We are the Krafts, a family of four from the United States. We left our home in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 12, 2013, for a yearlong environmentally focused trip around the world. My name is Larry; I’m the father, and my wife’s name is Lauri. Our daughter is Jamie, age 8, and our son is Jason, age 6.
We are teaching our kids as we go (Jamie is in 3rd grade, Jason in 1st), and sharing our learning experiences on our blog and with The Wilderness Classroom, a non-profit site followed by 85,000 schoolchildren.
We will be tackling general environmental awareness, climate change and other sustainability issues in a kid-friendly fashion.
We’re especially excited to be contributing articles to Peru This Week over the next couple of months, as our family has Peruvian roots. My grandfather, Alphonse George Mercado, was born in Peru on August 21, 1908. We were told his father was a Spaniard and his mother a native, perhaps with some Inca origins. He was sent to the US in 1919 at the age of 11 for an education.
He was entrusted to another family, traveled on a ship from the port of Callao and arrived through Ellis Island, New York. The family that he was sent with abandoned him shortly after arriving, and a foster family adopted him. He grew up, met my grandmother, got married, had 3 children (one of them my mother), and had a great life. He passed away when I was 12 years old, but I have terrific memories of him; I always loved spending time with my “Papa.” He never returned to Peru, and never had contact with his Peruvian family.
My wife and I spent a couple of weeks in Lima in 1997, trying to find a family connection. I think we went to just about every church in Lima looking at birth and baptismal records (we had been told he was born in the Lima area, and we knew he had been baptized), but we did not find a connection.
In Peru our plan (always subject to change!) is to spend time in Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Cusco & The Sacred Valley, and the Manu rainforest. We’re also contemplating a stop at Lake Titicaca. We look forward to contributing to Peru This Week, and welcome feedback. You can also see what our experiences were in Costa Rica and our plans for after Peru, by following us on our family blog, and also our kids’ blog. You can also follow us on twitter!
About the Krafts
Larry Kraft has worked for more than 20 years in high-tech companies; most recently, he was Senior Vice President at Minnetonka-based Digi International. Lauri Kraft has managed PR for a technology company and performed full-time in musical theatre; lately, she has been writing a children’s book. Jamie, 8, and Jason, 6, attend Peter Hobart Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both will return to Peter Hobart after their year of travel.
Next stop, Arequipa!