In the spirit of international Women’s Day I thought that I’d share one of the amazing programs G-Adventures & The Planeterra Foundation has created. Don’t just travel but leave a positive foot print when you leave.
Sacred Valley, Peru
Despite the close proximity to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, and the thousands of tourists that visit these sites each year, very few communities from the surrounding countryside benefit from tourism. These indigenous communities maintain a traditional way of life and are dedicated mainly to agricultural activities. In order to provide work opportunities for members of this community, men from Ccaccaccollo are employed by G Adventures to work as porters and cooks on the Inca Trail. Through the development of the women’s weaving co-op, we are providing a viable economic alternative for the women as well. n
Since 2005, Planeterra has been working with the Ccaccaccollo community to develop a women’s weaving cooperative. G Adventures groups are able to visit this community as part of the Sacred Valley Tour. Here they meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process: hand-spinning the wool, dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration. Travellers are also given the opportunity to purchase high quality textiles directly from the women who made them. Today, more than 55 women are part of the association, constantly learning new methods of production to make items that our travellers find useful for their trips, while also maintaining the traditional weaving methods to produce textiles made from llama and alpaca wool.
A small group of women from the village of Ccaccaccollo approached G Adventures to know if there was some way they could benefit from tourism on the Inca Trail. Starting with three women, we funded training programs to help bring back the weaving traditions that had been lost over the previous generations. The women who have been with the project since the beginning report that all of their children study in university. The women have been able to contribute greatly to their families’ income, and they are the first generation to be completely literate in Spanish.