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 had an absolutely amazing trip and everything was perfect.
Highlights – there were loads of highlights. We loved Quito – especially the morning we went up the Teleferico. We could see for miles over the city to snow capped Volcanos beyond. Our Equador guide and driver were brilliant – Miguel and Memo. They went out or their way to make sure we saw as much as possible – we wouldn’t have seen or learned as much without them. We saw humming bird, toucans, tangers and a fantastic bird of prey sanctuary that wasn’t on the original schedule.
The Galapagos Islands were amazing. Again we saw so much and the guides were brilliant. They were so enthusiastic about their islands, the animals and conservation.
Accommodation etc – the hotels were all excellent. We loved the quirkyness of the hotel in Quito. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The Septimo Paraiso eco lodge in the cloud forest and the Hacienda Las Palmeras near Otavalo were great – the food at Las Palmeras was really excellent. The airport hotel was spotless and friendly but the set meal of Spaghetti bolognese wasn’t great to be honest. We ate in some lovely restaurants and the guides picked some lovely places to stop for food.
Sol y Mar on Santa Cruz was lovely too.
We loved Hotel Albemarle on Isabela. It was a perfect place to spend 5 nights. The rooms were comfy, clean with lovely balconies and views. There were some really good local restaurants, especially Coco surf, recommended by Tania, our Isabela guide.
The company that did our trip to Los Tuneles were fantastic. The guide was so enthusiastic and determined that we would see loads of wildlife. He took loads of photos with his gopro then downloaded them all for us for free when we got back. The lunch on the boat that day was chicken and rice which all three of my kids said was the best lunch they’d had all holiday. It might have been because they were all cold and knackered – they even took the hot sweet tea on offer.
I hope we benefitted the local communities. We enjoyed our trips to the coffee plantation and the chocolate factory and certainly brought plenty of chocolate and coffee back with us. I would like to think that the money we spent goes in someway to help conservation efforts and to keep the cloud forests and the Galapagos Islands as special and unique as they clearly are.
We picked Andean trails because you are based in Scotland and seemed to understand out requirements and came up with a perfect sounding itinary. Flying from Galsgow via Amsterdam worked well and for us was definitely the quickest and easiest way to get there.
Everything worked out perfectly. We had a totally brilliant time. I think it is all still sinking in...
L. Keany, UK, Aug 2019
» 4-day Ecuador Family Holiday
The highlight of the climb was the whole experience from meeting the crew to training on the glacier to getting as far as I did.
Hats off to the crew. They all did a great job - everyone of them. Osvaldo was great throughout the entire few days; Alex the cook made some great food with some of the other climbers in the high hut commenting about how good the food looked. Thanks also to the porter Adrian.
I thought the climb was pretty tough overall considering the altitude. Had to catch my breath a few times. Osvaldo was great though and went at a pretty steady pace with lots of guidance.
I chose Huyana Potosi because it was an achieveable 6,000m peak. I didn't summit but enjoyed the whole trip.
Mike Stringfellow, Aug, Aug 2019
» Climb Huayna Potosi in Bolivia
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18th September, 2019 8:07 am
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