The founder of this tour operator set up 14 years ago after working as a trek leader and writing guidebooks in South America. She decided to offer alternative trekking routes that no one else was doing, where you’re more likely to cross paths with local people. She maintains close personal relationships with her suppliers and is godmother to several of their children. Her small specialised team have really walked the walks and so know exactly what they’re talking about; they familiarise themselves with the hiking trails every year and believe the Andean way of life is well worth sharing.
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On our treks we use locally produced fresh produce, buying from villages where appropriate. In preference we choose local over imported goods, and encourage the use of Andean products in all our cooking. We pack out all non-organic waste and minimize this by using products with minimum packaging, leaving no litter and keeping all water sources clean, leaving camp-sites cleaner than we find them. We bury organic waste at a suitable depth.
When out on tour we encourage learning about Ecuador, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there. We support a childrens health care project in Quito. Please bring with you and second hand or new warm clothes and shoes, which we will distribute to children in the Quito area through suitable organizations.
Also, 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 & sustainabale.
And we are planting trees as part of a reforestation project in Peru.