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Schools in the Cotahuasi Area of Peru Take Learning Outdoors

The multi-school student camping and study trip for students from the Coahuasi area of Peru took place on 11-13 October 2013, near the 60-person pueblo of Luripampa, 15 hours up the Cotahuasi Canyon from the city of Arequipa, at an altitude of 4,300 meters.

Schools from the Cotahuasi area have had environmental educational camping trips with 70 GLOBE club participants every spring, over the past 5 years.  Each year has an emphasis area.  This year, the focus was on the habitat of an amazing cactus Puya Raimondi. Students  were organized into study groups to measure and document;  weather, clouds, land cover, water quality and bird sighting and habitat. The giant Puya Raimondi cacti grows up to 4 meters in height and are rare and endangered due to habitat loss.  The cactus produces flowers once every 80-100 years, and then dies. The flowers provide nectar to a wide variety of birds and insects; including the Giant Hummingbird.

Puya Raimundi cactus

Students and the giant Puya Raimundi cactus

On the camping trip, young GLOBE students, working in teams, were able to use their training in scientific investigation in an environmentally unique area. They also experience camping in a harsh environment and learned about how to adapt to it. Lasting memories were a result of this trip!

Camping in Luripampa near Cotahuasi

Camping in Luripampa near Cotahuasi

These young scientists will be able to share their knowledge with the rest of their communities and family members.  With their appreciation of Luripampa and other camping areas, they will be able to help protect these unique habitats in the future, as leaders and teachers in their own right.