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This program allows students to engage in service abroad! You will complete service projects in Iquitos, Peru and along the Amazon River toward the Brazil border. Learn about communications strategies in real-time as you work directly in the community of Palmeras, working directly with women entrepreneurs as they strive to make their local businesses more successful.

This team will meet with local community members to interview them about their businesses, communication strategies, and will work on potential deliverables that would improve their success. The team will work one on one with community members on other projects relating to community and leadership development, including a variety of cultural exchange activities in this rural part of Peru.

This trip also includes a 2 day trip to Cusco and Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu, one of the most beautiful and historically significant places in the world!

Costs are below. This program is being done in partnership with Utah Valley University (UVU) and can be down for credit through UVU or not-for-credit directly through Youthlinc.  This price includes accommodation, food, water, insurance, an excursion to Machu Picchu, etc. Does NOT include international airfare to/from Peru, passport/visa, Covid-related testing, and spending money.

Cost for credit:
$3,470 to UVU
$495 for tuition to UVU
(Summer semester, 3 credits, COMM 350R)
Airfare (purchase on own)

Cost NOT for credit:
$3,399 to Youthlinc
Airfare (purchase on own)

Dates: May 21-June 3, 2023


PERU 2023

Trip Cost: $4,350

Anticipated Dates:

Peru June: June 11 – June 25

Peru July: July 16 – July 30



Youthlinc has been working in Peru since 2003. Our In-Country Coordinator, Carlos Acosta, has been with us from the very beginning. He is a Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Iquitos and his passion for humanitarian service is vibrant. Carlos has been instrumental in the success of many Rotary Global Grants for various clean water projects in the area.

The Youthlinc team stays at the beautiful Heliconia Amazon River Lodge situated along the Amazon River. Every day the team takes a boat ride to the village. Over the years, Youthlinc has served many villages scattered along the Amazon river including Palmeras, Santa Rosa, Yanamono I, Yanamono II, Santa Isabel, Pucallpa, and Nuevo San Juan. Many Youthlinc participants choose to go back to Peru for a second trip because they form meaningful connections with the local people who welcome the team with open arms.

Youthlinc participants also have a lot of fun during their time in Peru! If you’re lucky you may get to see a pink dolphin jump out of the Amazon on your daily boat ride. You will go on a walk in the jungle where you will see all sorts of animals and bugs. You will go fishing and might even catch a piranha. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even hold a friendly sloth and huge anaconda (but not at the same time). Lastly, you will get to go shopping and explore the city of Lima.

Read the details about our 2019 Team Projects

In-country Coordinator

Carlos Acosta

A native of Iquitos; the Capital City of the Peruvian Amazon, he understands the need and is passionate about the Amazon people. Carlos Started working with his parents from a young age in their family business, first at the Acosta and Victoria Regia Hotels.  After studying business administration in College. He returned to Iquitos and founded the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge, a place where Youthlinc has called home for more than 15 years. Carlos has been a member of the Rotary Club of Iquitos for almost 20 years. He had the opportunity to meet Youthlinc founder Judy Zone and other Utah Rotarian’s affiliated with Youthlinc which sparked a powerful partnership. Through this partnership with Carlos, Rotary and Youthlinc, Carlos has been able to coordinate many projects in favor of the communities of the Amazon. Projects vary from Construction of schools, libraries, roads, cement pathways and bridges, water towers, health fairs, vocational training, business development and micro loans, etc.  Carlos has been an amazing Coordinator, without his assistance and partnership we would not be able to reach these people along the Amazon. Carlos is Married to Nathaly Acosta and together they have three Daughters.

Stacy Nisogi Hansen

Stacy’s involvement with Youthlinc began in 2013 in Guatemala where she was a mentor for the “Cool”tural Committee.  Her committee gave her the award for being a Laser Beaming Clown because she was always ready for fun, but also very focused on getting the work done.  She has lead several Youthlinc teams over the years to Thailand, Kenya, Vietnam and Peru.  Peru is magical!  She is so excited to go back and experience the joys of the Amazon jungle with her team. Vamos!


Stacy is a graduate from the University of Utah and obtained a B.S. in Business Management and a Master of Science in Public Health.  She works in the Safety, Health & Environmental field at a local printing and distribution facility.  Her job is to help others perform their jobs well, but at the end of the day go home safely to their families.  She also has an adventurous side which compels her to jump out of planes, swim with sharks, and explore the world.  Stacy also loves to spend time with her wonderful husband and family, play volleyball, pickle ball, eat food, binge watch t.v., make others smile, and travel the world.  Let the adventure begin!

