The Andean HUACA Project

The Andean HUACA Project, or "HUACA" (WA-kah) for short, uses this acronym to mean Human Understanding through Archaeology and Cultural Awareness. A “huaca” in Quechua is a place or object that has spiritual and sacred value, such as a temple or even a small rock. HUACA is an immersion in the ancient and modern worlds of the Peruvian Andes, and our journey there will be guided by such questions as, "What is civilization?", "How does colonialism change a society?", and "How do cultures preserve their identities despite outside influences?"

You will be physically active at high altitudes on walks, jaunts, hikes, and a challenging three-day trek in the Sacred Valley that culminates with a visit to the crown jewel of Inca innovation—Machu Picchu. Get to know Cusco, the “navel” of the Inca empire, and in the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo. Converse with NGOs that support indigenous communities in maintaining their linguistic and cultural identities and engage in a peer-to-peer exchange with youth of the Q’eros Nation (the closest ascendants of the Inca, who live in Qochamoqo at ~15,000' above sea level). Take advantage of well-timed breaks to indulge yourself in some of the finer elements of Peruvian cuisine and culture.

Knowledge of the Spanish and Quechua languages is not required, but an open mind and a willingness to take on diverse perspectives is expected. Prepare yourself for the learning adventure of a lifetime!


Join this expedition to the Peruvian Andes to gain unique perspectives on human civilization via hikes through sacred landscapes, exploration of archaeological sites and modern cities, and a multi-day cultural exchange in the Q'eros Nation.

Dates: June 26-July 13, 2024

Program Leaders: Mark Cutler, Analisa Sevilla

Themes: Cultural and linguistic immersion, archaeological exploration, high-altitude adventure

Price: $6,800