AORE Partner News Summer 2016 - Page 18

Photos and article by Jennifer Hopper

In June of this year, AORE and G Adventures partnered to provide Global University, a unique professional development course in the stunning outdoor environment of Peru. Our group of 16 visited Lima, Cusco, Inca ruins, and trekked the Lares Trail over the 9-day adventure.

This summit supported AORE’s strategic pillars of advocacy, relationship engagement, and education through this unforgettable adventure.

Our shared experiences, reflection, and discussion allowed for invaluable networking among industry leaders and sparked ideas we hope to bring to each of our home programs.

How do you provide the greatest learning outcomes for an experience? Intentional planning is key. And it was a key ingredient of the partnership in Peru. On this adventure, as on all G Adventures trips, local guides educated our group. They were able to connect us with the people by speaking multiple languages (English, Spanish, and Quechua at the very least). They explained the history and cultural importance of both ancient and modern sites, from downtown Lima to the misty heights of Machu Picchu.

The guides had a Plan B and C when things needed to change, dealt with various illnesses in our group, and used their support systems within the country to problem solve on a daily basis. Their experience and sense of humor allowed them to take everything in stride when mini-crises arose, which is bound to happen as a dozen travelers enter an unfamiliar place (especially one with different cuisines and high altitudes).

Our guides allowed flow in our plans so the group could concentrate on soaking in new knowledge, sharing thoughts, and bringing ideas home. During the Lares trek, our guides Raymer and Omar were able to arrange a visit to the family home of the head porter so we could catch a glimpse into the lives of the mountain community of Cuncani. The family of four lives in a one-room mud hut and keeps guinea pigs (aka cuy) under the bed, to be used later as food