For many years we have been supporting the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar with the help of everybody who has travelled with Andean Trails.
Anually, we donate USD 3,000 to this community project on the outskirts of Cusco, perched in the hills that overlook the city.
You can also read about Maria’s week volunteering in her blog, as well as Nigel’s visit.
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 impoverished neighbourhood.
Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects.
Our contributions have so far paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, structural improvements to the community-owned building including adding toilets, school materials and books for the children and holiday programmes.
You can volunteer or help by donation. If you would like to donate materials, please get in touch with us to work out logistics.
In this neighbourhood there are high poverty levels and little in the way of guaranteed income.
Most houses have had water and electricity installed recently, but most adults work long hours in poorly paid insecure jobs with many of the children also having to work, usually on the street selling postcards to tourists, cleaning shoes, washing cars etc. There is no public transport.
In 2006 the project started a programme of “useful holidays” with a 2 month programme of educational activities for 120 children involving five teachers.
During the holidays courses are run in logic and maths, communication, dance, theatre, crafts, and the kids go on organised visits to local attractions etc.
Also in 2006 a small library was established, to provide support to the children that come to the centre after school to do their homework and school projects.
Assistance is also provided to some of the children so they could register for school, providing text books, note books, pencils, school clothes and so on.
How can I help?
If you wish to contribute please send a donation to the Andean Trails office stating what it is for.
Every penny donated will be given to the Community – it costs USD 30 for a child to receive all the materials necessary for one year at school.
The project has also encouraged mothers to generate their own income by providing training in handicrafts, which the project sells.
Items available to buy include leather bags, jewellery and textiles such as wall hangings.
The project is very happy to receive volunteer workers on a short or long term basis. Daily help is required with the kids, helping with games and studying. Help is also required to look after the building, and volunteers are always made welcome.
Please contact the office for more information on how to get involved.
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We chose Andean trails after finding you online. As soon as we got talking about our options, it was clear you guys were hugely knowledgeable and could help us plan the perfect trip. We had an incredible time!
Overall Organisation: excellent, couldn’t have been better!
Highlight: It’s hard to pick just one, but exploring the suspension bridges above Grey glacier was amazing, exploring the French Valley, and watching a huge chunk of glacier carve away were some of our favourites.
Low point: I’m not sure we really had a low point, it was all amazing.
Accommodation: hotel in Puerto Natales was great, really quirky, good service. As expected the refugios on the trek were pretty basic but perfectly ok, the cabin at Cuernos though was brilliant!
Food: Again, as expected the food in the refugios was very basic, but edible. Our food in Cuernos refugio was actually very good, a nice treat in the middle of our trek! In the hotel, our breakfast was very good.
Guides: We didn’t really have any, but the lady that met us at the bus station and took us to our hotel was very friendly and helpful.
We enjoyed spending a short period of time in Puerto Natales, spending money in the local shops and restaurants. All the locals were super friendly. Hopefully we contributed to the tourist economy. We were very aware of our impact on the natural environment in the park, and the clear impact humans are having with erosion of paths etc. We were as careful as we could be to make sure we had as little environmental impact as possible.
What would we do differently? Not much really. Other than do some training for the hike, 32km on the first day was hard going!!
We love hiking and spending time in the outdoors. We had a couple of friends that had done the W trek and their experience sounded amazing. We weren’t disappointed!
Thanks for all your help and advice in making our trip an experience we will remember forever!
Anna Redman, UK, 2019
» Patagonia Self-guided Trekking Tour
Andean Trails helped us organise a memorable family trip through Peru and Bolivia.
We loved exploring the diversity these countries have to offer - coast, desert, mountains, salt flats and rain forests – with a balance of culture, activity and a little bit of R&R!
I generally like to do the research for trips myself but after the initial research phase, it was great to have Tom as an expert partner, focused on delivering what we wanted to get out of the trip, whilst adding value by suggesting things that would enhance our experience.
He provided an invaluable sense check on what was possible, adding support and expertise to make our ambitious plan a reality - e.g, organising private transfers to get us to where we needed to be before the border closed etc. and providing the reassurance of a ‘go to’ person on the ground for help when needed. He was fabulous to work with and it felt like planning the trip with a friend.
Tom really knows the people and places in all the locations and his suggestions for activities to keep everyone in the family interested and entertained were spot on, meaning we had lots of cool things to do with wonderfully knowledgeable guides, including special times on Lake Titicaca with a home stay on Amantanti.
Thanks for helping us create the most memorable family trip.
Lynn Oliver, UK, 2017
» Colca Canyon Condors Tour
One week left to support the Galapagos Conservation Trust's fabulous fund raiser for the Galapagos Story Book... a… twitter.com/i/web/status/11101…
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Some people dream of sailing through caves of polished marble in a spectacular setting away from it all……. This dream can become a reality in Chile’s remote northern Patagonia where one can find the “Capilla de Marmol / Marble Chapel” which was declared by the Chilean government a Nature Sanctuary in 1994. The nature sanctuary consists of a series of rocky outcrops and islets in Lake General Carrera near the towns of Puerto Tranquilo and Puerto Sanchez. Marble caves These limestone outcrops have been eroded over the last 6,000 years. The waves have sculpted a series of caves …
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