Tartans Travel the World

The Academy of the Holy Cross gives students the opportunity for new experiences first-hand whenever possible. Having a global perspective of the needs in other countries, and providing service to meet these needs, enables our students to become women “who responsibly meet the social, spiritual and intellectual challenges of the world."


The Sacred Valley

Machu Picchu Perú  

Reflection by Carly Sinay ’17, Samantha Sinay ’17 and Margaret Dwyer ’17

In Cusco, we enjoyed the parade with all the dancing and the culture of it in the city of Cusco. When we went to the Plaza de Armas, seeing the architecture of the Incas was beautiful and amazing to see that they could do that in their society. The best part was the parade outside the basilica. Seeing people dance the traditional dances and enjoying their culture was a very nice experience.

Reflection by Sara Castellano ’18 and Zora  Hermans ’18

Sara: "Today we were able to sleep in before we drove to Pisac to visit a large market area, full of Peruvian culture, vibrant colors, and many unique souvenirs. There were many alpaca sweaters and blankets, and Peruvian silver. We got to interact with local vendors, buying various Peruvian goods (in Spanish of course). I was able to buy many trinkets for my family and a few things for myself.  During the evening we went to a beautiful mass (in Spanish) and got blessed with holy water."

Zora: "Rosita is a two year old girl who now lives at The Hogar de la Niña Santa Rosa. Yesterday, her father dropped her off there, because her mother died while giving birth to a second child. Her family, like all the other children at the school, live in the mountains as farmers. She is sent to this school, run by the Daughters for the St. Vincent Charity under the Cusco Archdiocese, to receive a good education and learn valuable skills that will help them get jobs. As a group, we spent about three hours there today, bonding with the girls (ages ranging from 2 to 11) and even buying beautiful artifacts that were handmade by them in the school. We played with them and each got a bracelet made by the littler girls. Visiting and learning about the school was definitely one of the highlights of the trip."

Reflection by Mary Schech ’17 and Kelly Simons ’17

We began today by visiting the temple of the sun in Ollantaytambo. Not only was the view breathtaking, but so was the climb up to it. The difficult and dangerous climb made us feel more connected to everyone. Next we went to the Incan terracing of Moray, where potatoes were grown. On the bus ride to the top of Chinchero, we drove on long, winding roads, yet, when we finally got to the top, we found the area to be very flat. The plains allowed us to closely see some of the tallest mountains in the Andes. Finally, we visited salt mines. No one knew what to expect, so when we first caught sight of them, we were all astounded. There were hundreds of bright white pools cascading down the mountain, making for an amazing view. As we journeyed back to our hotel, our day was ended by a beautiful sunset over the Peruvian mountains.

Reflection by Elyse Keenan ’16 and Brittany Menjivar ’17

Today, we woke up early to catch the train to Aguascalientes. After an hour and a half of riding past gorgeous landscapes, we arrived in the town, where we visited Machu Picchu, one of the ancient wonders of the world. Being there with all of our friends was so amazing. Pictures simply don't do it justice; its size and beauty are breathtaking. We saw the temple of la Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the homes of ancient Incan farmers, and even got the chance to take a picture with a llama. We will never forget our Machu Picchu experience.

Reflection by Nia Brumme ’17 and Sabrina Yescas ’17 

Early this morning we took a flight to Cuzco Peru. From there we took a bus to Sacsayhuman, where we got to see magnificent ruins. The change in altitude was noticeable, but we all adjusted very well. We also got to see Alpacas, which was one of our favorite parts! Even though the Alpacas were shy, we were able to take many pictures with them. Afterwards, we visited an ancient cave where mummies had been preserved and sacrifices were made. We learned about the Pachamama, who is the goddess of the Indigenous, the mother of the earth. Afterwards we took a very long bus ride to where we are currently staying in Yucay. The hotel is beautiful with an amazing view of the mountains. We are very lucky to be staying in such a beautiful hotel. We can't wait for the rest of the trip and all the great food and adventures!

"We are having a wonderful time in Peru and have arrived safely," writes Sra. Teresa Koudjeti, who is chaperonging the nine-day trip to Machu Picchu with Dr. Lourdes Orta. During the trip the 15 students and faculty chaperones will tour the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco.

4920 Strathmore Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895  (301) 942-2100  
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