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Trekking for Kids gives me something to look forward to every year. The group makes you feel like family, and in many ways, after a few days or hours really, they do become your family. Each year the kids are incredible: sweet, gracious, and incredibly in need of the help we are able to extend. The world really does get better, you just have to help make it happen! Joining Trekking for Kids allows you that chance.
Erin Glynn, Georgia
Erin Glynn, Georgia
Trip Report: Peru Trek 2005 - Inca Trail
Machu Picchu – A Trek of "Firsts"
In May 2005, a newly-formed Trekking for Kids embarked on our first-ever expedition: a 4-day trek thru the Andes mountains of northern Peru and a visit to a blind children’s orphanage in Cusco.
For four days and 3 nights, a group of 6 trekkers followed the ancient Inca Trail as it wound thru various ecosystems until reaching one of its most famous destinations: the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Even then, our group reflected the diversity that has become synonymous with TFK; from a Spanish singer-songwriter, to a Cuban-American industrial engineer and a student who served as our first documentarian. A married couple, siblings, and single people – we had it all.
That initial trip also seemed to be setting a precedent in terms of traveling in a group made up of people from all walks of life. Not to mention, we also had this ‘For Kids’ aspect of our organization which differentiated us from other trekkers on the Inca Trail, and that was also debuting that year.
Upon reaching Machu Picchu we were met by the rest of the group – another five people that had traveled with us to Peru, but who, instead of trekking the Inca Trail, had chosen to stay behind and work at our first-ever chosen orphanage: El Hogar de Niños Ciegos, home to 100 blind and physically-handicapped children in Cusco.
In the absence of our trekkers, this second group of people, our Honorary Chairman, Dr. Jose Montero, a woodworker, student, filmmaker, and actor, had been hard at work alongside the Franciscan Sisters that cared for the children.
The Hogar itself – where the children lived and studied – was a rather large, stable facility. So more than infrastructure, the children needed special equipment and supplies for the blind such as Braille typewriters and a reading magnifier that were not readily available to them, as well as toys, sports equipment and basic foodstuffs such as flour, rice and beans that would get them thru the year. The $16,500 raised by the trekkers that year went to purchasing and transporting all of these goods and more.
That year the Sisters held a departing celebration for us that would also start a trend of finalizing each expedition with a party hosted by the orphanage. There was music and dancing and sweets for the children.
Truly, this first expedition was an unbelievable experience, one that unbeknown to us, would become the template for what would eventually become the Trekking for Kids that we know today.
Watch how the inaugural TFK expedition came together for 11 Trekkers who went to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to benefit blind orphans in Cusco.