We keep group size to a maximum of 16 on this trip into remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon. We travel through the The Tambopata Candamo Reserved Zone. The Reserve Zone was created in 1990 by the Peruvian government working in partnership with local grassroots and international conservation organizations. It protects the biological diversity of the entire watersheds of the Tavara and the Candamo Rivers and most of the watershed of the Tambopata River. This covers a huge diversity of forest habitats and wildlife, including pristine ox-bow lakes harbouring kingfishers, caiman and giant otters, spectacular waterfalls, clay licks visited by macaws, monkeys and tapirs, and rivers with white, sandy beaches.
We stay at the Tambopata Research Centre. The lodge was built using traditional techniques, there is no hot water or electricity – it is a small scale low impact operation. Conservation efforts at the lodge are geared towards research into the local macaw population, understanding their reproductive ecology to develop suitable management techniques. Work is shared with research scientists and local communities.
It is our policy to carefully dispose of all waste. All non-organic waste is carried out and organic waste is buried at a suitable depth. Food is purchased locally and we aim to use food products with as little packaging as possible, and encourage cooking with Andean products. We cook with gas and use recyclable glass as opposed to plastic wherever possible.
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 vacation 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, vacation 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.