Planeterra and G Adventures worked with the MIF in the Sacred Valley to develop a community-run restaurant to provide access to the tourism market for the first time to a small village of 65 families, Huchuy Qosco ("Little Cusco" in Quechua), that has traditionally lacked opportunity to benefit from sustainable tourism. Initiatives related to the the restaurant include agriculture suppliers for a "farm-to-table" style program and environmental and social grants as part of a sustainable solution to protect the destination. The construction is now complete and training in all areas of restaurant and supplier management, took place from November 2013 through February 2014. It officially opened in March 2014! All G Adventures groups now visit the restaurant as part of their Sacred Valley tour - see all applicable itineraries - and other travellers and tour operators are also welcome.
A final phase, development of community agriculture suppliers was completed in August of 2014 and there are now five families supplying vegetables to the restaurant, two families supplying quail eggs for garnishes, a group of 9 women making snacks for sale to visitors with local ingredients such as quinoa, coca, and kiwicha, and a group of 12 women from a neighboring community making natural herbal teas, also for sale at the restaurant's small outdoor "boutique."
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 and equipment needs for developing the restaurant, 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.