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Learning at Maska

Learning Reflection and Purposeful Action in Pisac

Written by Ashley Cipponeri, 2014 Peru: Mind & Body.

All of our perceptions and attitudes are formed through a collection of our experiences. Our Mind & Body group is made up of 13 unique people that agreed to share the experience of traveling through Peru for six weeks. We spent a week in Lima where we laughed through our strengths in Spanish class, challenged our self control through a restrictive dieting cleanse, played along the waves of the Peruvian coast, sang and danced our hearts out, and built strong bonds throughout it all.

2014 Peru: Mind & Body team
As we got closer and grew more comfortable with our bearings, we switched things up and jumped on a bus to Cusco (a 23-hour bus ride). Acclimatizing to the new altitude and surroundings posed new challenges, but no one could deny the beauty of the new mountainous landscape. We explored the town and shops, but quickly returned to our hostel in order to rest before we traveled to our next destination: Pisac.

We all knew that Pisac would be different than anything we experienced in previous cities, but we prepared our minds and challenged our perceptions through group discussions beforehand. We were warmly welcomed by our host family, the Ccapas.


The Ccapa family owns a farm that is nestled in the Sacred Valley. The town is known for the Pisac ruins, but for me and the rest of the Mind & Body group, it is a home full of rich history, wisdom, and acceptance. The Ccapa family showed us amazing hospitality and their genuine passion for the land and their Inca ancestors is inspiring.

We are working hard on the Ccapa family farm because the vision they have expressed is in line with OG’s values. They approach their farming in a permaculture style, every piece of the land is used in an efficient, purposeful, and sustainable manner. As we work to see their vision come true, we are showered with love and appreciation through words, lessons, and undoubtedly, the best Peruvian food we have tried thus far!

Kausay Punku

Kausay Punku, the door for life. Photo by Megan Wycklendt.

One of the Ccapa brothers, Dario, humbled our group with his words. He shared his gratitude by commenting how our work has shown him that there is more to tourists then coming and taking photos. Having us support his vision gives him hope for the success of his endeavours and shows the skeptics that living in harmony with the land is a cause worth working towards.

While all 13 of us will take certain parts of this experience in Peru to heart, I believe these past two weeks have really engaged us to incorporate the practice of reflection and purposeful action in our daily lives. I look forward to the next 4 weeks of adventure!

Our last photo with the Ccapa family.

Our last photo with the Ccapa family. Photo by Megan Wycklendt.

Ashley Cipponeri
2014 Peru: Mind & Body

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