ 250,000). Certain drugs that are sold over-the-counter in Peru are illegal in the US. Please be sure you check before attempting to bring them back into the US. For instance, coca-leaf tea is a popular beverage and folk remedy for altitude sickness in Peru and is sold in most Peruvian supermarkets. However, possession of these tea leaves is illegal in the US so do not attempt to bring any back with you.
For additional security information about Peru, you can go to the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website athttp://www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/peru.html or the U.S. Embassy in Lima at http://lima.usembassy.gov/.
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of trip. Passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Non US Citizens or those traveling from outside of the US:
- Visit travel.state.gov to understand visa and vaccine requirements regarding the country from which you are coming.
- Please contact us to confirm non-US citizen visa requirements.
What To Bring
Carry-On Luggage (Recommend a backpack/day pack):
- Travelers insurance card
- Medical insurance card
- Emergency Contact Information (we will give it to you before you depart)
- Cash in US dollars
- Bringing money – We recommend bringing $200-$300. You can choose to exchange US dollars for Peruvian soles either before you depart or in Lima. Wells Fargo has a good exchange rate if you are a member. We recommend that you bring at least some cash from the US for anything you might want at the airport.
- Personal debit and credit cards – There are ATMs in Lima, but not many in small towns. Be aware of international fees.
- Call your debit card company at least one week in advance to inform them of where you are traveling and the dates (phone number on card).
- Know your PIN. You can’t use your debit card in Peru without it.
- Change of clothes
- Medications – in original containers. Bring any special or over-the-counter medications you need with you from the US. For high altitude locations such as Ayaviri, you may consider bringing altitude medicine/vitamins.
- Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.) – All liquids must be in 3 oz containers or less and all placed in one quart-sized Ziploc bag
- Hand sanitizer
- Spiritual materials – Bible, journal, Rosary, spiritual reading, etc.
- Water bottle – empty to go through security
Checked Luggage (50 lb max):
- Copy of your ID, Passport, traveler insurance card, and medical insurance card
- Jeans/pants, t-shirts, sweatshirt for work (you will get dirty). Please bring only modest clothes – no tank tops (always have shoulders covered) and shorts knee length or longer.
- Comfortable, casual outfits for touring, sightseeing, and walking
- Nicer clothes for mass, restaurants (decent clothes without holes – “dressy” clothes like skirts and dressy pants aren’t necessary, but you may bring them if you would like)
- Shorts (remember length)
- Bathing suit
- Work gloves
- Two warm sweaters
- Coat for nights (it will get cold in the mountains)
- Lightweight winter hat and gloves
- Poncho/rain jacket
- Sandals/Flip flops – for shower
- Walking shoes
- Old tennis shoes or work boots
- Toiletries: Shampoo, toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
- Small roll of toilet paper
- Sleeping Bag (30 degree °F rating or lower)
- Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
- Lip balm and lotion
- Secure money/Passport carrying case
- Luggage ID tags
- Prescription glasses – If you wear contacts, please be sure to bring your glasses as well. You will be asked not to wear your contacts certain work days since dust will likely get underneath them.
- Leatherman or knife
- Debit card and PIN
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Granola bars, power bars, trail mix, Gatorade powder packets, etc.
- Cards or small games for down time
- Spanish translation book
- Mass parts and Rosary in Spanish
- Electrical converter – voltage in Peru is 220V compared to 110V in the US. Check any electrical item you want to bring. If it is not able to use 220V, you will need to bring an electrical converter.
Second Checked Bag (50 lb max) – optional:
Some airlines allow two free checked bags. Check with yours to confirm luggage costs. If you would like to bring a second checked suitcase with items to leave, the following are good items the people in Peru need (We recommend using an old suitcase you don’t mind leaving behind.):
- Warm clothes/jackets/blankets
- Rosaries or other religious items (holy cards, “How to Pray the Rosary” booklets, bibles, etc.)
- Work gloves
- School supplies (crayons, scissors, pencils, etc.)
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste (dental hygiene isn’t good there)
- Soccer balls or volleyballs (deflated for travel)