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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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Exotic Experiences

Learn more about Oakville’s educational trip to Peru in 2025
Exotic+Experiences

Are you one of the many students enrolled in Spanish here at Oakville? Do you have a passion for travel? Do you have a desire to expand your cultural education and experience? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, you very well may be qualified and interested in the Spanish department’s trip to Peru in July 2025. 

The trip will last approximately nine days: one full week in the South American country and two surrounding travel days. Attendees receive the pleasure of witnessing authentic Hispanic culture, explore world-famous attractions like Machu Picchu, speak with natives, try traditional Peruvian dishes and so much more. 

“Culturally, we try here at Oakville to do a good job of incorporating culture (i.e. encouraging students to go to the festival of nations, Hispanic festivals in the area), but there’s no way to actually replicate going to another country and interacting with natives,” Spanish teacher Alexis Caldwell said. “So I think that cultural aspect of getting to meet people and travel the world will be awesome for students.”

Tentatively scheduled to take place from July 8-July 16 2025, the all-encompassing trip to Peru will provide students with what Caldwell hopes will be fulfilling projects, educational activities and recreational adventures. 

“One of the things that we will get to do is a service learning project. So when Mrs. Nitz and Mrs. King went, they were able to rebuild a playground for the school in the area. I’m not sure what our service project will be, but it will be something along the lines of that,” Caldwell said. “We will also be able to observe a traditional weaving demonstration. The women and men of Peru take alpaca fur and weave and dye it to naturally create these beautiful blankets, patterns and bags. We will get to see that as well as a pottery demonstration and a cooking class.” 

The traveling party will stay in Lima, Peru’s capital, for one night, Sacred Valley for four nights and Cuzco for two nights. With a busy itinerary, the trip to Peru will not only be educational, but hopefully enjoyable for students. However, there still exists some natural concerns and general skepticism toward the trip, considering its duration and distance. 

“The only thing I would be concerned about is if something happened abroad because I would be so far away from home,” Kyle Brand (9) said. 

The coordinators and chaperones of the trip have solutions and reassurance to provide students and parents with. 

“Some kids have never been on a plane. I have done enough travel and am confident with my ability to stay calm on a plane, so that reassurance of my travel experience and that I will be there every step of the way is helpful,” Caldwell said. “Also, the tour company, EF, has incredible safety and liability records and procedures, so I have the most confidence that we are truly safer traveling with EF than we would be if we packed up a bus of kids and took them to Mexico. We are safe.” 

Another thing to reassure those concerned with reliability is the fact that Oakville has successfully and safely conducted similar trips in the past, with the most recent being the trip to Costa Rica in 2022. OHS students and staff also traveled to Peru in 2019. 

“Selfishly, I really wanted to go to Peru. Mrs. King and Mrs. Nitz also took this trip back in 2019 and told me it was an amazing experience. And if I go anywhere, Peru would be it because if you think about traveling, realistically, it’s more accessible to get to Latin America (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras) than South America,” Caldwell said. “I think that I am less likely to go there on my own, but I think students are also less likely to go. Had I taken the kids to Mexico or something, more kids would have the opportunity to travel to Mexico versus traveling all the way down to South America because it is a more unique opportunity.”

Despite the longest travel distance, the most important focus of the trip is the value of it to students’ education. 

“The education of Spanish for these students is going to be so much more elevated, and they’re never going to get that experience again,” Caldwell said. “…I think they are going to learn so much academically and about themselves and culturally.”

The main drawback for big educational trips like these is typically the price. It’s normal for students and parents to be intimidated by the large number at first, but it’s necessary to acknowledge that it is all-inclusive. 

“…I know that the amount sounds scary, but when you think about what you’re getting: your flight, your hotel, all of your excursions, every meal, it’s around $5,000…I’ve done enough traveling to know that the value of this trip is well worth the money,” Caldwell said.

Once everything is planned and accounted for, Caldwell hopes the trip is a remarkable time for students academically and culturally.

“…Getting to travel at 15-18 years old to do so many things, I think, is an experience of a lifetime,” Caldwell said. “They (the students) will really be able to increase their Spanish skills since we will be taking Spanish lessons while we are there. The experience of travel, like flying there, and getting to interact with locals will be a really great experience. The opportunity for self-development is so high, and I am just so excited.”

There is still plenty of time for students to research the practicality for their unique situation. Sign-ups are open until Dec. 31, 2023. Students must be currently enrolled in a Spanish course at Oakville to be eligible. To register, visit this link where you can watch a virtual tour and learn more details. For any other questions or concerns, please contact Caldwell at [email protected]

“I truly think that this experience is going to be absolutely unforgettable,” Caldwell said. “I hope that students continue talking about it for the rest of their lives.”

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About the Contributor
Lucy Caira, Reporter
Hey! My name is Lucy Caira, and I am a senior at Oakville. Besides newspaper, I am involved in cross country, FBLA, STUCO, Spanish Club and more at school. I enjoy watching movies, reading books, sewing and listening to music. This is my first year on newspaper staff at OHS, and I am beyond excited to contribute to this school publication! :)

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