Travelers are increasingly mindful of the need for Responsible Tourism and the positive impact they can have with a little forethought and effort in planning their trip.
But visiting travel philanthropy projects, or “voluntourism” by well-meaning travelers and holiday-makers poses some serious challenges. If not carefully thought through and managed, such visits risk being exploitative, voyeuristic or patronizing, diminishing the value of the encounter between two, very often, unequal groups.
Fertur Peru Travel’s goal is always to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts. We actively support several charities and non-profit social programs.
There are thousands of volunteer opportunities to work with worthy non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Peru’s most vulnerable people. Below are a few of the organizations and non-profit programs that Siduith and I believe in because we personally know the people who, through their own drive, courage and determination, stepped forward to make positive change in their communities.
Please review the information below and don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions.
Director of Marketing and Development
Fertur Peru Travel
Maki International — Empowering the Women of Ayacucho Through Sustainable Enterprise
When I first arrived in Peru in 1996, I went to Ayacucho, where I taught journalism as a guest lecturer at the National University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga, and English in the university’s language institute. There, I struck a close and lasting friendship that continues today with another teacher, Marisol Chancos Mendoza.
In 2009, Marisol and Martha Dudenhoeffer, of San Diego, California, formed Maki, a non-profit foundation designed to empower some of the most vulnerable women of Ayacucho through enterprise.
Today, Maki provides a structure for creating, exporting, and selling the goods and handicrafts made using the women’s existing talents and traditions. Maki also helps to make improvements to the facilities used by the women and offers courses in skill development, basic business practices, and self-esteem building.
Manos Unidas — The Camino Nuevo School of Cusco
Our friend Celeste Marion, a Seattle, Washington native, and Mercedes Delgado Chavez, from Cusco, decided in 2004 to tackle a seemingly insurmountable problem: the cultural stigma in Peru against children with disabilities.
Manos Unidas is their non-profit, providing quality education, teacher training and parent advocacy in Cusco. Their education center, Camino Nuevo, or “New Path,” opened March 3, 2009.
The center’s intimate environment offers quality individualized learning and a place where teachers can collaborate and receive extensive training and experience in special education.
Andean Alliance — Community Development in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains
We have known our friends Diana Morris and Wayne Lamphier since the mid-1990s when they came from Calgary, Canada, to live and work in Colombia and Ecuador. We were thrilled when they moved to Peru in 2003 to build their eco-lodge, the Lazy Dog Inn.
From their new home, located in Yurac Yacu, 3650 meters above sea level, at the base of the Cordillera Blanca Mountains, this couple have committed themselves to working with their neighbors for long-term community development and environmental support.
After building their eco-lodge by hand with the help of their neighbors, using all local materials, Wayne and Diana founded the Andean Alliance, a Peruvian-registered NGO based in the provincial capital city of Huaraz.