Wiñaypac

From Machu Picchu we traveled by colectívo to the village of Písac, where we ended up staying for a little over a week. We arrived to Písac on a Friday and settled quickly into our homey hostel (Hospidaje Inti) and an easy routine of waking for coffee in the hostel courtyard, wandering and shopping in the market and hiking in the ruins around town. More on that later. After the first whirlwind week of travel, it was so very nice to settle in and slow down a bit.

We had some some research on a Waldorf-style bilingual Spanish/Quechua school with permaculture emphasis near there called Wiñaypac; we had tried to arrange a visit but were unable to connect with anyone from the school. We incidentally connected with one of the administrators when we arrived in Písac and were able to arrange a visit to the school for Monday. We took a moto-taxi (similar to a rickshaw, sort of like an ATV with an enclosure on the back for passengers), which buzzed us up a windy road into the brown hills above the town, dropping us at the bottom of a trail up to the school which was a collection of gardens and soft adobe buildings nestled under the imposing mountains.

We walked up and spent a couple delightful hours touring the school, seeing the innovative teaching tools and tons of happy children. I was struck then, and again now as I edit these images, of the beauty of the place—in particular the bright colors and soft angles. The head of school invited us back so that R could guest-teach an English lesson; their English teacher was out on leave. We gladly agreed.

Two days later we took the same trip and had an amazing two hour lesson with 4th and 5th graders who are so eager to learn inglés!! I had a great time assisting and of course photographing. I have a million amazing photos of the students, but I’m hesitant to share those yet. We’ll be planning a photo presentation, hopefully in the spring, and perhaps publishing a photobook to raise funds for the school—stay tuned.

For now, please enjoy the photos I took of the space. Wonderfully warm, soft and colorful—the most inviting place to learn.