SIXTEEN sixth-form students from Abbey College in Ramsey went on a summer expedition to Northern Peru. It came at the end of two years of training, fund-raising and research. The team travelled by dug-out canoe in the heat and humidity of the Amazon jun

Tanya Spalding with pupils at Churuyacu School

SIXTEEN sixth-form students from Abbey College in Ramsey went on a summer expedition to Northern Peru.

It came at the end of two years of training, fund-raising and research.

The team travelled by dug-out canoe in the heat and humidity of the Amazon jungle and went trekking in the sub-zero temperatures and the rarified atmosphere of the Andes.

Before they left for South America the students held a number of events to raise money for a school in the village of Churuyacu, on the edge of the rainforest near the town of Tarapoto. They bought equipment for the school, including a television, DVDs, a guitar, teaching resources and PE equipment.

Emily Waters painting one of the murals at Churuyacu School in Peru

The Abbey College students spent a week at the village school in Churuyaca where they created a vegetable garden so the school's pupils could grow food to eat. They also brightened up the outside of the classrooms with painted murals. The Abbey College students slept on the classroom floor at night and then cleared their sleeping bags and mosquito nets out of the way in the mornings so that lessons could take place.

Deputy head boy Cameron Devall said: "The staff were delighted with all the new equipment and the children's faces lit up when they saw everything which had been delivered.

"The children couldn't believe it when they arrived and all the party food was laid out on the tables. It took them a little time to understand that they were allowed to help themselves to the food, and before long they were filling their pockets with goodies to take home to their families

"In another of the village, we came across some youngsters who were playing on the village football pitch, so we challenged them to a game. It seemed as though the whole village came out to watch.

"Even with rolling substitutes we couldn't keep up with the boys due to the difficulty playing in the thin air of the Andes. I gave up counting the score when we were 15 -3 down but we were treated like heroes at the final whistle."

Abbey College is already planning an expedition next year to the Himalayas.