Group Flight Information
In an effort to make the flight booking process as smooth as possible, we have partnered with STA Travel. This partnership provides our participants with discounted fares through STA’s contracts with the top airlines to help our travelers get the best possible rates. To learn more about STA as an organization, please check out their website at www.statravel.com.
STA Travel will help our families and travelers book their round trip travel between their home city and our host countries. We are excited to offer this premium service to our participants so that we can focus on what we do best – providing meaningful adventures around the world.
Open Enrollment participants are responsible for booking and paying for their own international flights. You have two options for making your flight arrangements:
1. (Preferred) Book a seat on the chaperoned international group flight.
Each Open Enrollment program has a suggested, chaperoned, group flight that will depart from a designated departure city in the United States and arrive to the destination country. Participants on these flights will have the support of our on-scene Airport Liaison as well as an accompanying Program Leader, on-flight. The Airport Liaison will help gather, coordinate and direct the arrival and departure of our participants in the airport and the Program Leader will accompany the group to and from the host country while on the flight. The vast majority of our travelers choose this option.
The following information is for the chaperoned group flights for this program:
DEPARTURE FROM USA
Date: June 24, 2018
Departs: Miami, Florida (MIA) at 5:40pm
Arrives: Lima, Peru (LIM) at 10:29pm
RETURN TO USA
Date: July 8, 2018
Departs: Lima, Peru (LIM) at 6:48am
Arrives: Miami, Florida (MIA) at 1:55pm
Here’s how to proceed:
Call our dedicated representative at STA Travel at 800-781-4040 to learn about your booking options.
- Tell the agent you are a Smithsonian Student Adventures participant, the full name of the program you are traveling on and your program travel dates. They will walk you through the details of your flight options.
- Once you know your flight options, you can book directly with STA or on your own to travel to the host country.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Should you elect not to travel on the suggested, chaperoned, group flight please email your complete flight reservation to flights@SmithsonianSA.com
Program participants should meet the airpot liaison at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the international flight. If you are traveling on a connecting flight from your home destination, you will meet your flight chaperone at the boarding gate for your international flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please contact Smithsonian Student Adventures at our 24/7 emergency hotline: 303-997-0310.
2. Book your own flight to the host country.
For this option we require travelers to arrive at the same time, or earlier (no more than 3 hours), than the suggested group flight’s planned arrival. We ask participants not to arrive later than the suggested group flight’s time of arrival. If travelers arrive on their own prior to the rest of the group, we will arrange for either a Program Leader or the Country Director meet them when they land in the host country. If a participant arrives more than three hours before the group chaperoned flight, we will have in-country staff pick them up, but a $100 fee will apply.
With either option, we strongly encourage you to book your flights through STA, but it is not required.
STA operates a full 24/7 emergency line and can support you with issues from date changes, cancellations, or general crisis management support wherever you are in the world. To contact them, please call 800-781-4040.
A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event SSA is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. Notwithstanding, our travelers’ well-being and safety is always our number one priority in all facets of our operations and programming, so please know that in case flight delays or cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will keep family members updated on developments as we are able.
Important note: Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.
SSA is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage or for lost or stolen luggage. We strongly encourage all travelers to pack a carry-on bag if possible, or to at least put all valuables and a change of clothes or two in a carry-on along with all important medications and basic toiletries such as a toothbrush, deodorant, glasses, contacts etc.
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm whether this is required on your flight.
SSA will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have support staff in our host countries and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Smithsonian Student Adventures staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Anna first fell in love with Spanish by singing along with Mexican pop music. Her first travels brought her to France, Costa Rica, India, and later a semester in Oaxaca, Mexico where she practiced Spanish and learned to eat copious amounts of cheese. In 2012 she spent a summer in Peru researching medicinal anthropology and traditional medicine in a complementary medicine clinic. She is a camp counselor at heart and worked for four years for Upward Bound, working with high school students making their way to college. After undergrad she spent a year in Seattle as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. In 2014 she explored the Iberian Peninsula, walking over 775 km from France to Spain on the Camino de Santiago – with no blisters! She currently lives in Denver and loves to play music in the park, eat pizza, and drink coffee. Her favorite book is The Little Prince, and she is thrilled to be starting her second year as part of the Walking Tree team.
