WE ARE A SOCIALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANY
“Our Commitment to Responsible Tourism and You”
Cusco Journeys & Adventure recognize the need to care for our fragile environment and to operate responsible tourism in order to protect our history, culture and the environment for future generations. Our commitment to clients is to provide a caring, friendly, professional and above all SAFE Peru trekking and climbing service at a fair price.
Cusco Journeys & Adventure is conscious that we are extremely fortunate to be able to live and work in such beautiful and diverse areas as the Inca Trail, Vilcabamba trek, Salkantay Glacier Trek, Ausangate Glacier and Choquequirao Treks, etc. 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 guides, Cook, Porters to the donkey and Llamas 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.
Cusco Journeys & Adventure is one of only a few agencies in Cusco who have made a serious attempt to implement an Environmental Care Code with trek staff and as far as we are aware is the only agency who has a Community Project Program or who returns some profit from their business back to the local community.
Cusco Journeys & Adventure is a local trekking and climbing company with its office in Cusco. All of our owners and staff are Peruvian. All of our guides, cooks, porters and arrieros are from the Cusco and highlands region with the majority coming from villages in the surrounding countryside.
Since its establishment, Cusco Journeys & Adventure has started a community projects fund to which is contributes 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 Vilcanota & Cordillera Vilcabamba.
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 2 to 5 years.
We employ local people and pay them a fair (above average) wage helping to put money into the local economy. All trekking staff is paid punctually at the end of each trek.
We treat our employees with the respect that they deserve and expect our office staff and guides to do the same with all our trek crew. We listen to comments and complaints from our staff and in the last years we have dismissed some cooks and guides because we felt that they were not treating our 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 20kg. We provide our porters and donkey drivers with waterproof tents and plenty of nutritious food. Porters and staff are provided with the same food our clients eat during trekking and climbing.
Cusco Journeys & Adventure operates on zero litter tolerance. Rubbish is separated in organic and inorganic. All inorganic rubbish is removed back to our base in Cusco 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.
Where there are no public toilet facilities in some 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. Our guides or a personal carry a small shovel/trowel. If you need to make a toilet stop during the day, please ask for this and bury your waste and paper in a small hole away from water.
We recognize the seriousness of water pollution caused by soaps and detergents being put into river systems and lakes. While this is common practice 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 promote the proactive participation of workers in safe environmental practices through annual pre season training courses and monitoring of workers practices during treks.
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.
*If you witness our crews not abiding by these policies, please inform the guide and also inform us upon your return to Cusco. It is important that this special part of the world is left in the pristine condition for others to enjoy for generations to come.