Peru 2013


The Best Quinoa We Ever Had!

01 May 2014, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

As we rose in elevation throughout the regions of Peru we saw the farm crops of quinoa on hills and mountainous ranges.  While stopping at a local eatery we tasted the quinoa fresh from the region and fell in love with this grain.  It was fresh, light and filling – it is one of those moments where you reconnect to the organic or the original purpose of an item and in this case it was the best quinoa we every had.

Quinoa has become increasingly popular all over the world, and a majority of the production takes place in Peru.  According to Wikipedia, the Andean people first domesticated quinoa around 3,000 years ago.  Quinoa has been an important staple in the Andean cultures where the plant is indigenous, but relatively obscure in the rest of the world.  The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains,” and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements.” During the Spanish conquest of South America, the Spanish colonists scorned quinoa as “food for Indians,” and even actively suppressed its cultivation, due to its status within indigenous religious ceremonies.  In fact, the conquistadores forbade quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow wheat instead.


What About Peru?

01 Mar 2014, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

Why Peru? Why South America? Why Machu Picchu? Why the Sacred Valley?  It is very simple.  Because “we say so!”  How wonderful is it to go somewhere just because you make a decision to go?  World travel and travelling adventures should be care free and filled with the curiosity of country, language, culture and exposure to new things.  Our CALE Kids are on track to go anywhere in the world, where they can live out our focus on culture, arts, leadership through volunteerism, and global exchange.  This sense of discovery is perfect for the Peruvian experience. There are many facts about Peru that make it an obvious first destination for our program – the rich historical landmarks and wonders, the cultural accounts of exploration, discovery, war and religion.  Or maybe it is the elaborate architecture, landscapes and environmental respect that provide a piece of indigenous perspective, which is lost in the modern world of technology.  Honestly, there are many things that you could take into consideration when discussing how amazing PERU is to visit on our 1st trip for CALE Now! IMG_4426

CALE Now! Orientation 2014

14 Dec 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

Look out for the orientation session date for Spring 2014! Parents and students will be invited to attend an orientation session to learn about the CALE movement and its long-term benefits to the lives of participants, and to learn about the application process. The program will start Summer 2014. Stay tuned!

Nelson Mandela

05 Dec 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

We lost a magnificent international symbol of hope. Use him as inspiration to learn about and change the world. Madiba lives on through the great works of all people! CALE Kids will shine in his light!

Machu Picchu

19 Oct 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

Talk about breathtaking! Not only was this one of the most beautiful views in the world, but you’ll be literally gasping for air if you run, like I did, up to the look out tower. You’ll look down on the grassy town square, alpacas, and cats, and look up at the Andes Mountains and clouds. No wonder it’s a wonder of the world!


18 Oct 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

We ate the alpaca! No, it didn’t taste like chicken. It actually tasted like stewed beef, and was pretty good. Keeping an open mind and being willing to try local cuisine is one of the greatest joys of international travel. Chances are, you won’t find the same foods at home. And, you just may taste something you love, or at least will never forget!

Cuzco – Sacred Valley

18 Oct 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

In the Sacred Valley we climbed 200 steps at Ollantayambo, an Inca archaeological site that was home to Inca royalty.  Whew!  CALE Kids, get prepared for a work out!  We learned that Spanish conquistadors tore down one of the temples at the very top of the site, and carried the humongous rocks down those 200 steps to the base of the site, where they built a Catholic church.


Money, Money, Money, Money!

17 Oct 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

Where is the best place to exchange money? Before even thinking about where, we have to know the exchange rate to be sure we get a good deal. So, off to one of our trusty sites (and there are many) to research….

1 US Dollar = XX Peruvian Nuevo Soles?

We found that the best thing to do for Peru was to exchange a small amount of money at the airport in the US – not necessarily where you’ll get the best rate, especially since they charge a transaction fee – but it’s convenient. It’s best to have a little local currency on hand for expected and unexpected expenses, like snacks, cabs, etc. You never know, so be prepared!

With a small amount of soles in hand, off we go. After arrival into Peru there are many other options. People will exchange your money on the streets. Bet you don’t see that in your neighborhood! Just be sure the person is wearing an official vest. You can also exchange your money at a bank or store. Look for the signs. We found the best rates in a small store in Lima.

Make wise decisions about your money by knowing how much it’s worth!


On The Plane!

15 Oct 2013, Posted by admin in Cale Now, Peru 2013

You never know whom you’ll meet when the door to conversation is opened by “hello.” As fortune would have it, we met Marco Lopez. Marco and his brother own a lodge in Ecuador called Mariana Miller, which is an ecological island. Ecuador 2015??