We gave Paddington a home and now Peru is returning the welcome, with homestays a plenty. And as this country is so vast, and the terrain not always negotiable, this is not only the best way to put money straight into a very local economy, but it also gets you right out onto those hiking trails and remote communities. When you hike into the heart of the mountains, it makes you admire the people who live here all year round even more. You will be greeted warmly in Peru, as local people thrive on sharing their homes with guests. And that is how you are made to feel, especially in the highland villages.
What you can do:
You can find homestays listed here
on our site, but another good source of information is The Ethical Travel Guide published by Tourism Concern
, which features hundreds of community based accommodations and small operators all over the world, with a strong section on Peru. If you are planning on visiting remote villages, gifts from home are always welcome, but ensure they are useful. Don't go too over the top, as reciprocating is part of rural Peruvian culture, or "ayni", meaning "today for me, tomorrow for you". Excess gift giving waters down this ethos with time if people feel they can't reciprocate.