19th century explorer, Antonio Raimondi, once referred to Peru as a “beggar sitting on a bench of gold.” Indeed, Peru’s riches include more than just gold. The richness and diversity of the Amazon rainforest, the fabulous cuisine and textiles of Cuzco, and the wonder and magnificence of Machu Picchu are only some examples of the culture, beauty, history and nature that make up Peru. Still, with so much to offer, Peru continues to struggle with poverty, social unrest and threats to biological and cultural diversity. Almost half of Peruvians live below the national poverty line despite a billion dollar mining industry, fertile land for agriculture, almost 2,500 km of coastlines, a growing textile industry, tourism and more. Foreign investment and government corruption have redirected the country’s wealth and resources away from its people. The government has, in turn, sought out foreign aid and free trade policies that complicate the situation.
Come visit Peru with Global Exchange and experience its splendors first-hand while forming an understanding of issues such as globalization and trade, resource allocation and privatization, rainforest conservation and community development. Meet Peruvians from various social and economic backgrounds and visit historic sights along the Inca trail, including Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.