Location: Ollantaytambo

On our final day of relaxation before returning to service, we took a tour on some of the most famous aspects of Peruvian culture. We started our day at a ceramics workshop where we had the opportunity to learn the process and to shape our very own pots. Afterward, we got to design, paint, and fire discs of clay to potentially take home. We then moved on to a brewery of the famous Incan drink: chicha. Chicha is made with the grinding and filtering of fermented corn. We had the opportunity to try delicious yellow chicha brewed today as well as special strawberry chicha typically made for special occasions. We then moved on to the chocolate makers. We were able to grind cacao seeds and sugar together to make and try our own dark chocolate.

Additionally, we bought some of the shop’s 100% cocoa chocolate, which we later tried for novelty. Finally, we finished the day by visiting an apiary and free-handling the bees. Luckily, none of us got stung, and we were able to try and buy some of the fresh honey. While we may have returned home with gifts and confections today, we also returned with a better understanding of the traditions and products of the communities we hope to serve on this trip.