On our treks we minimize waste by using products with minimum packaging, leaving no litter and keeping all water sources clean, leaving camp-sites cleaner than we find them. Rubbish is carried out.
The La Paz office uses both sides of paper for printing and only prints when necessary, they also separate paper, plastic, glass, and inorganic waste and take it to the city’s recycling centre. They accept recyclable materials from tourists in their office. They also offer bottled water for free in the office and encourage clients to refill their water bottles instead of buying plastic bottled water.
On this trekking holiday bottled water is provided to clients at the beginning of treks in order to discourage them for buying plastic bottled water for the first morning of treks (we provide boiled water during the rest of the trek). The Leave No Trace guidelines are followed at campsites and along the trails and clean-ups along trek routes and local rivers are organized too. On trek reusable cloth bags are used for snacks instead of small plastic bags. Biodegradable soap and dishwashing liquid are used on trek.
Our trek guides inform trekkers of local customs and culture and provide an insight into how these remote mountain communities survive.
For all of our treks we buy fresh local produce. In preference we choose local over imported goods, encouraging the use of local products in our cooking.
We are involved in the ongoing training of our trek staff. All our porters/donkey drivers are local to the areas we trek through. They carry a maximum 20kg load, and are provided with tents and food. We pay and treat our staff fairly.
Our Bolivian based partner is a Bolivian company that employs Bolivian personnel. The company pays a fair wage and invests a percentage of profits in community-based development and training.
Since 2006 we have been able to support the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar, on the outskirts of Cusco, with the help of everybody who has travelled with us. We donate USD $3000 a year to this community project.
The project has been set up by volunteer social workers and teachers to provide much needed social and educational support to the children and families of this neighbourhood. Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects. Our contributions so far have paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, improvements to the structure of the basic community owned building and the addition of functioning toilets, materials for the children to take to school, school books, holiday programmes.
We are now also financially supporting the UK registered charity Amantani which is running boarding houses for children in the remote Andean region around Cusco. It is very much in keeping with our ethos of small scale, targetted help which is educational and sustainabale.