We do more than tours. We also invest in Quechua communities to protect our culture and heritage! When Choquequirao was “discovered” as a wonderful tourist destination, pressure started building by wealthy entities to displace indigenous families from the villages along the trail. To protect our land and lifestyles, we have been engaging in various projects designed to help indigenous communities reap greater benefits from tourism and become more economically resilient.

Along the Choquequirao trail, we are helping families build hostels to rent beds to tourists for added income. To receive help, the families must collected timbers from the mountains, make adobe bricks, and construct the hostels on their own. Then we provide roofing material, windows, and beds – the items that require cash.  Don’t want to sleep in a tent? We now have beds waiting!

We also started a tropical fruit business in Santa Rosa that families in Marampata collectively run. Currently, to sell an orange to a tourist along the trail they must trek from Marampata to Cachora, take a bus to Abancay and buy the orange, then reverse the journey. In the future we hope they can simply descend an hour (Inca pace!) to Santa Rosa to harvest a variety of fruits to sell. We began with several hundred avocado trees and plan to add a variety of tropical fruits in future years.

To help families survive the sharp drop in income when tourism plummeted during Covid, we built 45 greenhouses so villagers in the mountains around the Sacred Valley could grow vegetables. We also helped 23 families start cuy businesses to diversify their incomes, and school supplies were distributed to 358 needy indigenous children.

Every year we plan new projects that will help local Quechua families become more resilient.

 

 

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