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High School
For students currently in grades 9–12

Chile & Peru

Climate Impacts & Sustainable Solutions

July 16 — August 6
$6,990 + airfare

Chile & Peru

Climate Impacts & Sustainable Solutions

July 16 — August 6
$6,990 + airfare

On this three-week South American journey, explore how climate change is affecting the diverse landscapes and communities of Chile and Peru, from increased tsunami risks to the impacts of lithium mining in support of a green energy transition. Meet with scientists and professionals to delve into how natural resource management, public policy, and other strategies are being used at the local and national levels to address these climate challenges. In Santiago, Chile; in the stunning Atacama Desert; and in the Sacred Valley of Peru, immerse yourself in local communities, bond with your fellow climate-conscious peers, and embark on adventures in these varied landscapes. Return home with new scientific, technical, social, and economic perspectives on climate issues.

• Meet scientists in the Chilean Navy to learn about disaster risk reduction strategies
• Explore the Chilean desert and how a global energy transition impacts this environment
• Observe flamingos in the famous salt flats of the Atacama Desert
• Explore the Andean cloud forest and hike through Machu Picchu, the famous Inca site
“This program was unlike anything I have done before. I feel grateful to know that I took the chance and embarked on this journey.”
—Brooke A., North Star High School, Lincoln, NE
Featured

Expert

An Expert joins each Career program for a portion of the itinerary, lending their insights and perspectives to the experience.
Antonia Samur headshot
Antonia Samur
​​Antonia Samur is a Staff Associate at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at the Columbia Climate School, Columbia University. Antonia has experience working in the interface of climate impacts and human development, focusing most of...
View Bio
Antonia Samur headshot
Antonia Samur
​​Antonia Samur is a Staff Associate at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at the Columbia...
View Bio
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Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Miami, and fly together to Santiago, Chile. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Santiago & Valparaíso, Chile — 7 days

Begin in Santiago, Chile’s bustling capital, situated between dramatic Andean peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Meet your program expert, and join a workshop on risk management and natural disasters. Travel south to the historic mining town of Sewell, and discover the importance of copper and lithium mining to Chile’s economic development. Visit a neighborhood outside Santiago where community organizations have built and maintain retaining pools to prevent annual flooding. Travel to the nearby coastal city of Valparaíso, and meet the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy for a field discussion on tsunami risk, warning systems, and lessons learned from past natural disasters. In both cities, explore colorful streets and vibrant histories, learn the stories behind the street art that covers each building, and build connections with the people and cultures on the front lines of these climate risks.

San Pedro de Atacama — 4 days

Travel north to the Atacama Desert, one of the richest regions in the world for copper and lithium and also the driest non-polar desert on earth. This region is home to unique and diverse landscapes: explore a pre-Hispanic settlement in the mountains, walk expansive salt flats home to three different species of flamingos, and venture to the highest geothermal field in the world. Through meetings with local contacts, learn about the complex impacts of the extraction industry on local climates, namely drought and water contamination, as well as the important role these raw materials play in driving the global energy transition. Learn about responsible mining initiatives in Andean countries and the measures introduced by the Chilean Government to help the country adapt to hotter and drier conditions in the near future.

Cusco & Pisac, Peru — 5 days

Fly from Antofagasta, Chile, to Cusco, Peru. Explore impressive archaeological sites and learn about the advanced hydrologic engineering employed by the Inca to manage water in the steep Andean landscape. Visit Cusco’s water treatment plant with an expert and connect with local communities to see firsthand how Peruvians navigate the geographic, political, and social conditions that determine access to water. Explore the Potato Park to learn about Peru’s 4,000+ varieties of potatoes, and learn how climate change has affected agriculture and the country’s incredible ecological diversity.

Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, & Cusco — 4 days

Spend the final days of the program exploring Ollantaytambo, a small town with a bustling market that has been continuously occupied since before the Inca. Present your independent projects, and end your program with an excursion through the Andean cloud forest to Machu Picchu. After exploring the site, return to Cusco and enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group before returning home.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Cusco, Peru, to Miami with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Miami, and fly together to Santiago, Chile. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Santiago & Valparaíso, Chile — 7 days

Begin in Santiago, Chile’s bustling capital, situated between dramatic Andean peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Meet your program expert, and join a workshop on risk management and natural disasters. Travel south to the historic mining town of Sewell, and discover the importance of copper and lithium mining to Chile’s economic development. Visit a neighborhood outside Santiago where community organizations have built and maintain retaining pools to prevent annual flooding. Travel to the nearby coastal city of Valparaíso, and meet the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy for a field discussion on tsunami risk, warning systems, and lessons learned from past natural disasters. In both cities, explore colorful streets and vibrant histories, learn the stories behind the street art that covers each building, and build connections with the people and cultures on the front lines of these climate risks.

