Postcards from Peru: One WWU student's study abroad, as told in pictures

WWU Environmental Studies/Spanish major and Honors College student Samantha Herlich took some time out of her schedule to talk to us about her current study-abroad experience in Cusco, Peru.

"It is incredible here, there is so much amazing nature, history, and llamas everywhere. My Spanish is improving a whole bunch, and I am even taking a class in Quechua which is super difficult but very interesting since we are learning about Incan history at the same time," she said. "I have visited the Sacred Valley multiple times and actually just got back from Machu Picchu this past weekend. It makes sense that it is a world wonder, it is so amazing. I also went to Bolivia for our spring break here. We saw the Uyuni Salt flats and the desert volcano region of Bolivia."

"Cusco is a beautiful city located around 11,500 feet up in the Andes and it experiences all four seasons every day. Cusco is known for its beautiful nature, and rightfully so. All of the hikes here have breathtaking views, and it is quite common to run into some Incan ruins while hiking. One of my favorites has been a hike called Poc Poc which is located on the Incan trail. While walking, you pass through the ruins of Chinchero, get a view of the whole sacred valley, and pass right by the huge waterfall the hike is named after.  

Cusco also has incredible culture. My second week here was the week of Carnaval de Cajamarca which is basically a huge water fight. If you are outside during Carnaval, you are a participant. The first morning of Carnaval, my friends and I went to have a nice breakfast in the Plaza de Armas. However, we left the cafe only to be ambushed by water balloons. We then armed ourselves with spray cans, but in retrospect, this probably just made us more of a target. 

Although I have been in Cusco for two months now and have another month to go, I feel as if I have only scratched the surface of all the culture, nature, and delicious food that this incredible city has to offer."

Travel safe, Sam!

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A student jumps into the air at a dry salt flat in Bolivia
A student poses on a shallow lake; their reflection echoes in the lake's still water.
Three students laugh and give thumbs up while covered in water and suds.
the sun sets over Lake Titicaca in Bolivia
Flags fly in a stiff breeze behind a group of students posed for this image.
a student smiles at the camera in a shelter high in a lush green valley
llamas on the side of a grassy hill
Sam poses at Macchu Picchu