Peru Disaster Relief

Projects Abroad, a volunteer vacation company with service travel opportunities around the world, is redoubling its efforts in encouraging us to get to the Sacred Valley of Peru to try and help with disaster relief. The area around Machu Picchu and the valley were devastated by storms and mudslides that destroyed entire hillsides of crops and and decimated the homes of 22,000 people. The train to Machu Picchu, the nation’s most well-known visitor’s attraction, is still not running after the January flood, and the enormous task of rebuilding has begun.

Projects Abroad is continuing its Peru projects for volunteer travelers, with focus on education, care projects, and youth sports projects, but is now also asking specifically for motivated professional volunteers with experience in the fields of civil or agricultural engineering, geology, architecture, psychology, IT, and the aftermath of natural disasters. Volunteers who speak Spanish will be especially helpful with the psychological support work.

I’ve visited the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu twice, and it is a wonderful region of the country with amazing mountains, beautiful hospitality, and the Inca Trail for some breathtaking (literally, as it is at elevation where the air is thinner) hiking. Many people live in modest home structures of mud brick or cinderblock with dirt floors, so since the river washed so many away, the actual building materials are no longer available. Lots of sweat equity will go into rebuilding the communities, perhaps with your help? Haiti is not yet ready for an influx of volunteer help, and Chile post-earthquake is moving forward nicely with recovery. Here is a chance to help out post-disaster, in a way that allows you to drop to sleep weary of body but inspired of spirit, knowing what you’ve accomplished each day.

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