Mary draws inspiration from the beauty of the world around her whether it’s in a cosmopolitan city like St. Petersburg, London or Cape Town, remote hiking on the Inca trail, or in the Swiss Alps or simply visiting with a fellow traveller over local cuisine.  She has travelled extensively, enjoyed hiking and has explored many UNESCO sites. She has co-led many international learning tours over the years with her husband. Mary is an educator and currently a Special Education Consultant for the Waterloo Board of Education. She chairs the Board of Directors for the organization, House of Friendship that “walks with” some of the most vulnerable in our community. Mary was married to Leonard Friesen in 1977 and has called Waterloo their home for the last 20 years.  Together, they have 3 adult children, two in-laws and 5 grandchildren.

2023 Peru: The Sacred Valley of the Incas

On this awe-filled tour of Peru, immerse yourself in the ancient Incan civilization as you visit spectacular ruins in Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu and as you encounter remnants of that culture in our time. The Incas ruled a vast empire along the Western coast of South America from about 1400 to 1533 AD. They left behind unique art and architecture and were known for adapting natural landscapes with terracing, highways and mountaintop settlements set impossibly high in the Andes. Also tour the city of Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an intriguing blend of stone walls built by Incas, Spanish colonial architecture and modern buildings. Tour leaders Len and Mary Friesen make every tour an experience as they take travellers to see hidden gems. On this tour they will share a part of the world they first encountered in 2005.