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This accelerated four-month women’s leadership development program includes a 12-day adventure to Peru and offers both a custom executive leadership development program and broad exposure to Peruvian history and culture. The journey features a 6-day, 5-night lodge-to-lodge trek along an authentic Inca route to Machu Picchu – the Salkantay Trail. The program is convened by Elizabeth Becker of Becker & Company Consulting.
The Leaders’ Journey
For two months prior to travel in Peru, we get to know each other as a virtual community through bi-monthly conference calls, Bay Area hikes and gatherings. You will learn from each other and Kate Reid, the president of Call of the Wild, our travel partner who is growing her recently purchased 35-year-old women’s adventure company into a major international player. You receive three 30-minute coaching sessions as you go deeper into your leadership project.
We support each other as we prepare including physical training, discussing cultural and leadership materials and considering our goals. A key focus area is the importance of strong relationships for women leaders. Your new deep relationships will be life-long take-aways from your leadership journey.
National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime – PLUS!
While in Peru, we will spend two weeks traveling between Lima, Cusco, The Sacred Valley, the Salkantay Trail and Machu Picchu. Using this unique cultural and adventure experience as a metaphor for our leadership journey, we will learn about the Inca civilization and Peru’s current world of mixed Spanish and Incan influences. Together, we will explore the Andean traditions and then personally, you have the opportunity to examine how your beliefs and practices have both shaped your history and guide your future.
Each person will bring unique strengths to our adventure. Every day will start with brief activity developed by someone in the group designed to match to itinerary. During the day, the journey will unfold with planned activities and conversations designed to move our leadership plans forward. There will also be time for personal reflection and downtime, important elements of this unique leadership journey.
Experiencing The Sacred Valley
After an overnight in Lima, we fly to Cusco (11.200 ft) and then immediately descend into Peru’s Sacred Valley (9,000 ft) where we acclimatize to the altitude and prepare our bodies for our trek. We get to know each other and consider more deeply what we are learning about ourselves as leaders.
In Urubamba, we visit with Helena van Engelen, the founder and executive director of Kuychi Foundation Niño’s del Arco Iris (children of the rainbow). This Netherlands-based non-profit operates an elementary and trade school and free clinic in the Valley. The program equips homeless and abused children to change their future along with their impoverished families and communities. We discuss the Foundation operations, Helena’s vision, offer our resources and explore what we are called to do in this world.
We return to Cusco for two days to further adjust to the altitude and enjoy the culture. We begin our luxury lodge-to-lodge hike on the “other Inca trail”, El Camino Salkantay. We will be cared for at over 12,000 feet in European-lodge-style comfort as we make final preparations for our trek. We do our final acclimatization hike to an exquisite glacier lake where we dedicate our trek and our leadership vision with an ancient Andean ritual. Be prepared for breathtaking sights – including the condor!
The Trek to Machu Picchu
The next day we climb over the Salkantay Pass (15,230ft) to a remote lodge at 12,900ft and ease into a welcoming hot tub. We start our two-day decent through the cloud forest and into the high jungle. There are four lodges in total, each one unique and amazingly integrated into the land. Our chefs hike with us and serve us outstanding food while on the trail and in the lodges. We have porters, horsemen and guides to support us. This trek, like all leadership work, is a good challenge to explore what it really takes to thrive physically as leaders in our environments.
The Mountain Lodges of Peru Salkantay Trail lodges were built in 2007 by Enrique Umbert, a Peruvian businessman. During our trek, we will understand his vision and multi-phase plan to bring tourism to the remote Andes in a culturally respectful and ecologically sensitive way. Using our surroundings as a backdrop, we will meet with leaders in the high Andes, reflect upon what we are doing with our resources and how we plan to put our gifts into action.
At the end of this ancient Inca trail, we visit the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the travel wonders of the world. The architecture, buildings and stories have a power and grace that are inspirational and empowering. We will re-dedicate ourselves to our leadership purpose and enjoy an unstructured day in Aquas Calientes, at the beautiful resort spa or at the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Bringing the journey home
As we return to Lima, we have the opportunity to meet with the inspiring members of the Women’s Presidents Organization Lima Chapter who each run multi-million dollar businesses in Peru. We will reflect on our leadership journey and make plans for getting back to our lives. Back at home, we will join together for two post-journey sessions to talk about how our Machu Picchu Women’s Leadership Journey has affected our lives, what we are doing differently in our worlds now and what lies ahead. These affirming experiences will last a lifetime.
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