The Sol y Luna Hotel, Peru: Great for Travelers, Great for the Community
The Sol y Luna, a Relais and Chateaux property set in the beautiful Sacred Valley of Peru, is one of our favorite hotels in all of South America. Based on the glowing feedback we receive about this hotel, it’s safe to say that many of our travelers feel the same way.
One of the reasons this hotel is so successful is the incredible woman who runs it: Marie Helene Miribel, affectionally known as Petit. Many guests are not aware that Petit did not originally set out to open a luxury hotel. She first came to Peru with a deep desire to help the local population, and specifically to improve the education of the children living in the valley. The hotel was simply a way to finance Petit’s vision of starting the school.
Although this is a region that receives hundreds of international travelers every day on their way to Machu Picchu, many of the Peruvians living in the valley still live in poverty and face challenges with lack of basic social infrastructure such as good schools that are accessible.
Currently the Sol y Luna Intercultural School has around 200 students. 39% of the students receive a full scholarship, 53% receive a partial scholarship, and 8% pay the full tuition. This is assessed on the individual incomes of the families and is proportional to the family’s income. The scholarships come from profits from the hotel and donations. Petit’s own children attend the school, as do a number of children of international professionals such as hotel managers on assignment in Peru.
The school follows the national curriculum of Peru, but they also add specific courses that prepare their students for the country’s working realities, such as by including two hours a day of English classes as well as Quechua, the indigenous language of Peru, and computer courses.
In 2015 the school launched a program for children with special needs, who have very few options to receive an education in this area of Peru. Additionally, some of the children come from remote towns and don’t have the resources to commute to school, and there are students with special needs who require specialized transportation. For all students with transportation issues, the school offers a service that picks them up in the mornings and brings them home in the afternoons.
We love the Sol y Luna as a wonderful base for our clients to experience the Sacred Valley, and it has consistently been a favorite property for our travelers. We also want to support the amazing work they do through the Sol y Luna Intercultural School. In addition to staying at the Sol y Luna on a future VAYA trip to Peru, you can learn more about the organization and donate to the school by visiting their website.