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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Mid Course: Reflections and Questions

Hello dear community of the Andes Leadership Semester,

We have started our midcourse reflections as a group with a very real transition of saying goodbye for now to Patagonia and hello to Perú!

We wanted to share some some questions that have been alive in the group through this transition. We encourage you all to ask your loved ones about their thoughts on these subjects/learnings/curiosities. Lots to be discussed here!

Un abrazo,

Lxs Instructorxs

ps- here are some photos from our recent climbing section 🙂


What lessons have you learned from this place?

Sometimes you break a shoe in, and other times the shoe breaks your foot in.

Even the things that seem the most uncomfortable can have comfort, just like the most comfortable things can bring discomfort.

In order to experience wilderness, you must distance yourself from the norms of normal life.

Embracing challenges can make them more fun and worthwhile.

To put myself out there by asking critical questions in the community and getting involved in the community.

Being positive and thankful makes me generally more happy.

Wilderness is not necessarily what we assume it is. How many/what other things are the same way?

I still have a lot to learn and work on, like patience.

Trust the foot.

How to learn about a new place and to critically analyze my presence as an extranjero.


What questions will you take forward into Perú?

Do we have a valid role/right to be here? What is it?

How will I appreciate the differences between Peruvian and Chilean culture?

How do indigenous cultures inform the areas we visit?

What does Quechua sound like?

What are the locals perception of foreigners and of us?

What do we, as a group, represent to local communities?

What impact has tourism had on the land and the lifestyle?

How will our group continue to change?

How do cities and rural places interact?

Are there language politics?

How does religion interact with Peruvian culture?

How do people interact with the land?

How will my paradigms and biases from my own life be challenged?

Who has the Power?

How do people interact with mountains?

How do extranjeros, even from other South American countries interact and live with Native Peoples?

What is the government like?