Peruvian Unrest Affects FTHS Trip


Olivia Sullivan, Staff Writer

For over seven weeks, the streets of Peru have been plagued by deadly and violent protests. On December 7th, the former president, Pedro Castillo announced that he would dissolve Congress and install a government emergency. Castillo made these decisions based off of his third impeachment vote, being called a “government failure” by his critics. After his announcement, Castillo’s political allies soon cut ties with him and he was finally impeached. After attempting to seek asylum at the Mexican Embassy, Castillo was detained by security forces and has been in prison ever since. The self-coup of Pedro Castillo has been related back to former dictators of Peru, and the situation has only become more tense by the day.

Following the news of Castillo’s impeachment and arrest, many of his supporters took to the streets to display their anger. Many of these protesters demanded the resignation of Castillo’s replacement, Dina Boluarte. The Peruvian Congress has already approved for the 2026 elections to be moved up to 2024, but many citizens want them to be moved even sooner. The protests have caused the country to go into a state of chaos. Over sixty people have already died due to the riots, with hundreds more being injured. Popular tourist locations such as Machu Picchu have been closed indefinitely, and tourists have been told to “reconsider travel” by the U.S. Department of State.

In November 2022, I was able to sign up for an “Incan Adventure”, through our school and the travel website Explorica. The ten-day trip would take our group all over the country, visiting the beautiful Miraflores, climbing Machu Picchu, and other exciting destinations. A few of my friends also signed up for the trip, and we all were counting down the days until Spring Break, the start of our trip.

However, soon after I registered for the trip, the protests began. Anxious to see the outcome of our travels, I emailed the lead coordinator of the trip, Senora Jimenez. She ensured to me that she was in constant contact with Explorica and would keep everyone updated.

Only a few hours after that exchange, Senora Jimenez emailed the entire group, letting us know that she had come to a final decision. Due to safety concerns and the possibility of being stranded in the country, she had decided to change our trip to a tour of the Mediterranean Coast. As a group, we would visit the beautiful coasts of Italy, France, and Spain. 

Even though the final decision was made almost a month ago, the protests in Peru continue, and prove to become more deadly by the day. I spoke to Senora Jimenez and asked her to elaborate on her decision to change the trip.

“The decision to change the trip was based on the current political situation that Peru is facing. At this moment, there’s not much stability, specifically in the tourist areas. Other areas like the capital Lima, are not affected much. They’re stopping the flow of tourists, basically putting them in danger. Some tourists have been stranded and I didn’t want to put any of our students or parents in that situation.”

Senora Jimenez’s main priority was to ensure that all students and travelers would be safe, as she stated in a quote later on.

“To me, the safety and the well-being of our students is the most important thing.”

While the decision to change the original trip was disappointing at first, safety is always the biggest priority, and the current political situation in Peru would not allow for a safe experience. 

My friends and I are all still extremely excited to go on our adventure to the Mediterranean Coast and we are thankful for Senora Jimenez’s decision which shares our best interest and our safety. I can’t wait to write about the trip once the time comes!