Peru - BIO210 Amazon track

Track Description

Operation Groundswell’s UTM Peru: Healthcare in Development program examines healthcare from multiple perspectives offering insight into the contrasts between the Canadian and Peruvian health care systems as well as western and traditional approaches to heath and wellness. So, from the big bustling city of Lima to the frontier towns and jungles of Amazonia, we’ll explore the history of healthcare in Peru to from the traditional practices of the lowlands to the country’s more recent transition to “modern” healthcare while exploring Amazonian ways of life old and new. We’ll visit local hospitals/clinics, dig into sustainable agricultural, taste Amazonian cuisine, interact with plant-based medicine, and examine holistic approaches to healthcare. We’ll work on innovative community initiatives and learn alongside local practitioners.
The immersive classroom will challenge students physically while pushing them to think critically about healthcare and service delivery in a unique cultural landscape.

Preliminary Program Itinerary

Day(s): 1-3

Location: Lima
Accommodation: Mira Flores Hostel – Shared Dormitories (or equivalent)
Transportation: Private shuttle, Taxi
Meals: Local restaurants
General Summary:
We’ll begin our Peruvian adventure in front of Jorge Chavez International Airport in the big, bustling city of Lima. We’ll then take our orientation to the posh suburb of Mira Flores where we’ll get settled and orient ourselves to the sights, sounds, and smells of the region. We’ll learn a little of local lingo, sample some traditional cuisine and then take a not so typical tour of Lima, its history and its many personalities.
The next day after a hearty breakfast, we’ll begin our foray into the Peruvian healthcare system by meeting and speaking with people working on its frontlines. We’ll visit hospitals and private clinics, meet with healthcare professionals and NGO workers and examine the differences between private and public healthcare. We’ll discuss access, some its social determinants and how it all compares to Canada’s system.Get ready, for jam packed orientation to Peru, it’s crazy capital and healthcare in development.


Day(s): 3-7

Location: Tarapoto & San Roque Cumbaza
Accommodation: EcoAldeas
Transportation: Plane; micro
Meals: Local restaurants
General Summary:
After a quick flight over the Andes we’ll arrive in Tarapoto and the upper Peruvian Amazon! The amazon basin is like no other place on earth so, we’ll spend some time getting to know our surroundings. We’ll also continue our exploration of healthcare in the unique context of the Amazon where identity, geography, and inequality add to the complexities. We’ll meet with local practitioners to discuss the Tarapoto Declaration and how both traditional and western practices are being used to serve the communities in and around city.
Then we’ll journey out into the jungle with Ecoaldeas, a grassroots organization that works to generate environmentally sustainable livelihoods for populations in rural Amazonia. Together, we’ll settle into the small town of San Roque de Cumbaza where we’ll spend 3 days working, learning and playing alongside our hosts. We’ll explore the nearby forest and conservation area by foot, see some of Amazon’s resident fauna, and examine the medicinal properties of the local
flora with an experienced healer. So, be prepared to immerse yourself in Amazonian culture, taste traditional Patarashca, and explore healthcare as it practiced in the jungle.


Day(s): 7-9

Location: Paracas & Lima
Accommodation: Eco-Lodge/Guesthouse
Transportation: Plane; micro
Meals: Local restaurants
General Summary:
Back near Lima, in the desert oasis of Paracas, we’ll celebrate disorientation. A staple of every OG program, this is an opportunity to kickback, relax, and reflect. So, with the amazon behind us and the Pacific Ocean on display in front, we’ll discuss our experience with healthcare in Peru.
We’ll stair out at the ancient glyph of Candalabra, share stories under the stars, and talk about all the things we learned way. Then it’s back to Lima where we’ll rejoin the other group at Jorge Chavez International Airport and board our flights back to Toronto.