Amaze Yourself: Trek to Machu Picchu

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Be inspired by Peru’s rich history, culture and landscapes during Cuso International’s Peru Challenge to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

Taking place this fall, Oct. 26 to Nov. 3, participants will meet local communities, visit a Cuso International project and see stunning masterpieces of architectural and engineering ingenuity. The nine-day adventure – which includes five days of hiking – combines cultural highlights with the challenge of one of the world’s best-known hikes.

Sandy Carrothers, mother of three adult children, is looking forward to the challenge.

“In my youth I travelled a bit, so maybe it’s a little bit of wanderlust,” she explained. “It’s the chance to travel to a beautiful, awe-inspiring place. It’s also the physical challenge, a move outside of my current comfort zone.”

But the best part for her is the ability to share the experience with her daughter Clara.

“I had heard about Cuso International over the years, but I learned more about it through my daughter,” said Sandy. “When Clara mentioned she was doing this challenge it was at a perfect time to pivot my life choices. I want to jump at the chance while I am still able.”

Added Clara, “My mom and I haven’t travelled together in nearly 20 years and this is the perfect opportunity for us to both support each other as we challenge ourselves on this new adventure.”

Participants will explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, with its local ruins and Spanish Colonial churches, before trekking through the remote and uncrowded Lares Valley. The unique alternative to the extremely busy Inca Trail features magnificent landscapes, stunning valleys, breath-taking snowy peaks and dazzling glacial blue lakes. 

And hikers will experience a way of Peruvian life that has remained untouched for centuries. They will meet Andean farmers, in their traditional brightly coloured ponchos, tending herds of Llamas and Alpacas and visit a school and local communities along the way to the summit.

“It is a terrific well-designed package,” said Sandy. “It’s a remarkable personal opportunity to see a different part of the world and explore another culture, all the while engaged in a personal physical and-or spiritual challenge in aid of supporting a very worthy organization.”

Amie Gibson, Fundraising Officer at Cuso International, said the first Peru Challenge in 2015 was a great success. Everyone completed the trek, including a gentleman in his 80s, and $30,000 was raised in support of Cuso International’s programs.

The Canadian-based non-profit matches skilled volunteers with local partners around the world to work on development projects. With a focus on Community, Health and Livelihood, Cuso International’s priorities include gender equality and human rights; quality health care, particularly maternal and newborn health; and access to education and skills training, as well as entrepreneurship support and training.

“In some capacity I have always worked and volunteered in education and healthcare,” said Sandy. “I have this opportunity through the Charity Challenge to contribute to this great organization and support communities at home and abroad. It’s my way to give back.”

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