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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

From the Amazon Jungle to the Desert Oasis

From the Amazon Jungle to the Desert Oasis 1

Hola from Huacachina, Peru!

It’s so hard to believe that our trip is coming to a close. We will be boarding our bus soon to make our way to Lima for our final day and celebrations. We wanted to take this moment to recap our last week, which has been an incredible one!

The last time we spoke, we were on our way to the Muyuna Lodge in the Amazon. The experience, for many of our students, was the absolute best part of the trip. We arrived at the lodge and immediately felt transported to a different world. It was so quiet and peaceful, with just the sounds of monkeys and birds to break the calm. Our students shared eco-lodges with hammocks for each to swing. With no service to distract them, the students swung on the hammocks singing songs, sharing stories, and enjoying the views. It was unbelievable for many of us to completely unplug. 

During the days at the lodge, we took part in various activities which were in many ways, once in a lifetime. From trekking through the jungle and seeing sloths and monkeys, boating down the Amazon in search of Caymans and toucans, fishing for piranhas, swimming with pink dolphins, it felt that everywhere we looked was another picture-perfect moment. The students took full part in all that the lodge had to offer and many were sad to say goodbye on our final day.
After returning by boat from the lodge to Iquitos, we packed up and made our way to Huacachina. Huacachina is a small oasis town in the middle of the desert, about five hours south of Lima. Upon arrival, the students were in awe of the massive sand dunes surrounding them everywhere they looked. Our first day here in the desert, we had the chance to participate in community service at a local high school. The students partnered up with local peers to plant trees, clean desks and chairs in the classroom, and ultimately celebrated their hard work with games of football (the Peruvian kind!), basketball, and volleyball. The teams were mixed of our students and the local students which was an amazing experience as they broke down language and cultural barriers to share in the fun of playing games. 

After our return from service, the students got ready for what many were most excited for: dune buggying and sandboarding through the desert. For two hours, we raced over the sand dunes, boarded going down, and took countless pictures with the sun setting that we can’t wait to share with you. As if one day in the desert wasn’t enough, the following day, we hiked up the dunes to play in the sand well atop the desert to enjoy the incredible views of the desert oasis below. The students ran down the dunes to climb into boats on the jungle lagoon. They enjoyed paddling and rowing around the palm tree-lined lake within the desert and relaxed from their busy trip.

It’s been an amazing experience, and we are sad that the trip is wrapping up. With two days left, there are still plenty of memories to make, especially with our time in Lima, and we can’t wait for you to see all the pictures of this time, and hear all the stories from your students. 

See you soon!

The Westcoast Blogger 

Do you want to explore Peru and volunteer in local communities? Check out our 15-day or 28-day Peru Community Service programs! To browse all of our programs, click here.