Summer in Peru

Glen Rock High School junior, David Panger went for three weeks to Urubamba, a small, outlying, rural village in Peru.


David Panger and other peers discovering what Peru has to offer.

While most high school students spent their summer lying on the beach or hanging out with friends, Glen Rock High School junior, David Panger went for three weeks to Urubamba, a small, outlying, rural village in Peru. David went with twenty other high school students, who came from the United States or Canada. His peers and he had the opportunity to do community service and learn the culture of Peru.

“My parents first came to me with the idea of traveling to a foreign country over the summer about a year ago,” David Panger said.  “I was a little hesitant at first, because this was my first time away from home by myself.”

David’s parents discovered an organization called Visions Service Adventures, which is a national and international community service program for high school and middle school students. David then did a lot of research about the opportunities he would get in each country and immediately became interested in Peru.

After a lot of planning and dedication, David and twenty other high school students went down to Peru for the first three weeks of August 2013.

Throughout the trip, the students did a lot of community service including building a pre-school, constructing a canal for farmers, structuring more efficient stoves for local families, and helping Peruvians of all ages with their English at a language school.

“The memory that will stay with me forever was when we finished building the pre-school. We had a big celebration with all of the children,” he said. “Seeing all those children thanking us and singing us songs really put a face on the project that we were doing. It felt so good seeing what we

David Panger had the chance to interning with local bee keepers.

had accomplished and the joy that it brought others.”

The students also got to do a lot of non-community services. They hiked up to Machu Pichu, explored the town, played soccer with the locals, and shopped in the artisan markets.

“The average day for a Peruvian is relatively simple. Many of them work on farms and sell what they harvest at the market,” David said. “Many of the Peruvians walk all the way to the market to their farm, which could be miles away.”

David also had the opportunity to stay in a local home for a day and helped a family with their farming.

“Basically I was treated like part of their family for the day which was pretty cool.”

Reflecting back of his trip, David learned a lot about the culture of Peru and he also learned a lot of life lessons.

“One thing that I will take away from this experience is that some people are not as fortunate as many of us in the states,” David said. “I know everyone realizes that many of us are privileged, but a whole other thing to witness what I have first hand.”