My First Few Days in Cusco, Peru

Liam Manning is a student at Norwich University  and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. He is currently studying abroad with ISA Service- Learning in Cusco, Peru.

The first day in Cusco came much quicker than I could have imagined and before I knew it I was here in Peru. I wasn’t sure what to expect considering it was my first time in South America. I had my ideas of what to see and how to approach locals, but no preparation I did matched up to the experiences I had in the first couple of days. I have traveled to high altitudes before, but there was something about the Andes that was extremely different compared to other voyages I had taken. Hydration was key starting with my flight, and continuing after I arrived. The views of the mountains from the plane were breath taking- I’ve never seen anything like it.

My first day in Peru flew by, and the second day in Cusco still felt like it was the first. Nonetheless, I was able to get myself together and venture out into the gorgeous city and the mountains surrounding it. Upon arriving here, I had a lot of interest about the social welfare of the people who live in the mountainous terrain. During the travels I took on my second day in the country, I ventured into a region north of the San Blas in Cusco, where homes are stacked very close next to one another. Walking through this area made me think very deeply about life here in Cusco, and it made me think about family. Family is a very integral part of Cusco. Many mothers and young daughters are almost always together, whether that means being carried on their mothers back or just walking beside their each other. I saw this same value in how close the homes were and the condition they were in. The people cared much about their homes and were able to do what they could to keep the infrastructure safe for their families and for themselves.

The community in Cusco is unlike any other place I have ever visited, and this has been very helpful with the adjustment period of being in a new country. All of the people I’ve seen- whether it be on the street or in the shops- have been helpful and conversant, even with the language barrier. Being able to socialize with people who have a completely background than I do is something truly special. A sense of community when coming to a different country is something all people look for, and I can say that Cusco has been able to offer me that feeling since the moment I arrived.

In the United States, there are many different nationalities and groups of people who live there. In Cusco there seems to be a strong population of locals, which has added to this incredible experience. Even just a few days in, Cusco has stolen my heart, and I know that it will continue to stun me every day that I’m here.

Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.


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