One of the most heart breaking phone calls I got, a few weeks ago, was from Marcelino, our head muleteer in Quishuarani who supports all our Lares treks.
“Jefe, donde están los turistas y cuando volverán?” he asked “Boss, where are the tourists and when will they come back?”
I honestly did not know what to say to him and I had to make something up about staying safe and being patient. It was heart wrenching and I felt utterly useless.
Covid19 hit Peru right at the start of our season when porters, muleteers and cooks were all gearing up for a busy 9 months of pretty much full time employment.
Don’t be alarmed, Amazonas Explorer will survive through this and we’ll come through fitter, leaner and readier than ever. We are, quite literally, not going anywhere.
But as I now sit in my office in guest-speaking on Zoom conferences to the Latin American travel industry, trying to put a brave face on an extremely uncertain future, I do worry about Marcelino in Quishuarani, of Pedro, Paulinho and Timoteo, our cooks in Ollantaytambo and of Delfin in Cachora, gateway to Choquequirao about whom we made this amazing video last year and I wonder how they (and their mules) are surviving. So I decided to find out…
All of our porters, muleteers cooks and camp support staff have returned to their villages and communities in the Andes and are eeking out a subsistence living, cultivating potatoes, corn, beans etc. They are “surviving” but they are definitely struggling without any income from tourism.
So, last week we created this GOFUNDME page to try and raise $1500/£1250 to cover 50 boxes of emergency food staples for us to distribute to the most needy. Within less than 24 hours we had reached our target so we doubled it and now have enough funds to cover 115 boxes.
So we thought, why not keep going and now I’m reaching out to you, to see if you can help us promote this worthwhile cause…
How you can help?
A box of supplies to feed a porter and his family for 2 weeks containing rice, sugar, cooking oil, tins of tuna, oats and pasta, will cost S/100 or $30 / £25. So $1500 will cover 50 boxes staff, $3000 will cover 100, $4500 will cover 150 boxes etc
“If you ever have had your bag carried by a porter on the Inca trail or been wowed by Pedro’s “Lomo Saltado” on the Lares trek or hopped on a support horse to get you up the hill to Choqequirao or even are just dreaming about one day hiking in the Peruvian Andes…”
Please donate what you can or contact me direct on email@example.com to discuss how you might help.
Or at the very least, please share our GOFUNDME link with whoever you can.
Many thanks for anything you can do to help.