This reflection was written by Olivia Holloway, a high school participant in CIEE's Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad Spanish Language & Peruvian Culture program in the summer of 2019.
I participated in the CIEE High School Summer Study Abroad Spanish Language and Peruvian Culture program in Pisac, Peru for four weeks. I expected the program to help me further improve my proficiency in the Spanish Language. Staying there for four weeks not only improved my proficiency, it also had me immersed into the Peruvian Culture.
There were a lot of things that I enjoyed when I was there, for example, Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world and is a very popular place to see. When I was there, the view was beyond breathtaking. I could not believe I was seeing something so amazing.
I also loved the weekday activities the program had planned for us to do. They would sometimes be in Cusco or Huchy Quiosco, or just in Pisac. The program had us connect with local students in the town and we would do a few activities with them such as a scavenger hunt (búsqueda de tesoro).
In regards to my cultural immersion, I loved the food. My host mom or mi madre anfitriona owned a restaurant and she made such amazing food. My favorite was trucha, which is fried fish and fries on the side. Sometimes my friends and I would go to the cafe after our classes to work on the projects we were assigned. I would drink limonada, chicha morada ( purple corn juice) or tea (mate- what my host mom would call it). I learned how to play the zampoña, bake empanadas, make chocolate and much more.
I am still constantly studying Spanish vocabulary in order to have more in depth conversations with my host family and with other native speakers. Going overseas sparked my interest in travel and I plan on traveling to other places such as Argentina, Brazil, and Spain. This trip has motivated me to study other languages such as Portuguese and Italian. Overall, I enjoyed my trip in Pisac and I would recommend it to anyone.