Posts Tagged ‘Huascaran’

Peru’10 Cultural Immersion Program

16/02/2010

Specialists in Peru & Holistic Education Since 1998

Mountain Spirit Institute announces June 18th Holistic Learning Program in Peru
By R. Richards
Mountain Spirit first started leading programs to Peru in 1998. I guided high altitude mountains for Alpine Ascents International, such as Mt. Huascaran in Peru, Aconcagua in Argentina and other volcanoes in Ecuador prior to that for a number of years , but then decided holistic experiential education was more for me.

Hiking on Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Readers may have heard of  the term “nature deficit disorder”, coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods. MSI also addresses “cultural deficit disorder” by taking people to Peru.  We were doing Peru before it was fashionable, and know the country well. We focus on education, service, hiking, music and mountains. We’ll be headed to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lake Titicaca.

Our program is limited to 8 participants and will start on June 18th and last for 14 days. We will be staying with long time friends and educational partners. Our  logistics is well organized after leading many trips to Peru.

MSI Peru'09 with Cari Family, Amantani

Description of Curriculum:

MSI’s Cultural immersion focuses on learning rather than touristing, giving back through service, hiking in the Andes, weaving, agriculture, community building, learning music, language and indigenous shamanism and socioeconomic issues. Some hotels and lodges, but also family stays and off-the-beaten track. Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco.  Oh, and  great time too.

Testimonials from two Peru’09 particpants:

Machu Picchu

Thank you for a wonderful time in Peru!! You offered us such a diverse opportunity to really connect with the people, customs and languages. Your continued kindness, constant patience and
positive attitude really helped. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a job well done, an unforgettable time..
G. B.
Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion

I liked meeting the real people of Peru. Randy’s example of energetic interaction with the people worked well and set a good tone for the program.
T. Y.
Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion
More Tesimonials

Stay tuned for more posts about more details, and what we’ll be doing on this year’s 2010 Cultural Immersion Program in Peru.  We hope you’ll consider joining us for a learning of a lifetime. See our detailed itinerary. Learn more about who’s leading the program. Also see posts on Peru to the right.

Peruvian Vegetarian Restaurant Grows Over Time

28/09/2009

Restaurant Salud y Vida Continues to Grow After Over 13 Years in Business – The Owner’s Dream of Cultural Food Institute Becomes a Reality.

By Randall Richards
Hauraz, Peru

D. & G. Sanchez, Restaurant Salud Y Vida

D. & G. Sanchez, Restaurant Salud Y Vida

David and Gracelia Sanchez started with a small vegetarian restaurant and a dream in Hauraz, Peru.  Hauraz is the climbing capital of Peru, and basecamp for climbers headed to Mt. Huascaran (the highest peak in Peru) or the Cordillera Huaywash (Scene of Joe Simpon’s Touching the Void).  Head cook Gracelia, learned about vegetarian cooking while attending an institute in Lima, Peru, and graduated with a diploma in whole cooking arts from the school. Since then, she and her husband have never looked back.  Salud y Vida means “Health and Life”. T

Their small restaurant, originally located on a  side street in Hauraz,  has been through a number of transformations and four or five location changes, only to come full circle back to its original location on Avenue Leonisa Lescano 632. Their new/old location is bigger than it was 12 years ago. They’ve added a second floor, a full professional kitchen and more seating. The second floor also doubles as a meeting and lecture space for David and Gracelia to deliver programs.

Their Cultural Food Institute is a lifelong dream which continues to morph. They cover topics from healthy eating and digestion to larger issues such as factory farming and its byproducts. They teach to the locals as well as visitors from Lima and other countries. David’s other job is a school teacher, and he loves to teach. His warm subtle teaching style is laced with subtle humor and a quick wit.  MSI’s blog will go into more details on Sanchez’s Institute in another entry. Stay tuned.

Joseph, Lisbeth, Kennedy, Kiara & David Sanchez

Joseph, Lisbeth, Kennedy, Kiara & David Sanchez

I first met the two with their *small family of six, (including my future God child, Joseph who’s now 11 years old), when they nursed me back to health after a serious bout of traveler’s bug. I ended up spending almost a month at their restaurant. We became good friends.  I and a traveling buddy were asked to be Godparents of their son, Joseph, which we gladly accepted. *The family now proudly numbers eight wonderful children, who all blend well together, the older girls helping with cooking and chores and some basic childcare.

