Souhegan Peru Trip

Over the summer, Souhegan teacher Bernie D’Amours and Nicole Kirchner from the program “The Walking Tree”, led a small group of Souhegan students on a trip to Peru. The visit was partially dedicated to service and partially to learning. Between June 20th and July 5th, the group traveled throughout the country and partook in various different activities. They visited Machu Picchu, explored the ruins of Ollantaytambo, rode on bicycle taxi’s and mountain biked through the Sacred Valley.

Lily Batchelder, a Junior at Souhegan, said her favorite part of the trip was staying with her host family in the village of Ollantaytambo. She said, “It was such a unique experience and you can’t understand it until you’ve really stayed with the people.”

While the students were in Ollantaytambo, the locals celebrated the festival of the sun gods. For part of the celebration, the locals dressed up in traditional Inca clothing and put on a performance. The Souhegan students were asked to participate in this performance, which was a huge honor and not something that happens often. The students on the trip represented Souhegan in an amazing light and should be extraordinarily proud of the work they did in Peru. The students learned about more than just Peruvian culture, but they also learned about the world as a whole.

Bernie D’Amours said “Ironically we talk about our differences, but at the end of the day, we have a lot in common with them. The meaning of life for them [the Peruvian locals], their dreams and aspirations are the same for us. The only difference is where they were born.” By encouraging experiential learning like this, Souhegan prepares students for life beyond high school and widens their perspectives about the world beyond our small town.