We Bid Her Adieu as Jelks went to Peru

Lauren at Machu Pichu
Lauren Jelks at Machu Pichu


This summer, I had the intensely amazing experience of traveling to Peru for a two-week volunteer program. It took months of convincing my parents, weeks of shopping for the proper attire, and a full day of travel, each way. The program I went with, Global Leadership Adventures, specializes in programs throughout the world to involve 13- to 17-year-olds in new communities in countries that aren’t entirely developed.

For my Peru trip, we spent six hours every weekday at a preschool, helping to construct a greenhouse. Due to the staple foods of the country, and the low socio-economic level of the community we were in, a greenhouse would drastically increase the children’s accessibility to healthy, fresh food.

The icing of the cake, however, was the final weekend of the trip. We began by hiking to 15,000 feet on a crest of the Andes. We camped overnight, hiked down several hundred feet the next day, and then began a three hour walk along the Inca Trail. The fruit of our labor came the next day, when we were able to bus up to Machu Pichu for the morning and explore one of the seven wonders of the world.

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