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Written by Zoe Faulkner on 15 / 07 / 2021

Gap Year Advice

We want to give a really big shout out to the utterly amazing Jolyn Rekasis who lives and works in darkest Peru. Jolyn is a remarkable character who has chosen to dedicate her life to sustainable development focusing on the campesino communities who live high up in the Andes in the Sacred Valley, home to the spectacular Machu Picchu.

She does this through a US-certified non-profit organisation whose main aim is to support the agriculture initiatives in campesino farming communities and providing experiential learning opportunities in Peru.

Through Jolyn and her team you can access real Peru deep in the Sacred Valley, by joining our 4 week gap year program to Peru. Here's a little background...

What is a campesino community?

During colonization, in order to not become enslaved by the colonists, locals escaped into the Andes, settling at high altitudes reaching up to 14,000 ft (4500 meters). Centuries later, these campesino communities continue to be experts in growing potatoes, corn, and grains, making the Andes one of the five global cradles of agriculture. However, due to the high elevation, they face challenges growing nutrient-dense produce that thrives in warmer climates or greenhouses.

The NGO work is focused on helping campesino farmers incorporate new produce and techniques into their existing practices, ensuring that the communities continue to be rooted in sustainability and tradition. Another problem they face is their young generation turning away from their heritage and tradition in favour of the bright lights of the city and risk making their heritage and traditions extinct.

How can you get involved?

Jolyn can arrange for you to live and work with these communities high up in the Andean mountains. They would love you to help with their farming, weaving and jewellery making tasks - taking part in invaluable cultural exchange. You will learn so many experiences and skills and can easily combine your time with the adventure of hot springs and the famous Machu Pichuu.

Next Step

If you would like to experience deepest Peru and get off the tourist trail - then please have a read of our 4 week program to Peru.

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Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

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