“We will support each other, like two brothers would, in the cold, in stormy weather.”


It is hard to believe the existence of secluded indigenous communities in Huacahuasi, a village in the Peruvian Andes, that have survived in such a remote situation. According to Antonio Lodon, Executive Director of the NGO Arariwa, for the members of these communities, the land is everything, and in their vision of the world, the land is the mother of humanity—hence the term ‘Pachamama’, or Mother Earth.

When Mountain Lodges of Peru, an adventure travel company, arrived in the community to establish a tourism destination, they realized they could not buy the land as these communities would not survive if their motherland was taken away. Instead, they became partners with the local community in a sustainable tourism enterprise. Today, with the profits they make from tourism along the Lares Trail, youth in these communities have access to education and are trained in skills related to the sustainable tourism industry, setting them on a path to future economic prosperity whilst preserving their traditional lands.



The name Peru is derived from the word Birú, the name of a local ruler in Panama in the 16th century. Featuring an abundance of biodiversity, the country is divided into three main regions: the arid plains of the Pacific Coast, the peaks of the Andes Mountains, and the tropical Amazon Basin. Although Peru is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, significant economic and social gaps persist between urban and rural areas and between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.


  • • Population: 31,151,643
  • • 22.7% of the population lives in poverty.
  • • In Lima, the capital, the average resident earns 21 times more than a rural resident, where the poverty rate is a staggering 54%.
  • • 78% of indigenous children live in poverty, compared to 40% of non-indigenous children.
  • • Sustainable tourism has the potential to impact poverty reduction. The global travel and tourism industry creates approximately 11% of the world’s employment.
  • • The participation and inclusion of indigenous communities in the Peruvian sustainable tourism industry is critical to preserve local cultures and the integrity of the natural environment.