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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Hola Amigos from Peru – Peru Community Service

Dear Families of Peru Community Service,

As I am writing you this note, I am listening to the sounds of the Amazon Jungle.  Tucked underneath my netting, I am amazed at how much noise can be heard from the woods behind me.   This truly is a magical place.

We arrived in Puerto Maldonado on Friday afternoon where we boarded a bus from the airport to a boat where we were given a delicious vegetarian meal that was wrapped with care in a banana leaf.  The scenic boat ride took us deep into the jungle.  When we arrived at our destination, we all marveled over how exotic and beautiful our lodging was.  That night we all did yoga, Claudia and Yuri got really into it.  At dinner, Max was given the first Peruvian Zulu award for his positive attitude and adventurous behavior.

The next morning we went for a hike.  We learned about various native plants and animals.  On our hike we saw a sloth that got everybody’s attention. Julia was especially captivated by the insects and creatures we learned about.  The guides even used the juices from certain plants to paint all our faces.  On our hike we collected seeds for bracelets that we made later in the day.  Allison D really got creative with her bracelet, and when she finished first, she went around to the group and helped everyone else.

We woke up the following morning and began our first day of community service.  We worked with our guides to clean trails, paint signs, and dig the holes for the signs we were creating.  The eco-travel tourism group we volunteered for needed our help with these jobs since they rely solely on the help of travelers to advance their project.  Zach got right to work, cutting down plants and clearing debris, our guides commented on his commitment to his task!  Our artists in the group Lia, Michelle, and Allison B offered their services in creating and painting signs.  They did an awesome job!  Everyone was impressed.

Later in the day we went for a boat ride on a lake where we saw black cayman, and went fishing for piranhas.  Maddie and Allison S were the only two successful fisherman that day – the piranhas were smarter then we initially thought! After fishing we had another fantastic meal, followed by a game of Family Feud.  We divided the trip members into two families, “Papa C” and “Mama Lana” that would battle it out for the win.  To get everyone pumped up, Lexi showed the group how to do “the Bernie”.  A dance that involved dropping your head and arms back and jiggling away!

We all had a blast in the jungle, and are making memories that will no doubt, last a lifetime.

Stay tuned for more updates on this incredible adventure!

The Westcoast Blogger