Peru Country Director and Program Leader
University of Denver – B.A. Spanish, Minors in History and Hebrew
Tommy graduated from the University of Denver. His hobbies include camping, basketball, studying history, traveling, and learning languages. He is fluent in Spanish, and also speaks Hebrew as well. He first developed his love of languages and Latin American culture at the age of ten on a mission trip in Mexico. This experience and the subsequent trips to follow inspired him to study Spanish in school, and to pursue more development work in other areas of Latin America as well. During a semester abroad in college in Cusco, Peru, Tommy had the pleasure of working alongside ProWorld Peru in rural communities like Ocurruro, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. Tommy also has spent time building houses in El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity. He now lives in Cusco, Peru full time!
Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled correctly. For edits, email lacey@SmithsonianSA.com.
- Lillian McIlhaney
- Lillie Reynaga
- Paige Gruber
- Keyeion Ashley
- Dennis Jourdain
- Hannah Kelley
- Kelley Estis
- Erica Faughn
- Jessica Detwiler
Community & Project Details
Your Host Community: Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is one of the few remaining towns laid out according Inca design, with active irrigation canals running along most streets. Multiple ruins can be found in the hills surrounding this Sacred Valley town, and snowcapped peaks can be seen from several viewpoints. Many community members continue to speak with one another in Quechua, but almost all speak Spanish as well. Walking Tree has been working with Ollantaytambo since 2009, and our host families are looking forward to receiving this year’s students.
Your Community Project
The goal for this group this summer is to build a space to eat lunch/hang out to accommodate the growing number of students in the school. You will be building a cafeteria for a local school. The project will be physical, the work will mostly consist of mixing concrete and building cinderblock walls. The eventual goal will be to put in windows, paint, etc.
Living in Peru
Living conditions in Peru are quite different than those in the USA and varies slightly depending on each family. Many homes may be made of adobe brick, while others may be constructed of stones or cinder blocks. Those made of adobe bricks may be more breezy, as they are not as insulated as brick or stone constructions. All host families will have running water, indoor bathrooms and electricity. A typical home consists of a kitchen, dining/common room, bathroom and bedrooms.
Communication & Blog
Travelers will be able to keep in touch with family and friends at home by using Wifi (when available at hotels and restaurants) via Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.
During the program we keep families and friends updated on the group’s adventures as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, please direct all general inquiries to info@SmithsonianSA.com. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S. In case of an emergency, please dial 303-997-0310.
To access the group’s blog, click here.
Photos which appear in the blog will become available after the program ends. We will send out a link to the photo gallery, where you will have access to view and download as many of the photos as you like!
10 pairs of underwear 10 pairs of socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks – some wool socks for cold nights as well)
4 t-shirts (some quick dry)
4 long sleeve shirts
1 warmer jacket for cool nights
1 warm hat
1 rain jacket
2-3 pairs of travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
2-3 pairs of comfortable/hiking/everyday pants (NOT all jeans)
1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer and guys a polo or button up shirt with jeans for such occasions)
1 pair of durable athletic/hiking shoes, appropriate for hiking
1 pair of sandals (optional)
1 pair of work gloves
1 hat with good sun protection
TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid
Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)
Journal and pen
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
Converter (Peru runs 220v, 60Hz AC electricity. Only necessary if electronic device doesn’t have built in converter)
Alarm Clock and watch
Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle with a personal water filtration system (optional- Walking Tree will always provide drinking water)
1 quick-dry towel
Soap for washing your own clothes while in the host community
Deck of cards or other portable games
Host family gift
Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this… Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!