Alpaca Expeditions in the communitie Wakatinku
Our goal is to collaborate with Andean communities to overcome economic and social challenges through a working partnership that directs resources toward sustainable projects. Special focus is given to support our kids and their educational endeavors.
In 2014, Alpaca Expeditions chose the tiny village of Wakatinku, at the base of Apu Ausangate – one of Peru’s highest, perpetually snow-capped peaks (at nearly 21,000 feet elevation!) in the Ocongate region, to take them under our wing and make a difference in the lives of the families of the men that assist us and our guests in our expeditions on the Inka Trail, carrying all of the equipment necessary to insure that our trekkers have an awesome and comfortable adventure with us.
We talk about these valuable employees of ours a lot! Many of them come from this tiny village in the high Andes of Peru and have worked for generations upon generations as subsistence farmers, growing potatoes and raising alpacas. To supplement their income, they work as porters for us, carrying huge loads on the Inka Trail (horses are not allowed on the Inka Trail due to the damage made by their hooves and the mess they leave behind). In Inka times, (looong before telephones and internet!) these “runners” were called “chaskis” and are renowned for the speed in which they could deliver a message across the Inka Empire in a sort of a “tag team” style. Today they are just as hearty and robust as they were then – strong men raised in the high mountains
Needless to say, times have changed, and these men want to see their children have some of the opportunities offered to the people of the larger cities. To this end, we have supported them in helping to provide better education for their children – in the past we have given financial support to get them an additional teacher for their small, but growing school, school supplies, computers, and hygiene items.
In November 2015, former Alpaca Expeditions clients wanted to come back for another trek. But they didn’t want to come empty handed. They reached out to different shoe companies about donations and received a quick and positive response from Brooks Running about wanting to help. They agreed to donate 100 pairs of sneakers in assorted sizes for kids and adults. Sasha and Peter found an organization to help bring the sneakers in as a donation and we agreed to partner with them with our own goodies for our friends of Wakatinku village.