Peru: Health Care and Traditional Medicine

Peru banner - February 17 to February 25

The Program

Explore Peru’s history of traditional medicine and its transition to modern healthcare alongside other students, a UTM staff member and our partners from Operations Groundswell


  • Explore the Andean way of life at a high altitude of 11,000 feet travelling from the Incan capital of Cusco to a remote farming village in the surrounding Sacred Valley;
  • Learn about sustainable agricultural methods, cuisine in the sierra, and traditional medicine;
  • Work alongside incredible local partners conducting research into health and hygiene;
  • Climb up and over Peru’s altiplano to get the best view of this enchanting land;
  • Experience the breathtaking opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, the Incan Citadel declared as a World Heritage Site! 


  • Dates: Saturday, February 17 to Sunday, February 25, 2018
  • Estimated Cost: TBD 
  • Other details: For this experience, preference will be given to BIO210Y5Y students

Important Dates

Participants must be available on the dates specified below for the pre departure and post-departure sessions as a requirement of participation in this experience. Plus, participation in the pre-departure sessions and reflection after the experience will get the experience recognized on the Co-Curricular Record!

Date Description
Monday, September 11 to Monday, October 2 Application Period
November - exact date to be determined Pre Departure Orientation: Creating Connections
January - exact date to be determined Pre Departure Session: A World of Opportunity
January - exact date to be determined Saturday approximately 9 am to 12 pm Pre Departure Session: Experiential Day
January and February - exact dates to be determined Safety Abroad Mandatory Session at UTM (students can also participate in sessions offered at St George) 
Saturday, February 17 to Sunday, February 25, 2018 Travel Dates
March - exact date to be determined Saturday approximately 9 am to 12 pm Post Trip Session: The good, the bad and the travel bug


Our partners at Operations Groundswell will lead you through a truly immersive 8 day experience filled with planned daily excursions, educational programming and opportunities to interact with the local community. 

Day 1-2

Location: Cusco

Description: We’ll begin our journey in Cusco, the capital of the mighty Incan empire, where our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, and smiles (and altitude!) of the 3,400m/11,000 ft. high city. We'll explore the cobblestone streets of Cusco while learning about the complexity of Peru's colonial history. We will hit the streets learning how to bargain hard in local markets and end our day learning how to cook one of Peru's signature dishes.

To kick-start our exploration into the Peruvian healthcare system we’ll meet with a local physician specializing in disaster relief and visit to the frontlines in healthcare delivery, clinics. By hearing from local practitioners, we’ll begin to unpack the complexities of healthcare delivery in Peru and confront the challenges posed by inequality and accessibility.

Days 3-5

Location: Kausay Punku, Maska

Description: Next, our journey will take us to a family farm in the remote village of Maska, about an hour and a half outside of Cusco. The project, known as Kausay Punku, serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. There, we’ll learn about natural construction, traditional agricultural methods, cuisine in the sierra, herbal and homeopathic medicine, and the real story of the Incas.

Day 6-7

Location: Maska to Aguas Calientes


After an intense week of volunteering and cross-cultural learning, we’ll set off to find the Lost City. First, we’ll take a network of buses and minivans deep into the Sacred Valley and finally a three-hour hike to reach Aguas Calientes, the roadless outpost nestled just under the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

The following morning before dawn we’ll ascend the giant stairs that lead to the sun gates. There in this wonder of the world we’ll learn from our local guide about Machu Picchu’s history, its continued importance to Peru, and how the government disburses the profits from over five thousand daily visitors. While exploring the ruins, we will also hear about the conservation efforts underway to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before we descend back to Aguas Calientes, we can cap off our visit with an optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view of this ancient city above the clouds.

Day 8

Location: Aguas Calientes to Cusco

Description: Our last morning together will be full of hugs and farewells as the group heads back to Cusco and their awaiting flights home!

Applications for this experience will open on Monday, September 11, 2017.

Quote from Hannah who participated in the Peru experience in 2016.