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Experiencing Community in the Andes Through the Eyes of a Teen Homeschooler

21 January 10:33 am
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My name is Miro Siegel, a 15 year old co-founder, and my mother and I produce Project World School. And yes, while it is true that I am a co-producer of this event, I am writing this strictly from the perspective of an attendee, who had nothing but great experiences and amazing times, not only from the interesting and thought provoking activities, but from the deep friendships that were developed there.

Project World School

When asked what stuck with him the most, Alan (13 years old) responded “The memories of meeting the new friends I made there.”

My mother and I have lived out of the country for around 5 years now, and the whole point of the retreat was to share this immersive lifestyle with anyone interested. By bringing teens together, we created such an overwhelmingly positive community, and through the social aspect I had witnessed things I had never even considered before. All of the attendees of the 2014 Cusco event had an incredibly deep friendship by the end of the retreat, and we learned vastly more through each other than we could have in isolation.

Project World School


Whether it was from the deep cultural immersion, or just through a vital feedback loop, the retreat has left us all with many everlasting memories, all very unique to our own experience, such as our visit to the Andean ‘cuy’ (guinea pig) farm. And when we participated in the slaughtering and dissecting of our lunch, what was an eye opening experience to one, was a harsh learning opportunity to another, and we made sure to share those emotions, and console those who needed it.

Similarly, when we explored the ancient wonders of Sacsayhuaman, we spoke about alternative theories and possibilities. This sparked many friendly discussions and arguments, and through them we developed our own opinions, each differing from the last. From conventional to conspiratorial, all points of view were valued.

“I have a better appreciation of how big the world truly is and how diverse it is from place to place.” Said Samone (17 years old), when asked how she perceives the world differently after the retreat.

Project World School

There were challenges of course, it wasn’t all a walk in the park. In fact, it was more a walk on ancient trails, and strenuous sunny paths, that pushed our physical capacity at times. When we made our hike to Machu Picchu, we lugged around our packs and gear for around 6 hours through a plush, and humid cloud forest, only to finally reach one of the worlds wonders, where we spent another 5 or so hours under the hot, Andean sun, exploring the breathtaking, pre-historic relics. But above all,
we grew, by astronomical amounts, and learned our limits, and more importantly, our strengths.

And throughout the month, we all defined our strengths, our strengths in leadership, in independence, and the ability to support one another.

So, to really sum it up, I leave you with a quote by Wiley (16 years old), “I want to go everywhere, see everything. The world is great, guys.”

This retreat has opened many new possibilities and experiences, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for reading.


About the author

Miro Siegel is the 15 year old co-founder and producer of Project World School. He lives in South America with his mother and enjoys the unschooling lifestyle. He’s been living on the road for the past 5 years, a third of his life and has traveled to 14 countries. Miro’s main passion is writing and literature and is currently working on a couple volumes of short stories. You can find out more about Miro at his website RaisingMiro.com and ProjectWorldSchool.com.

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