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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Highlights - everything really but probably Isabela.
The island was so beautiful, lots of areas to explore on your own - the walk to Muro de las Lagrimas, lagoons, beach, watching the pelicans diving for fish around sunset. Los Tuneles was probably our favourite snorkelling trip. Kicker Rock would be a close second, we have some fantastic footage of hammerheads.
All the breakfasts were fresh and enjoyable as were the lunches provided on the trips - especially the ceviche on Los Tuneles tour. Andrea, our main contact was great always on time, very friendly, lots of useful information. Overall organisation was excellent - no problems.
Thanks again Tom - it was worth the wait!!
Neil and Julie Buckley (U.K.), Jan 2020
» Galapagos Island Hopping
To be honest I don't have the words to describe the Galapagos. Breathtaking!!
Thank you so much for the excellent organisation, planning and support. The flights, boat, crew, guides, food and itinerary were excellent and worked really well. The wildlife was simply amazing and the weather perfect.
No low point. Highlight - everything, but in particular seeing a part of our planet that has not been ravaged by humans.
We wished to see as much of the Galapagos as possible and the boat made this possible. We chose Andean Trails because they responded very quickly and efficiently to our original request. Tom has been excellent and we would highly recommend Andean Trails again.
Mark Clixby (U.K.), Jan 2020
» Aida Maria, Galapagos Cruise Boat
How about finishing your holiday to Ecuador with a visit to Puerto Lopez? Here are Kathy's tips on what to see and… twitter.com/i/web/status/12359…
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Ecuador’s Cloudforest is a magnet for those in search of wildlife, bird watching and the elusive Spectacled Bear. Sustainable eco-lodges in the cloud forest are a fantastic base to explore the flora and fauna and are so easily reached from Quito, being only a 2 hour car journey away. Here’s Andean Trails’ low down on the best cloud forest lodges… El Monte El Monte Eco Lodge is a truly inspiring set up, run by a highly enthusiastic couple. They may have been running the lodge for over 27 years, but will still treat you as if you are first …
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