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¡Hola Todos!

Hey guys, my name is Sophia Ortega.

I am so excited to meet all of you in almost a week! I have been looking forward for our trip together for months now ( I’ve been counting down for 150 days). This will be my third time out of the country and my first time traveling to South America. Peru has been on my bucket list since 6th grade when I learned about Incan culture and getting to experience it first hand will be incredible.

I have always had a passion for adventure and travel. I love photography, drawing, spending time with my friends and rowing. I have two siblings, I’m the middle child…..

The most challenging part of this trip for me will probably be conversing in basic Spanish, even though I have been taking it for the past three years at school. *@Owen Jones I might have to take you up on your offer for help with Spanish.* I am looking forward to our homestay’s and lifelong friendships between our hosts and everyone on this trip. The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu are definitely going to be the highlights of my journey.

Pachamama is a deity to the indigenous Andean people and is known as, ” Mother Earth”. The name Pachamama is comprised of the words, “Pacha” meaning world, and “mama” meaning… well I bet you could guess. She is the Goddess of the Earth, life, harvest, farming, crops, and fertility. When Peru was conquered by Spanish conquistadors a version of The Virgin Mary mixed with the Goddess Pachamama, was created to make it easier for the early Andean people to assimilate to Catholicism, this is an example of cultural syncretism.

See you guys soon!