Smiles from Lima

The trekkers finished the four-day, 26 mile trek to more than 13,000 feet and saw  their first glimpse of Machu Picchu when they reached the Gate of the Sun.

The trek is over and onto the mission, the reason they have been training and working so hard to raise awareness and funds to sponsor surgeries of children born with cleft lips and palates in Peru.  The weekend was spent at the hospital in Lima where they witnessed firsthand the life-changing surgeries and met the children and families whose lives will be forever changed.

Thank you Sue, Stacy, Mary, Diane and Emily! IMG_3746IMG_3794IMG_3800

Change the world. Change the future. Change a life.



Machu Picchu!

Today the trekkers will arrive to their destination, the famed Machu Picchu.  Tonight they will celebrate their achievement in the mountain town of Aguascalientes.   They will get their first shower in over four days and get to sleep in a real bed!

Tomorrow they will travel back to Lima to meet the children for whom they have laced up their hiking boots and did the hard work of raising money and awareness for the children awaiting surgeries.

Change the world. Change the future. Change a life.



The Climb to 13,828 Feet

Yesterday the trekkers set out on a trip of a lifetime, hiking the famed Inca Trail.

Today, they were faced with one of the most difficult challenges of their life – the climb to Dead Woman’s Pass at 13,828 feet up in the Andes Mountains. In camp tonight they will celebrate their victory.

Thank you Sue Moerer,  Stacy Brehman, Mary Newstrom, Diane Rubright and Emily Samfield  for embarking on this incredible journey and changing the lives of the children you will soon meet at the Lima mission site.

Change the world. Change the future. Change a life.

Dead Woman’s Pass 13,828 feet

The Journey Begins

Everyone got a good night rest under the light of a full moon in the Andes before setting out on a trek of a lifetime.

This morning they checked in at the Government Checkpoint where the trailhead is at 7,000 feet. They crossed the raging Urubamba River on a rope bridge and will trek for about six hours before arriving at their first campsite at 8,500 feet.

The five trekkers are in excellent hands led by our wonderful Trail Guide, Rony, who will be taking them up the mountain along with  cooks and porters carrying all the the supplies, including the food, tents, and everything they need for the four-day trek!


sacred Valley

No Turning Back!

This afternoon, five volunteers embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, to raise awareness and funds to bring smiles to children across the globe through Smile Network International.

The group consists of a wide range of individuals ages 17-61 including a US Air Force Veteran, psychologist and 17-year old high school student. They departed today from Minneapolis for Peru where they will hike the Inca Trail – a four-day, high-elevation 26-mile stone-paved trek to the famed city of Machu Picchu.

After completing the trek, they will participate in a Smile Network mission in Lima, Peru where they will meet the patients and families and see firsthand the life-changing surgeries.  The trekkers give their time, heart and financial support to make these surgical missions possible. To date, this group of trekkers has raised nearly $20,000!

You can monitor the team’s ascent to the 14,000 feet summit as they progress to Machu Picchu here on the Smile Network blog or by following Smile Network on Facebook.

As for some words of wisdom for the group … No turning back. Can’t wait!