San Pedro de Atacama — 4 days

Travel north to the Atacama Desert, one of the richest regions in the world for copper and lithium and also the driest non-polar desert on earth. This region is home to unique and diverse landscapes: explore a pre-Hispanic settlement in the mountains, walk expansive salt flats home to three different species of flamingos, and venture to the highest geothermal field in the world. Through meetings with local contacts, learn about the complex impacts of the extraction industry on local climates, namely drought and water contamination, as well as the important role these raw materials play in driving the global energy transition. Learn about responsible mining initiatives in Andean countries and the measures introduced by the Chilean Government to help the country adapt to hotter and drier conditions in the near future.

Cusco & Pisac, Peru — 5 days

Fly from Antofagasta, Chile, to Cusco, Peru. Explore impressive archaeological sites and learn about the advanced hydrologic engineering employed by the Inca to manage water in the steep Andean landscape. Visit Cusco’s water treatment plant with an expert and connect with local communities to see firsthand how Peruvians navigate the geographic, political, and social conditions that determine access to water. Explore the Potato Park to learn about Peru’s 4,000+ varieties of potatoes, and learn how climate change has affected agriculture and the country’s incredible ecological diversity.

Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, & Cusco — 4 days

Spend the final days of the program exploring Ollantaytambo, a small town with a bustling market that has been continuously occupied since before the Inca. Present your independent projects, and end your program with an excursion through the Andean cloud forest to Machu Picchu. After exploring the site, return to Cusco and enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group before returning home.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Cusco, Peru, to Miami with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

Alex-Basaraba-headshot
Alex Basaraba
View Bio
2023_XITGRB_PCCUCHARG_Jen Nilsen
Jen Nilsen
View Bio
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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

Alex-Basaraba-headshot
Alex Basaraba
View Bio
2023_XITGRB_PCCUCHARG_Jen Nilsen
Jen Nilsen
View Bio
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About the Destination

Stretching along the western edge of South America, Chile boasts a diverse landscape that includes the Andes Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atacama Desert. The country is also recognized for its rich cultural heritage, influenced by a blend of indigenous traditions and European customs. Peru is known for its rich Incan history, awe-inspiring archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu, and colorful music, arts, and crafts. Peru is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, with landscapes ranging from coastal deserts to Amazon rainforest, lush valleys and the Andes mountain range. In addition to its rich cultural history, modern Peru is vibrant with cultural diversity, bustling urban centers, and world-renowned cuisine (featuring over 4,000 varieties of potatoes!).

Language

Spanish is the primary language of Chile, while Peru is a multilingual nation. Though Spanish is an official language throughout the country, indigenous languages like Quechua and Aymara are widely spoken in the Andes.

Climate

In Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, temperatures range from 40–60ºF (4–15°C) during the day in July, which is winter in the Southern Hemisphere. In the northern desert, temperatures range between 25–70ºF (-4–21°C). The climate in Peru’s Sacred Valley is temperate throughout the year with daytime lows ranging from 50–70ºF (10–21°C). Many places that we visit are at high elevation—10,000 feet or more (3,000 m)—so after dark, temperatures can dip sharply to 35–45ºF (2–7°C).

Cuisine

Chilean cuisine combines indigenous flavors with European influences, offering a delicious glimpse into the country's culinary identity. Typical meals may consist of asado (barbeque), seafood, rice, and vegetables. Peruvian cooking blends Spanish and other international influences with indigenous ingredients, the most common of which are corn, potatoes, quinoa, and rice. These ingredients are combined with rice, chicken, fish, cheeses, grains, beans, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables to produce the complex sauces and stews that make up the delicious local cuisine.

About the Destination

Stretching along the western edge of South America, Chile boasts a diverse landscape that includes the Andes Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atacama Desert. The country is also recognized for its rich cultural heritage, influenced by a blend of indigenous traditions and European customs. Peru is known for its rich Incan history, awe-inspiring archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu, and colorful music, arts, and crafts. Peru is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, with landscapes ranging from coastal deserts to Amazon rainforest, lush valleys and the Andes mountain range. In addition to its rich cultural history, modern Peru is vibrant with cultural diversity, bustling urban centers, and world-renowned cuisine (featuring over 4,000 varieties of potatoes!).

Language

Spanish is the primary language of Chile, while Peru is a multilingual nation. Though Spanish is an official language throughout the country, indigenous languages like Quechua and Aymara are widely spoken in the Andes.

Climate

In Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, temperatures range from 40–60ºF (4–15°C) during the day in July, which is winter in the Southern Hemisphere. In the northern desert, temperatures range between 25–70ºF (-4–21°C). The climate in Peru’s Sacred Valley is temperate throughout the year with daytime lows ranging from 50–70ºF (10–21°C). Many places that we visit are at high elevation—10,000 feet or more (3,000 m)—so after dark, temperatures can dip sharply to 35–45ºF (2–7°C).

Cuisine

Chilean cuisine combines indigenous flavors with European influences, offering a delicious glimpse into the country's culinary identity. Typical meals may consist of asado (barbeque), seafood, rice, and vegetables. Peruvian cooking blends Spanish and other international influences with indigenous ingredients, the most common of which are corn, potatoes, quinoa, and rice. These ingredients are combined with rice, chicken, fish, cheeses, grains, beans, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables to produce the complex sauces and stews that make up the delicious local cuisine.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Theme

Whether your goal is to pursue a career in climate science, natural resource management, public policy, or science journalism, this summer program provides opportunities to dive deep into issues of climate change. Learn about risk and preparedness regarding extreme weather events, the impacts of mineral and lithium mining upon water resources and pollution in Chile’s capital and northern desert, and how glacial melt and weather changes affect water management and agriculture in the Peruvian Andes. Students will engage with real-world knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and discover how stronger partnerships and networks can effectively address climate challenges.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required. However, if you speak or study Spanish in school you will have opportunities to practice while communicating with local people. If you don’t speak Spanish you will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—interview local contacts and write a blog about natural hazards, compare climate impacts and risks in Chile and Peru with those at home, or design a short presentation about climate solutions in Chile.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. The program spends a lot of time outdoors, and students should be prepared to hike for several miles on multiple occasions. July and August are winter in South America, so students should be prepared for cooler temperatures and shorter days. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Altitude

This program visits high altitude destinations—Cusco (11,200 ft or 3,415 m); Pisac (9,750 ft or 2,970 m); and Ollantaytambo (9,200 ft or 2,800 m). While in Chile’s Atacama desert, the group takes day excursions to high altitude locations outside San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (up to 14,000 ft or 4,267 m).

Accommodations

Students stay in doubles to quadruples in small hostels and family-run guesthouses. Leaders have singles in the same locations as students. Breakfasts are often taken on-site, with lunches and dinners out in cafes and restaurants.

Meals

The group eats most meals in hostels and restaurants and occasionally visits local markets to shop for picnic lunches.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Theme

Whether your goal is to pursue a career in climate science, natural resource management, public policy, or science journalism, this summer program provides opportunities to dive deep into issues of climate change. Learn about risk and preparedness regarding extreme weather events, the impacts of mineral and lithium mining upon water resources and pollution in Chile’s capital and northern desert, and how glacial melt and weather changes affect water management and agriculture in the Peruvian Andes. Students will engage with real-world knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and discover how stronger partnerships and networks can effectively address climate challenges.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required. However, if you speak or study Spanish in school you will have opportunities to practice while communicating with local people. If you don’t speak Spanish you will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—interview local contacts and write a blog about natural hazards, compare climate impacts and risks in Chile and Peru with those at home, or design a short presentation about climate solutions in Chile.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. The program spends a lot of time outdoors, and students should be prepared to hike for several miles on multiple occasions. July and August are winter in South America, so students should be prepared for cooler temperatures and shorter days. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Altitude

This program visits high altitude destinations—Cusco (11,200 ft or 3,415 m); Pisac (9,750 ft or 2,970 m); and Ollantaytambo (9,200 ft or 2,800 m). While in Chile’s Atacama desert, the group takes day excursions to high altitude locations outside San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (up to 14,000 ft or 4,267 m).

Accommodations

Students stay in doubles to quadruples in small hostels and family-run guesthouses. Leaders have singles in the same locations as students. Breakfasts are often taken on-site, with lunches and dinners out in cafes and restaurants.

Meals

The group eats most meals in hostels and restaurants and occasionally visits local markets to shop for picnic lunches.

A Day in the Life: Chile​

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Santiago, Chile.
8:00am
Enjoy a delicious breakfast with our guesthouse hosts
9:00am
Head into the mountains with your expert to explore flood mitigation efforts
1:00pm
Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the metropolis below
2:00pm
Return to Santiago, and visit a nearby market
5:00pm
Journal, read, work on projects, or relax
7:00pm
Have dinner with your group at our accommodations or a local restaurant
9:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule

A Day in the Life:
Chile​

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Santiago, Chile.
8:00am
Enjoy a delicious breakfast with our guesthouse hosts
9:00am
Head into the mountains with your expert to explore flood mitigation efforts
1:00pm
Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the metropolis below
2:00pm
Return to Santiago, and visit a nearby market
5:00pm
Journal, read, work on projects, or relax
7:00pm
Have dinner with your group at our accommodations or a local restaurant
9:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule
“I was able to gain a wider perspective of climate change and learned how to communicate about certain topics through lessons with our expert.”
—Dajeong W., Bergen County Academies, Ridgefield, NJ

This Program is Directed by

Julian Hartmann-Russell

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

This Program is Directed by

Julian Hartmann-Russell

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Chile & Peru
Climate Impacts & Sustainable Solutions

2024 Dates
July 16 — August 6

Duration
22 days

Tuition
$6,990 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
16–18 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami


 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
July 16 — August 6

Duration
22 days

Tuition
$6,990 + airfare


 

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
16–18 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

Share this program:

Request More Info

Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Cuba
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Spain
France
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Tuscany
Barcelona
Tokyo
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
Iceland
France & Holland
Italy & Greece
Spain
France
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i

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