Back then we talked about their opening an Institute to educate the public about good eating habits. Now it’s a reality.  Besides getting an education at Salud y Vida, Gracelia’s vegetarian fare can’t be beat. Don’t be fooled by the humble decor when you visit their restaurant – Gracelia is a master cook.  Her vegetarian tortilla de vedura (vegetable pancake) has been my favorite for over twelve years. Also try her homemade granola with yoghurt and fruit. I’m admittedly a little biased – they’re great friends, but if you’re headed to Huaraz, make sure you stop in and have some great food…..and say hi to my God child for me.

For more information on Restaurant Salud y Vida, or the Cultural Food Institute contact the author and the contact link at the right of this column.

Their address is: Jiron leonisa y lescano #632 just SE of “Plaza PIP”
In the aerial image below, their location is indicated by the circle. Note Plaza de Armas on the lower right, and the main street indicated by the yellow line running N/S
Restaurant Salud Y Vida Aerial

Cottage Industry in Huaraz, Peru

22/09/2009

Yuri at his storefront, Hauraz, Peru

Yuri at his storefront, Hauraz, Peru

Climbing Gear Manufacturer Grows Business in Huaraz, Peru

I’ve known Yuri Yamirez for about 12 years. We met through his brother Jorge Martel, with whom I guided on Huascaran and other peaks in the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz.  Back then, Yuri had one sewing machine and was making tents and anything climbing related.  He had a chaulk bag inlaid with traditional Peruvian material.  Now, he’s got a staff of 8 or so people and is selling items in Europe and the USA. We’ve had his items on our website’s fair trade page for some time, but haven’t done his stuff justice.

Yuri in Yuraq Janka workshop

Yuri in Yuraq Janka workshop

Peru’s tourism trade is booming, and it’s good to see Yuri has benefited from the rise in Peru’s profile worldwide.  His company is called Yuraq Janka, which means (we think) the Cordillera Blanca in Quechua.  Yuri does great work. We purchase one of his 40 liter climbing packs (model: Chacraraju 40) which is one of the lightest you’ll find anywhere.  If you want more info check out MSI’s fair-trade webpage, or his website, which is still under development but does have an index page and contact info.

Travel Luggage – What’s best?

23/05/2009

Suitcase or Backpack? How about both – A hybrid

Heading to High Camp, Huascaran, Peru

Heading to High Camp, Huascaran, Peru

What you decide to take as your main travel luggage will depend mostly on what you’ll be doing. If you’re climbing Mt. Aconcogua or Mt. Huascaran Sur,  you’ll be needing a “mule bag” full of climbing gear plus an expedition pack, which I usually carry on my back and wheel the mule bag around.  If you’re vagabonding, with overnights in hostels or camping, a backpack is the way to go. If you’re doing a tour where you’ll  mostly be in hotels, a hybrid bag is great.

Travel as lightly as you feel you can,  My rule of thumb is lay out everything you think you want to bring and cut it by at least a third.

But you’ll need some trusty long underwear and possibly a down sweater or something like that if you’re headed to Lake Titicaca in July or August. The reason I mention this, before I answer the size of the luggage and type,  is…  The bulk of  what you may take could be the insulation for the chilly nights in Cusco and Lake Titicaca.

Luggage is a personal preference. I prefer a backpack just because I like the freedom of it, and I have traveled that way for years. (more…)

Peru Program Almost full for ’09

08/04/2009
Guillermo Seminario

Guillermo Seminario

We have one or two more spots for our July 12th trip to Peru.
MSI starting running programs to Peru in 1998 and R. Richards had been high altitude guiding for some years prior to that on Aconcogua and Huascaran and Ecuador’s volcanoes for Alpine Ascents International. Although there are some mountaineering and glacier experience programs on the books, (keep an eye out for New Zealand and Peru), this trip will be a cultural exploration and connection with the local people and areas of Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Nazca.

Family Cari - Amantani

Family Cari - Amantani

We will be staying with Richard Cari and his folks on the Island of Amantani at the Kantuta Lodge. Guillermo Seminario will be our host for most of the trip. This will be our tenth year in Peru, and are grateful of all the wonderful friends and family we now have in this soulful country. Says R. Richards, “I’m also looking forward to getting back to Huaraz to visit with my godchild and his family at Restaurant Salud Y Vida.