Lincoln-Way Students Travel to Peru over Spring Break
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Each year Lincoln-Way students studying Spanish have the opportunity to try out their language skills during a Spring break Tour to a Spanish-speaking country. In past years, students have traveled to Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands and Argentina.

This year 31 students from all four Lincoln-Ways traveled to Peru to visit Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, winner of Trip Advisor's World's Top Landmark Award and named one the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Spanish teacher and trip sponsor Linda Egnatz commented, “My biggest thrill as a language educator is watching my students put their classroom skills to work in the real world to communicate with people they would otherwise never meet.

Immersion opportunities like student travel are the best ways for students to acquire the language proficiency needed to earn the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy.”

The 10 day tour began in Lima where students visited catacombs, learned about the indigenous cultures of Peru and saw mummies preserved by the ancient Inca. From Lima, they flew to the city of Cusco from which they toured several sites in Peru's Sacred Valley and learned about the incredible feats of engineering and construction for which the Inca are famous.

Students then traveled by train to spend two days at Machu Picchu where they toured the ruins high atop a mountain and hiked a portion of the famous Inca Trail.

The tour ended with visits to the indigenous people of Taquille Island and the floating Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca (at 12,500') where the Uros people live off the lake by making their island, their houses, boats and furniture of reeds that grow in the lake.

During the tour, students tried local specialties such as alpaca, cuy and Inca Kola and used their Spanish to talk to locals and barter for souvenirs.

“Our Peru itinerary was a physically difficult one, with some altitudes over 14,000'. Our Lincoln-Way students met each challenge with spirit and determination and I was so proud when they maximized each chance to use their language skills. I've no doubt that they'll do the same when presented with opportunities to use their Spanish in the future,” Egnatz added.