Emily Richins

Hi!! My name is Emily Richins :) I’m a senior at Utah State University graduating with degrees in Social Work and Portuguese! I’ve been involved with Youthlinc since the 2015-2016 service year when I was on the Cambodia team. Since then, I’ve been to Peru, Kenya, and Rwanda with Youthlinc. I’m so excited to be an ATL this year and go back to Peru!!

Sandy Jones

Sandy tried for three years to be a mentor with Youthlinc. After having surgery, then with the pandemic happening, she finally made it to Thailand in 2022! She is so excited to be the team lead for the Peru-July team this year, and wants everyone to truly experience how amazing it is to be a humanitarian.

Many experiences in Thailand had a profound effect on her, and she has developed training curriculum at work based on these experiences.

All her life she has been passionate about serving, and helping those she is around to reach their untapped potential.

While living in multiple states and regions across the country, Sandy has been exposed to diverse culture, economic and socio-economic factors that have helped her to appreciate many cultures and the unique value that each individual brings. Throughout her professional career, she has had the opportunity to coach individuals, teams, and leaders. Her ability to navigate and gain perspective and insight across the country through these experiences has aided in her success in many leadership and mentorship roles.

She has served many different communities in several leadership positions which include project manager for Make a Difference – Domestic Violence Shelter, project manager for Habitat for Humanity, chairperson for the Special Olympics, and volunteer coordinator at Joy’s Safe House.

Emily Arnold

Hey y’all, I’m Emily. I got involved with Youthlinc through Real Life Intern and then joined the 2022 Fiji July team.  I absolutely fell in love with the program and with the people of Fiji. I enjoy hiking, eating, laughing. Cant wait for this coming year!

Val began his YouthLINC experience with the Kenya Alum trip in May 2008 and also had the opportunity to participate in the July 2009 Peru Trip as MicroEnterpise mentor. On both trips he was accompanied by his wife, Diane who is a RN at McKay Dee Hospital. He is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the Kaysville Rotary Club and had the opportunity to write the Grant Application for next years Rotary involvement in Palmeras Peru for the host rotary Club (Kaysville).

Val has always wanted to get involved in International Humanitarian Service and his experiences with Rotary and YouthLINC the last two years have been amazing. “The mission and program of YouthLINC are so compatable with my goals to see lifetime humanitarians of the rising generations while being able to do good internationally. The experiences in Africa and South America have had significant and life changing impacts on our lives.”

Val lives in South Weber where he previously served 3 terms on the City Council, is involved in community and church service. He served an LDS mission in Northern Argentina in 1972-4 and speaks “forgotten Spanish” but it started to come back after 2 weeks on the Amazon. By day he is employed as the Executive Vice President and CFO of Prime Alliance Bank and on the week-ends he enjoys ATVs, hiking slot canyons, kayaking, volleyball, and traveling. One special interest is exploring the Mayan ruins in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatamala which he had been able to do multiple times in the last decade or so.

He is looking forward to returning to Peru and being involved in the great things being done there, seeing friends there and be part of a new team of future YouthLINC Alums.

Stephen has been involved with YouthLINC for the last 2 years. He began his experience as a student, and then spent the next year as the alumni leader for the Peru team. Before YouthLINC, Stephen was the scholar for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities. His duties as the scholar were to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and assist with World Children’s Day. For World Children’s Day, Stephen was able to assist a McDonald’s branch in raising money for children in need all over the world. He consistently volunteered at the Ronald McDonald which housed families for little or no cost, while a family member was in the hospital. This experience allowed Stephen to see the power of caring and assisting others in need. Stephen has also been active in volunteering with Camp Hobe. At Camp Hobe Day Camp, he helps with fun-filled activities for the kids who are undergoing cancer treatments at various hospitals all around Utah.“For me, seeing the strength of the kids going through chemotherapy akes me feel that I can be as strong as they are. They inspired me to continue to help those in need and that was when I found YouthLINC.”

Stephen’s love and desire to serve others has driven him to pursue a career in medicine. He is currently undergoing the application process for medical schools and keeping and hopes to attend medical school in the fall of 2010.

Stephen enjoys playing basketball, tennis and golf. He also likes to read lots of books and watch lots of movies. He is excited to be serving as Team Leader this year for the Peru team and says he feels honored to be chosen. Stephen looks forward to working with Utah’s Young Humanitarian on this amazing journey.

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