Alpaca Expeditions Cares
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a traumatic effect on tourism all over the world. This is especially true in Cusco, where our main industry is tourism and most of us are connected to tourism is some aspect.
Alpaca Expeditions is a strong company and we know we will survive this and welcome tourists back to our country when its’ safe to do so. We also feel responsible for all the men and women who have dedicated their time and hardwork to the company to help us grow and succeed. It is more important than ever for our social projects to continue to help out to the people in our country that are suffering the most.
Last week we traveled to the Lares region, a community 200km away from Cusco, to bring needed resources. We filled up more than 150 baskets with basic food and supplies to hand out to our porters and their families.
We left Cusco at 5AM and drove almost 4 hours to get Ramal de Queswarani, the first stop on our journey. This is where our horsemen are from and they were there waiting for us in their traditional clothes, as we had coordinated everything with them previously to make sure we had purchased the items most needed by them. We immediately got to work handing out all the baskets: first spraying them down to keep them clean, always wearing our masks and gloves. It was so nice seeing everyone again after such a long time. After we were able to visit for some time, we hopped back into our van for the next stop.
We traveled further into the Lares region and on to Choquecancha. It was around a one hour trip to the next community. Again, we had many waiting for us when we got there and more quickly approached, happy to see us and eager to catch up. There were several families that joined that are not part of the Alpaca Expeditions community, needing help. We were quick to give them a basket as well and left a few extra with the mayor of the village to use for other needy families. They insisted we stay for some food and all enjoyed some potatoes with cheese together. It was then off to our next village.
Our porters are scattered throughout Lares region, all living in different villages. We needed help from one of our chief porters to find the next region, so he joined us for the hour and a half trip. Along the way we stopped at a few very small communities to meet up with more Green Machine porters.
We finally reached our final village where we gave out the remaining baskets we had left. Every family we met received at least one basket, shared many stories, and were all so thankful. We felt thankful ourselves being in the position to be able to help people so directly. By 5PM we had no more baskets and started our long trip back to Cusco.
Most of these families are farmers, but during this difficult time it is not enough for them. They have no market to sell their goods or trade with others. The basic needs like milk, noodles, rice, and sugar are hard to get access to for them. These baskets will help them get better food to their tables and make healthy balanced meals for their families.
For a long time, Cusco was so restricted that we were not allowed out of our house. While we are allowed to travel freely, we will continue to find ways to help our team and their families. This was our second trip passing out baskets of resources to our porters, many more will come. No matter how limited our own resources are, we will always have enough to make sure our team has food and supplies.