Peru - Beautiful Diversity
Peru stands out in the Americas for its geographic and cultural diversity. Its coastal desert is punctuated by fertile valleys once inhabited by pre-Incan civilizations and leads eastward to the foothills of the Andes.
Rising up from the coast and running from its northern border to Lake Titicaca in the south, the Peruvian Andes are home to millions of highland Indians who preserve much of their traditional way of life and still speak their ancient tongue of Quechua.
Frequently referred to as the "Land of the Incas," Peru is famous for its numerous architectural wonders. ProPeru's programs are based in the Incan capital, Cusco and in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley between the enchanting Incan cities of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo.
Belize is the only mainland Caribbean nation and boasts cultural diversity and stunning natural beauty including the second largest barrier reef in the world. Just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, this English speaking country offers an uncommonly broad variety of cultures from which to experience and learn. In addition to its bio-diversity and geographical beauty, Belize also boasts a rich ethnic and cultural mix.
Belize achieved independence from England in 1981 and maintains many characteristics of a British colonial port. The economy of the country is based on the export of sugar, fruit, lumber, and fish. As the longest sustained democracy and politically stable country in Central America, Belize increasingly relies upon eco-tourism as a source of income. ProBelize's programs are based in San Ignacio. San Ignacio is a market town and tourist center in the western part of the country set among tropical hills.
Mexico - Geographic and Cultural Diversity
The state of Oaxaca's diversity and culture make it a major destination for travelers and students. The many indigenous groups in the area boast over 90 dialects in 14 distinct languages. The state of Oaxaca has the greatest biodiversity and variety of natural terrain of any state in Mexico. Within a few hours, one can travel from the sandy beaches of the Pacific coastline to tropical jungles to thickly pine tree-forested mountains of over 10,000 feet.
ProMexico's programs are based in the city of Oaxaca and the surrounding coummunities. Oaxaca offers an extraordinary array of cultural activities and serves as a logistical base for international students and travelers. One look at the cobbled streets, shaded squares, colonial churches and busy markets and it is clear why UNESCO declared Oaxaca a World Heritage Site in 1987. Travelers can explore Zapotec, Mixtec and many other archaeological areas, and explore world-renowned craft markets in the local communities.