(All photos in this post by Nico Ciorogan)

Introduction to this expedition

So WHY did this expedition take place??

First things first – let’s establish the context. Every member had their own motivations and fears – some’s motivation may have been to overcome fear. So, to avoid speaking too much for others, I’ll describe the overall missions and objectives, then describe more detail as to my own. Even though some individual’s goals/missions are described here, there may be more details that I’m not privy to – I’ll do my best.

Let’s start with where the main objective came from (remember that the WHO will be described in another post):

Nico Ciorogan w/ school kids in La Morada
  • Daniel & Antonia

They’ve started a 501c3 (non-profit) called Loose Change (Based in Wayland, MA) that, every year, organize a week-long town-wide event, during which all residents are asked to donate their spare coins. Residents young and old and local businesses, plus the schools and religious congregations, all come together in support of this campaign, making it a true community effort. We raise an average of $10,000 per year.

They use 100% of this money to buy books and educational materials in Peru, which they then ship to schools in small villages perched high in the remotest parts of the Andes. Most of the villages have a one-room schoolhouse, and mostly have no supplies of any kind, and the children attending are often the first in their family to learn to read and write. Every year a few students and residents from Wayland travel to these villages to build, renovate and/or donate to these schools, and to date they’ve completed 29 of these projects.

Loose Change has a commitment to working in close collaboration with the villagers in order to ensure that what is provided is truly needed and will make a difference. For example, on this year’s trip, they found a school building badly damaged by an earthquake earlier in the year, and have pledged the $6,000 needed to repair it.

I gathered that the mission of the organization is to support rural communities with schools, and positively impact school kids, home and abroad, by allowing/empowering them to make big effects on the world. Rachel is an example, whom we’ll meet in the next epi. So, with school supplies in hand….err on horseback, one of the missions was to deliver supplies to La Morada.

Hiking through the Andes
  • Daniel, Rachel, & Dr. Lisa DeLeonardis (Rachel’s advisor who did not attend the trip)

Daniel, Rachel, and Dr. DeLeonardis at Johns Hopkins set out to use archaeological findings to shore up some science on ancient civilization timelines. Also, it would be beneficial to have the information in-hand – hence, scan data. Insert me. “The purpose of the trip was first and foremost to document the artifacts (shaman vessels and monolith), with the hopes of later presenting and/or publishing iconographic analysis with you [me] and Daniel.”

  • Nico & Emi

Nico & Emi have been going on these-type expeditions with Daniel for 10 years now, and after the last 8, were wrapping up the filming of these treks, Daniel, Rachel, and others for a feature-length film (looking to be released in 2020) called “My Teacher”. Check out the social media on this movie through Instagram and Facebook.

  • The Gents DRIVING our asses

Told by 2 of them – to support the philanthropic efforts for their rural neighbors. And… to have an awesome adventure.

  • The Gents GUIDING our asses

Told by 3 of them – the same; to support the philanthropic efforts for their rural neighbors.

  • Exact Metrology Inc. (EMI)

To support a good cause and showcase the company’s capabilities – even though we were getting paid some for it. Web Instagram Facebook LinkedIn Youtube

The Guide Leader cleaning the monolith
  • Artec 3D

For similar, if not the same, reasons as EMI. Web Instagram Facebook Youtube

  • Others that went

It seemed they participated for the philanthropy and excitement of a unique venture for some, and for the others, it was the philanthropy and relationships (building new ones and seeing old friends).

  • Me

I accepted this job because I felt like I was born and raised for it – pretty fit, Eagle Scout, love of Nature/Outdoorsmanship, and Philanthropy. I wanted the value gained from the challenge. My mission/objectives were to make sure that useable data of a monolith and some ancient artifacts made it back to the US to be processed and turned into scientific, and marketing, material for the scientists and EMI, respectively.

Overall, we’ll be looking to use these movies/renderings of the data, written text from the papers and blog, and a brainstorming session to come up with ways for everyone involved to benefit.

—- In any case, throughout the journey, and after, almost everyone’s “Why” was challenged, distorted, and shared collectively. —-

It was… Is beautiful

A cave we explored in the swamp

Who partook on this expedition

How this expedition took place (coming soon)

What/When this expedition was (coming soon)

Learnings/What’s next from this expedition (coming soon)

Stay tuned

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