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New life to Coporaque – the after-earthquake story

The Colca Canyon is a region basically known by its great canyon and the majestic condors. But the mountains that see the river flowing deep below are also home of several communities settled in small towns. Their traditions are kept intact despite being exposed to the touristic activities for few decades now, and that is what it is most valued by visitors. Read more about what to do in the Colca Canyon here.

Horseriding through the terraces of the Colca Canyon with volcanoes on the background, as part of a homestay programme with RESPONSible Travel Peru
Horseriding through the terraces of the Colca Canyon with volcanoes on the background

Yanque, Sibayo and Coporaque are pretty towns of charming people that decided to open their houses to tourism and show the way they live. What they offer is making their guests to participate of their daily country chores, to attend main festivities; and finally enjoying the mix of cultures, evidenced from the ancient pre incan crop terraces to the baroque colonial churches. Moreover, the landscape adorned with volcanoes and gifted with hotsprings gives comfort to the eyes and body.

View from Coporaque with volcano | RESPONSible Travel Peru
The Sabancaya volcano, seen in the right of this picture, is the one that caused the earthquake that destroyed several villages in the Colca Canyon.

But the region is also a spot of telluric activity and during mid August 2016, an earthquake of medium intensity affected our friends’ houses in Coporaque, making them inhabitable and thus their ability to host visitors was severely impacted.

Damage from the local earthquake in Coporaque, that originated the crowdfunding action by RESPONSible Travel Peru.
Damage from the earthquake.

As rapidly as the situation required, our founding director Guido and the RESPONS team put hands at work to collect funds to aid our friends. In no time, the money coming from clients that visited Coporaque in the past, started to flow and soon the houses were back at work and some even extended their capacity. Our most sincere appreciation to all those who contributed so kindly from overseas and with direct volunteer work.

Restoration works in Coporaque after an earthquake. RESPONSible Travel Peru.
Restoration works in Coporaque

But this story continues, as exactly a year after the shake, Guido’s parents visited Coporaque without knowing that a surprise was awaiting them. They were enjoying their holiday in company of their warm hosts; sharing the table as if it was having a meal with family, herding baby llamas, horse riding to archaeological places and soothing at springs when they were informed they had to attend an important celebration.

The thermal baths of Coporaque are off the beaten path. Visit them with RESPONSible Travel Peru.
The thermal baths of Coporaque are off the beaten path.

So Hans and Marianne got dressed for the occasion and ended up being the honorary godfather and godmother of the four restored houses belonging to our befriended families. The afternoon went by among toastings and speeches in all four houses feeling proud about Guido and RESPONS’ work with local communities, this time helping out the Coporaque tourism committee.

Guido's parents became the godparents of Coporaque's rebuilt homestay houses after the earthquake in 2016 | RESPONSible Travel Peru
Guido’s parents became the godparents of Coporaque’s rebuilt homestay houses after the earthquake in 2016

This is our commitment with the local communities, it is certainly very special with Coporaque but it is our philosophy throughout the country. Not in vain we are leaders in community based tourism and our partner friends know it.

So if you want to visit the Colca Canyon and experience a different way of living during your holiday, see all the experiences we offer in the Colca Canyon here.

Or if you prefer a full itinerary throughout Peru including a visit to our dear friends in Coporaque: fill out our brief questionnaire that will make things easier for our travel designers to start tailoring your 100% personalized and unique trip to Peru.

Marianne cutting the ribbon, officially opening the rebuilt homestays in Coporaque. Community-Based Tourism in Peru with RESPONSible Travel Peru.
Marianne cutting the ribbon, officially opening the rebuilt homestays in Coporaque.

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RESPONS’ mission is to improve living conditions in Peru through developing and promoting sustainable tourism. We’ve implemented a business model in which all areas of human relations are respected, and - equally important - respect for the planet is incorporated.

Following this business model, we practice fair trade, foster cultural identity, promote equal opportunities, and we preserve the environment that surrounds us and other species.

Together with you we improve, day by day, on the always-demanding path towards sustainability.

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