The basic itinerary of this trip is supported by some wonderful additional experiences which can be added on. The Cusco home cooking trip is a half day experience where you can go shopping with a local chef in the local market, then go back to his house to learn how to cook a Peruvian meal, which you then enjoy with your chef-tutor. Not only does this bring you close to the local community, but you share in Peruvian culinary skills and traditions.
The weavers tour is a fabulous chance to see traditional Andean lifestyles in remote Sacred Valley villages. In Andean homes here weaving is still a very strong part of traditional life. An outside appreciation of local skills and crafts has a very positive impact on local culture.
The partner we work with on this trip has strong conservation ethics, and they are linked to a local charity which supports forest conservation. They protect and add value to the biological and cultural heritage of Peru, creating jobs for and with the participation of the very people who find themselves at the cutting edge of biodiversity destruction. This pioneering approach to ecotourism run by the local people of Peru has created thousands of sustainable jobs principally by systematically showcasing Peru’s most attractive animals and plants in a way that was never conceived of before. Half of the 26,000 tourists who visit the rainforests of southern Peru each year now pay more and stay longer in the rainforest to enjoy close-up views of macaw clay licks, Tapir clay licks, Giant Otters, or Andean Cocks of the Rock. These four compelling attractions were not options for tourism prior to this work. In effect, we have used the scientific data flowing from our basic and applied biological research to generate wealth and jobs.
Every booking with this company brings funds to a charity which supports grassroots projects in various countries. The charity backs children’s orphanages, wildlife conservation and health centres amongst other things.
To help with carbon offsetting but also backing poverty alleviation and improve environmental biodiversity, we automatically plant trees on behalf of every client that travels with us. Currently this is done in a very degraded area of northern Malawi, where we plant quick growing exotic trees to provide firewood to the local population so that they don’t chop down the indigenous forest.
The company gives written guidelines to every traveler on how to travel sensitively with regards to local people, and as regards to environmental responsibility. This includes all policies relevant to each trip. No overseas guides are used on any trip run by them, all local guides are used – often supplemented by indigenous guides too where suitable.
This company has a Porter Policy in place to protect against exploitation of porters. This includes checking that porters are properly fed and clothed for the purpose, are paid properly and are generally not exploited in this work.