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MAMA PACHA EXPLORATIONS

407 Boardman-Canfield Rd.

Unit 3152

Boardman, OH 44513

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 MAMA PACHA EXPLORATIONS
 HISTORICAL, CULTURAL & NATURAL EXPLORATIONS OF PERU

VOLUNTOURISM IN CUSCO, PERU

+1.800.894.7787

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VOLUNTEERING & TOURISM IN THE PERUVIAN ANDES 

VOLUNTOURISM IN CUSCO, PERU

VOLUNTEERING & TOURISM IN THE PERUVIAN ANDES 

CONTEXT

In 2018, according to the Peruvian Foreign Trade and Tourism Ministry (MINCETUR), Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu, welcomed around 3.5 million tourists, foreign and domestic—90% of which visited Machu Picchu. Those of us who have been fortunate to visit Cusco city and the region itself aren’t at all surprised by the large influx of visitors.

It’s undeniable that sightseeing Cusco, traveling through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and experiencing firsthand awe-inspiring landscapes, majestic mountains, great feats of engineering, incomparable architectural marvels are unforgettable experiences.

 

It is also undeniable that tourism in Cusco is a profitable business. According to a study by the San Antonio de Abad University (Cusco’s national university) tourism in Cusco generates over 3 billion Soles (roughly one billion dollars) a year in revenues and employs two out of  ten (20%) people living in the region.

THE PROBLEM

What is also undeniable is that the bonanza brought about by the tourism industry is not benefiting most of the population of Cusco. This becomes evident once you take a moment to visit for a more extended period of time the picturesque villages that are often overlooked on the guided tours. What you often find, once you take a deeper look into these villages, is entire communities who live seemingly impervious to the financial gains that tourism brings into the region (Cusco)—and the country.

 

The data also bears witness to this problem. According to Peru’s National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), over 50% of Cusco’s population live in rural areas and over 45% of its economically active population is employed in agriculture. INEI’s data also shows that over 50% of Cusco’s population live below the poverty line and 49% of homes lack potable water and 14.2% of the total population are illiterate.

There’s one particular problem brought about by this dark side of the tourism industry that is of our interest and can be found on any visit to the aforementioned rural communities. We are referring to the lack of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources in the schools. This lack of ICT resources becomes a major hurdle in the ability of children within these rural communities to access and become part of the ever-changing digital world. This exclusion is of grave concern to many of us –especially so, if we consider that research has shown that ICTs are key to help vulnerable communities lift themselves out of poverty.
 

In other words, as it often happens, it’s the children, the most vulnerable segment of the population, who are being left behind in the midst of Cusco’s tourism bonanza. And while computers, and various other forms of ICTs, all have become essential tools for people to become active members of our digital world, a large number of people, mainly in rural areas like those of the Cusco region, lack the basic resources to even have an opportunity to be part of that world. Without these tools, they are being left behind and at the very least are being deprived of having a fighting chance to break up the vicious cycle of poverty through computer literacy.

OUR MAIN PARTNER

Given the importance of computer literacy as a means for children in Cusco’s underserved rural communities to gain access to the digital world, and given our commitment, at Mama Pacha Explorations to give back to the communities where we operate our tours, we decided to do something about the problem at hand.

We were utterly excited to come up with a plan, but were also aware that we couldn’t do it alone. We needed to partner with people and organizations, in the US and Peru, that shared our same passion to help and support underserved children by providing them with the tools necessary to become computer literate—ever-more digitized citizens.

As fate would have it, and through the work of Anita Gomez, a Mama Pacha Explorations partner and Latino community leader in the Youngstown (Ohio) area, we were fortunate to find in Computer Reach a partner with our same passion and credible experience in computer literacy programs and efforts. Computer Reach is a Pittsburgh-based NGO whose core mission is to make technology available to people most in need through refurbished equipment, computer literacy, training, and support using a network of volunteers and partnerships, mainly with Apple.

Exploring Peru while Helping Others

VOLUNTOURISM IN THE PERUVIAN ANDES

THE PROGRAM
Voluntourism in Cusco, Peru

Through our partnership with Computer Reach, we created a program to tackle the lack of ICTs resources we referenced above. Our program combines two of our passions: Community Service & Travel.

This program allows us to identify and partner with underserved schools in the Cusco region. Once we know which schools will be beneficiaries of our program, we also partner with NGOs, local governments, businesses and other organizations in Peru and the U.S. to make our Volun-Tourism trip a reality.

The program includes two days of community service, whereby we provide schools with ICT resources which may include:  refurbished laptops, PCs, Teacher Modules (each consisting of a Refurbished Apple Mac Mini, Monitor, Projector, Keyboard & Mouse) and others free of charge and on-location training (and virtual if needed) on how to operate them. 

 

The program also includes 4 days of touring the City of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of Incas, and the ancient Machu Picchu citadel.

OUR PROGRAM GOALS

Our Volun-Tourism in the Peruvian Andes program seeks to accomplish three main objectives:

  1. Inspire other businesses and organizations working in the Cusco region to include in their business models community service programs which are aimed at helping the underserved communities.

  2. Help reduce the gaps in access to ICTs in underserved schools of the Cusco region—which will benefit mostly the children living in those underserved communities.

  3. Provide travelers to Peru an opportunity to positively impact the children living in some of the underserved communities in the region they will visit.

Ready to join us on our next epic adventure of

VOLUNTEERING & TOURISM

in Cusco Peru?

CHECK OUT OUR TRIPS

2020 TRIP

Join us on our next epic voluntourism adventure to Cusco, Peru

2019 PILOT TRIP

Check out photos, videos and much more about our first voluntourism in Cusco, Peru trip 

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM