Program   Home Base  -  Safety  -  Team

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PERU LAB: Ancient Cultures & Modern Innovation

Explore concepts in entrepreneurship, social impact, and product design. Connect with local startups in Cusco, Peru to explore real world problems and collaborate to develop solutions.

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Program Highlights:

  • Spend two days trekking beneath the Andes and visit the spectacular archeological site of Machu Picchu

  • Spend three nights in a homestay in Umasbamba

  • Explore, Discover, & Launch your own small business idea

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Itinerary Snapshot:

Day 1: Bienvenidos a Peru!
Day 2: Head to ‘Home Base’ at GenUp Cusco
Day 3: GenUp Cusco Program Session
Day 4: GenUp Cusco Program Session
Day 5: Travel to Umasbamba for Homestays
Day 6: Field Work in Umasbamba
Day 7: Field Work in Umasbamba
Day 8: Chinchero - Puzcamarca - Huchuy Qosqo
Day 9: Huchuy Qosqo - Lamay - Maras Moray Salt Mine
Day 10: Machu Picchu Adventure
Day 11: Pitch Deck Prep at GenUp Cusco
Day 12: Pitch Day at GenUp Cusco!
Day 13: Reflection and Cusco Tour
Day 14: International Departures

 

The Peru Innovation Lab offers a unique, hands-on learning experience for students to embrace big ideas and new cultures alongside their peers. Itineraries combine classroom learning led by skilled instructors in Cusco, Peru, cultural immersion and home stays, with trekking and adventure activities supervised by our experienced OneSeed guides.  

Takeaways:

  • An introduction to invaluable tools to help tackle real-world problems.
  • Lessons in design thinking, cross-cultural collaboration, and active listening. 
  • A chance to develop leadership skills, foster curiosity, and build new friendships while gaining an appreciation for another country and culture.
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DAYS 1-4

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Meet the local OneSeed Innovation Labs and settle into your hotel in Cusco, Peru where you'll get to know your OneSeed Labs peers.  

The next few days will be spent at GenUp Cusco, your "Home Base" for programing in Cusco that serves as a coworking space and incubator for small business in Peru.

Here you will learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, including Designing with Empathy and Human-Centered Design.

Days will be broken up into programming at GenUp Cusco and excursions like visiting Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun) and the Inka Museum. Meet with local entrepreneurs and hear their stories of how they grew their business.

Select a challenge to focus on, identify the main customers who might benefit from your proposed business solution, and form working teams.  


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DAYS 5-8

Travel to the Umasbamba, a small village of only 32 families located at close to 13,000 feet. Stay with a local family for three nights as you explore your surroundings and meet with locals.

Everyone in Umasbamba is a subsistence farmer, growing potatoes and grains. All of the homes are made of adobe and have no internal heating. The remote location has isolated them from many opportunities for growth, education, and commerce.

Continue to uncover opportunities for a product or service to improve lives and create job opportunities.  

Spend time in Umasbamba prototyping your new business idea. Reviewing, processing, and brainstorming are essential to create any new business, and you’ll have your team members and your own experiences over the past week to draw from.  

Rest up and get ready for your trek through the Peruvian forest and the Urubamba Valley!


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DAYS 9-14

Say goodbye to Umasbamba and head to the ancient Incan site of Chinchero where you will begin your hike! Follow the winding trail through lush forest and continue towards a small Peruvian community at the bottom of the valley. The trail takes you up over the second pass and into high open country. That evening, spend the night under the stars at a camp set up by your team of guides.

Continue the hike through awe-inspiring Incan ruins, ending your trek at the ruins of Huchuy Qosqo. Visit the Maras Moray Salt Mines and travel by bus then train to Aguas Calientes for the night. Wake up early and be the first to enter Machu Picchu! Take a guided tour of Machu Picchu to learn about the Incas and visit the areas of greatest significance.

Head back to Cusco and be sure to consult with your team members and group leaders as you work on your pitch deck over the next couple days.

On Pitch Day, present your plan for a new business to your fellow team members, teachers, and the local entrepreneurs you met at the beginning of the program. Reflect and celebrate on the final day in Cusco! Take a city tour before a celebration dinner with your team.


INCLUSIONS

  • medical/evacuation insurance for all participants confirmed 30 days or more prior to program start date
  • airport transfers
  • 8 nights accommodation in Cusco
  • 3 nights of homestay accommodation in Umasbamba
  • 1 night accommodation in mountain tea house 
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • all meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner  
  • trekking permits and entry fees
  • guide & porter services
  • all ground transportation  
  • guided excursions

NOT INCLUDED

  • personal items  
  • trip cancelation insurance (highly recommended)
  • international airfare and meals during travel
  • snacks during trek
  • beverages outside of designated meals

 

*All itineraries are subject to change based on local conditions and the judgment of the guide. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary due to medical considerations or the ability of participants as judged by the instructors. For complete terms and conditions, see here.

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HOME BASE - PERU

GenUp Cusco is a coworking space geared towards freelancers and entrepreneurs in Peru. GenUp will serve as our "Home Base" for programming when we're not in the field. During programming at GenUp, students will meet with and learn from local entrepreneurs. The space has private conference rooms for classes, a cafeteria, patio, and shared workspace.

 

 

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IN THE FIELD - Umasbamba & trekking the andes

On Days 5-10, the group will travel to the small village of Umasbamba, home to only 32 families of subsistence farmers who primarily grow potatoes and grains. Students will be spend their time in and around Umasbamba for a three night homestay with a local family. Students will stay in groups of four or more and will have dinner with their host family every night after the day's activities.  

After field work in Umasbamba, students spend two days trekking along through the Peruvian forest and the high mountain plains below the Andes mountains. Students will spend one night camping under the stars in shared double tents set up by OneSeed staff and guides. Everyone will eat meals together prepared by OneSeed staff or host families. For the last night in the field, students will stay at a lodge in Aguas Calientes, just 20 minutes outside of Machu Picchu.

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Safety is rule number one, and our Labs team is dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all high schoolers during their two-week program.

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If you travel with us, you share our adventurous spirit and our commitment to learning from and collaborating with people in the countries we visit together.

But no adventure is without risk — and at OneSeed, we take risk management seriously. Please take some time to review our approach to keeping you safe and your role in managing risk on the trail on our Safety Abroad page.

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Chris Baker: Labs Instructor

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Chris was born and raised in West Virginia, but now calls Denver, Colorado home where he lives with his wife Elly and their two sons. After graduating from Yale University, Chris lived and studied in Nepal where he started OneSeed Expeditions in 2011 as a way to harness the power of travel for good. With 10% of all OneSeed Expeditions trip costs designated for micro-lending, more than $300,000 has been invested to date in more than 650 small-scale entrepreneurs around the world through the OneSeed Microfinance Fund. Chris is a former Kiva Fellow, Teach for America Corps Member, NOLs alumni, and currently serves as a Business Mentor at the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute.

When he’s not working, Chris loves a good trout stream, dumplings, and getting haircuts in unfamiliar languages.  


Glenna Barron: Labs Team Leader

Glenna originally hails from Chicago but now calls Denver home. After working in advertising and tech, Glenna decided to make a move to the outdoor industry and hasn’t looked back. Travel is in her blood (her mom was a flight attendant), and Glenna has found a home at OneSeed Expeditions working as the Head of Operations. She is the country director for all OneSeed trips to Tanzania and manages the OneSeed Microfinance Fund, working with our nonprofit partners around the globe to grow and expand the impact of microfinance through travel.

When she’s not cooking or baking, Glenna enjoys everything Colorado has to offer - skiing, hiking, swimming, yoga and barre-ing. Have a question about any of our Labs destinations? Ask Glenna!

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LOCAL GUIDES & STAFF

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