Trek Responsible Tourism and Environmental Care
Peruvian Andes Adventures is a responsible tourism operator, caring for our environment and supporting & respecting local people:
We at Peruvian Andes Adventures are conscious that we are extremely fortunate to be able to live and work in such beautiful and diverse areas as the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash. But we are only too aware of the fragile nature of our environment, with rapidly receding glaciers, water shortages and strains on the delicate flora and fauna of the mountain areas.
We are also conscious that as our business has grown, we have been able to provide good employment to many people, from the qualified mountain guides to the donkey drivers and their assistants who come from the small villages high in the mountains. We feel an obligation to support our loyal staff and their communities, not only by providing them with steady work but also to attempt to preserve the mountain environment in which they live and work for future generations.
We have developed a Responsible Tourism Policy and Environmental Care Policy and are slowly implementing the ideas and policies with our staff and the local communities. Change is not rapid and there is resistance to changing habits which have been entrenched for generations, but little by little we hope to have a positive influence.
Peruvian Andes Adventures are one of only a few agencies in Huaraz who have made a serious attempt to implement an Environmental Care Code with trek staff and as far as we are aware may be the only agency who has a Community Project Program or who returns some profit from their business back to the local community.
Testimonial: Paola / Leader of a Group of 13 from Italy/ Huayhuash Trek:
Everybody of our group was very impressed by the excellent organization of your agency and the kindness of all your staff.. I also very much appreciated your attention and sensibility for the enviroment. Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huyhuash, but also all the surrounding landscapes are marvellous places of nature, and any effort to protect them are extremely important. Do not hesitate to give my e-mail address if somebody shoul wish information about our experience in Perù with your agency. It would be a pleasure for me.
PERUVIAN ANDES ADVENTURES: SUPPORTING LOCAL PEOPLE
Peruvian Andes Adventures is a local trekking and climbing company with its office in Huaraz. All of our owners and staff (with the exception of New Zealand citizen Anne Thomson) are Peruvian. All of our guides, cooks, porters and arrieros are from the Huaraz region with the majority coming from villages in the surrounding countryside. Our business is very family oriented – with staff members spouses, brothers & sisters often working with us also and even their children helping out and starting to learn the routines during school holidays
Since its establishment in 2004, Peruvian Andes Adventures has started a community projects fund to which we contribute a portion of trekking profits each year. This fund is used to contribute to local community projects, donate school supplies and equipment or clothing to needy or poor communities in the regions that we trek through in the Cordillera Blanca & Cordillera Huayhuash. See our Community Projects Page
We are also working in consultation with local communities to provide toilet facilities & rubbish disposal facilities in campsites in areas where there are none. This is not a rapid process, and there are always local obstacles & resistance to overcome, but it is our hope to contribute to at least a few toilets in some areas over the next years.
To date, we have constructed two toilets in the Cordillera Huayhuash, one at Laguna Jahuacocha & another at Quartelhuain
RESPECT FOR OUR STAFF
We employ all local people and pay them a fair (above average) wage helping to put money into the local economy. All trekking staff are paid punctually in full at the end of each trek.
We treat our employees with the respect that they deserve and expect our management staff and guides to do the same with all our trek crew. There is no hierarchy of trek staff:- guides, cooks, porters & donkey drivers are all treated equally and with respect for the hard work that they do. We listen to comments and complaints from our employees and clients and in the past have dismissed staff & guides because we felt that they were not treating our other trek staff or clients respectfully.
We have worked hard to provide the best possible working conditions for our trek staff include limiting the load that we give to the porters to carry to 15kg. We provide our porters and donkey drivers with waterproof tents and plenty of nutritious & delicious food. Porters, donkey drivers and all trek staff are provided with the same meals that our clients eat during trekking and climbing.
Andrew & Leah from the USA / Huayhuash Trek said:
We liked the use of local resources (donkey drivers, food), appreciated that the donkey drivers ate with us at night & not on their own.
Mike & Pam from the USA / Santa Cruz Trek said:
We were especially pleased to see that Victor, our Donkey Driver was treated with the same dignity and respect accorded us as clients.
CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT WHILE TREKKING – PERUVIAN ANDES ADVENTURES COMPANY POLICY
Peruvian Andes Adventures operates on zero litter tolerance. Rubbish is separated into organic and inorganic. All inorganic rubbish is removed back to our base in Huaraz for disposal at the council facility. Where possible, organic rubbish is given to local families for animal food.
Where possible and if we have some space with our trek equipment, we ask our staff to also collect some rubbish left behind at campsites by other groups. It is not physically possible for us to clean all campsites on every trek, but if we can make a small effort each time we are on a trek – then in the long term we are helping.
Michael from/ Switzerland who did the Alpamayo Base Camp Trek said
…..The donkey drivers treated their animals with respect !!!!!
All cared a lot for the waste – they even collected the waste of strangers while on trek
Where there are no public toilet facilities at campsites, we use a toilet tent and bury the toilet waste from our groups. Where it is possible, we make toilet holes at least 50m away from water sources.
For mountaineering trips, from 2012 season we will be using poo tubes to remove toilet waste from high mountain camps.
We recognise the seriousness of water pollution caused by soaps and detergents being put into river systems and lakes. While this is common practise by local people living in the mountains and cannot be controlled by us, we attempt to control our own behaviour and minimise the effect on the environment that our groups have. We have small laundry bowls available for your use. If you wish to wash yourselves, shampoo hair or wash clothes at the rivers or lakes please ask for a bowl and use these. Please do not put soapy water or shampoo in the river/ lake but use the bowls and empty them well away from the water source. We have requested that our crews also do the same.
Crew should wash dishes and pots in large wash bowls and throw the detergent water well away from water sources.
We use biodegradable detergents on treks. We promote the proactive participation of workers in safe environmental practises through annual pre season training courses and monitoring of workers practises during treks.*If you witness our crews not abiding by these policies, please inform the guide and also inform us upon your return to Huaraz
Caring For Plants And Animals
Treat all plants, birds and animals with care and respect. They are unique and many of them are rare.
We expect donkey drivers to take good care of their donkeys and horses, that the animals will be well fed, in good condition and well cared for. The maximum allowable weight evenly distributed a donkey is to carry is 40kgs or less.
Mark from USA did the Huayhuash trek:
….. The crew you assembled for us for the Huayhuash was top-notch. Marco, Jorge, and Liberato were all wonderful,
……. and noticed how well he treated his donkeys and horse
Tom from the UK did Santa Cruz Ulta trek said:
….Staff, equipment, food, treatment of animals, responsibility toward maintaining the environment and general organization could not really be faulted ….WELL DONE!!