Planeterra and G Adventures are working with the MIF in the Lares Valley with community members of an isolated village, Cuncani, that have never formally received benefits from campers on the Lares Trek. The campsite features flush toilets with biodigestion system, solar showers, and a solid waste management system never before implemented in the region. The campsite was officially inagurated in February, and all travel companies working in the Lares region are welcomed, and encouraged, to use this first ecological community-owned and managed campsite in Peru! All G Adventures tours that include the Lares Trek now visit the campsite for one night.
The final phase of the project to develop community microenterprises is also now complete and a group of 12 women sell products to the daily groups that arrive to stay the night in the village. In order to combat the high rate of malnutrition we have also installed 37 home-based gardens with families interested in participating in order to produce vegetables that they can incorporate into their diet and improve their children's health. The training process is underway in 2015 to ensure there is capacity to produce and use the vegetables, and perhaps turn them into revenue-generating opportunities in future.
There are opportunities to be involved through funding initiatives within this project. Donations or grants made to Planeterra for this project will supplement the funds provided by MIF and G Adventures to provide additional seed funding for small businesses, infrastructure needs, and social & environmental grants.
This project is part of Planeterra and G Adventures' technical cooperation agreement with the Multilateral Investment fund of the Inter-American Development Bank called Tour Operator's Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, a three-year project spanned over 2012-2015 in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru. The expected impact of this project is to increase the competitiveness of medium and small enterprises (MSEs) by capitalizing on regional assets and by incorporating local value added to their businesses, which in turn are expected to result in increases of domestic product at the regional level. The principal result will be a replicable model that will optimize market access and efficiency in the tourism value chain by connecting MSEs with a large adventure tour operator from the point of product development, providing them access to a ready market, capabilities and the tools to serve the market demand.