Peru: Health Care in Development

MAM - Peru

This experience is open to learners from the Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) and UTM undergraduate students participating in the BIO399 iROP only.

Applications  for MAM students are NOW OPEN.

Applications for undergraduate BIO399 iROP students will open on February 14, 2018. Contact us at for more details.

The Program

The International Education Centre through UTM Abroad and the Mississauga Academy of Medicine at UTM in partnership with Operation Goundswell have created a unique opportunity for MAM and BIO399 iROP students to travel together for a week in June with the support of a UTM faculty and staff to explore the health care system in the Sacred Valley of Cusco-Peru!

Operation Groundswell’s “Healthcare in Development” program explores Peru’s long history of traditional medicine and more recent transition to “modern” healthcare. From the cobblestone streets of the Incan capital of Cusco to remote farming villages in the surrounding Sacred Valley, we’ll explore traditional Andean ways of life and learn about Peruvian healthcare as it is practiced today. We’ll visit local clinics, dig into sustainable agriculture, taste highland cuisine, interact with traditional medicine, and examine holistic approaches to health and wellness. We’ll work on innovative community initiatives and learn alongside local practitioners. The immersive classroom will challenge students physically while pushing them to think critically about healthcare and service delivery in a unique cultural landscape.

Selected students will spend a week in Peru learning about their healthcare system. Undergraduate UTM students and learners from the Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) will collaborate on selected research projects as part of this journey. MAM and UTM faculty will provide support and mentorship as collaborators develop their research projects. All collaborators will be encouraged to disseminate their research findings through conference presentation and/or publication. 


  • This program provides a unique opportunity for MAM and undergraduate students to learn from, with and about one another prior to, during, and after the international travel experience.
  • Visit modern health clinics in Cusco and see how traditional medicinal practices continue to serve populations in the Sacred Valley.
  • Stay on an organic farm high up in the altiplano and learn about sustainable agriculture, traditional medicine, and hear the local story of the Incas.
  • Visit the “lost city” of Machu Picchu and explore the structures and terraces of this archeological wonder.


  • Dates: June 2 to June 10, 2018 
  • Estimated cost: $3500
  • Eligibility: This experience is available to MAM and BIO399 iROP undergraduate students. Undergraduate students must apply for and be accepted to the BIO399 iROP prior to applying for the international component.
  • Application information:
    • ​​Learners from the Mississauga Academy of Medicine: Applications will be open from Monday, November 27, 2027 to Wednesday, January 10.
    • Undergraduate BIO399 iROP students: Applications will be open from Wednesday, February 14, 2018 to Sunday, March 4, 2018.  

Important Dates

Date Description
Friday, December 1, 2017 Applications Open - MAM students
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 Applications close - MAM students
Tuesday, February 14, 2018 Applications Open - Undergraduate BIO399 iROP students
Sunday, March 4, 2018 Applications Close - Undergraduate BIO399 iROP students
Friday, March 9, 2018 Second Instalment Due
Friday, March 30, 2018 Third Instalment Due
Friday, April 27, 2018 Fourth Instalment Due
Friday, May 11, 2018 Orientation
Friday, May 25, 2018 Fifth Instalment Due
​Wednesday, March 21 from 10 to12 pm, Friday April 6 from 2 to 4 pm, Tuesday, May 8 from 2 to 4 pm in DV3130 Mandatory Safety Abroad Workshop - only one session is required
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Pre-Departure Session
Friday, May 25, 2018 Final Pre-Departure Session
Saturday, June 2 to Sunday, June 10, 2018 Travel Dates
Friday, June 22, 2018 Post-Trip Session

Need To Know

  • The cost and itinerary are subject to change;
  • Students must be enrolled in part of the Mississauga Academy of Medicine or the BIO399 iROP to be elgible for this experience and will be required to abide by the corresponding UTM Abroad application requirements and deadlines to participate in the international experience; 
  • Fees must be paid in full by the required deadlines;
  • To prepare for the trip, students must participate in all mandatory pre-departure and post trip sessions.


Our partners at Operations Groundswell will lead you through a truly immersive 8 day experience filled with planned daily excursions, educational programming and opportunities to interact with the local community. This is a sample itinerary subject to change.



DESCRIPTION: We’ll begin our journey in Cusco, the capital of a once mighty empire. There our group will acclimatize to the sights, smells, sounds, smiles and altitude of the region. We’ll hit the city’s cobblestone streets and learn about the country’s colonial history before hiking to the Temple of the Sun and Moon for a glimpse of the valley’s Incan past.

Our mornings will be spent in a cozy guesthouse complete with a cup of coca tea. Then we’ll kick-start our conversation around the world of healthcare with a visit to Peru’s National University of Saint Anthony, tours of local clinics, and talks with innovative local practitioners. Then its time to taste traditional Andean food and hands-on learning about the health benefits of native grains and home-made energy bars. Still got room for dessert? We’ll take a chocolate-making workshop and hear about the healing powers of cacao.

By seeing the frontlines of service delivery, meeting with local businesses that promote healthy living, and engaging with NGO’s that leverage the tourist economy to improve health and wellness, Cusco will help us begin to unpack the idea of “healthcare in development” while students interact with some of the complexities and challenges in
Peru posed by geography and inequality.


LOCATION: Kausay Punku, Maska 

DESCRIPTION: Next, our journey will take us to a family farm in the remote village of Maska, about an hour and a half

Outside of Cusco. The project, known as Kausay Punku, serves as a conservatory for ancient grains and seeds, a school of traditional organic agricultural practices, and a place of practice for traditional Andean medicine. There, we’ll  learn about herbal and homeopathic medicine, natural construction, and traditional farming. Our days will be spent getting our hands dirty harvesting eucalyptus, building with adobe and distilling medicinal plants into pure  essential oils. Evenings will be full of traditional cuisine from the sierra and real stories of the Inca.


LOCATION: Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu 

DESCRIPTION: In morning, we’ll set off to Aguas Calientes, the roadless outpost nestled just under the South America’s most famous archeological site. From there we’ll ascend the giant stairs that lead to the sun gates and down into the ancient city of Machu Picchu. On its iconic terraces, local guides will share with us the history of this wonder of the world and its continued importance to Peru. While exploring the ruins, we’ll also talk about the conservation efforts underway to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Before we descend back to Aguas Calientes, we can cap off our visit with an optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view of the ancient city from above the clouds.



DESCRIPTION: A staple of every OG program, disorientation is an opportunity to debrief as a group. So, back in Cusco we’ll get a chance to kickback, relax and reflect on our incredible journey. We’lll fill our bellies with ceviche and tell stories, we’ll sip Pisco sours and share lessons learned, we’ll sit under the stars and think about our impact and how we can do to bring it back home.

Applications for this experience for MAM students are NOW OPEN. Contact us at should you want more information.