Adventure Philanthropy: Peru

P1000699The kinds of folks who choose adventure travel are already a self-selecting group: they are likely to be more aware of social and ecological issues facing the communities they visit, and therefore, presumably more inclined to want to be of service. This is what Diane Valenti, owner of Llama Expeditions in Peru, is betting. The Andean trekking specialist is creating new ways for clients of adventure treks to give back to the communities they encounter.

“As with so many stunning regions of the world, the needs here for the basic sustenance that keeps people alive are profound. Travelers who come with me to explore Peru always ask how they can help,” said Valenti.

Built into the company’s intrepid trekking, surfing, horseback, and exploring itineraries are visits to, and opportunities to support, such organizations as: the Kausay Wasi Clinic, providing medical services to communities that don’t have regular access to doctors; Inca Foundation‘s school for gifted children in and around Chinchero (where schooling is not guaranteed at all); Waves for Development, which works with local youth and visitors via “surf voluntourism”; the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco; the Living Heart Cafe providing food and medical supplies for Andean women and children; Aldea Yanapay and it’s after-school programs for children; and the Yanapana Peru co-op where local artisans make jams and textiles.

Not every tour company is as forward-thinking as Llama Expeditions, but if you have a vacation booked, call the organization with whom you are booked, and ask if there is a way to somehow, for even a brief moment of your trip, give back to the community where you will be exploring. Urban, rural, it shouldn’t matter: need is need, and you can help and support local initiatives wherever you may wander.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Started by former office worker, Lucy Borja, Casa Generacion offers an open door and a welcoming home to the “street children” of Lima, Peru. Forced to live a life of brutal survival, the abandoned children of Peru’s largest city are treated like criminals by local law enforcement; stripped of any rights and hounded from alley to jail just for trying to survive. But while the Peruvian government sees them as criminals, Lucy Borja sees children, just “grown up” children who need nothing more then love and a pathway off the mean streets that have become all too familiar to them.


  2. Interesting article.Thank you for sharing your experience with your solo travel.


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