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The power of the good will

A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to our crowdfunding for our team of guides, drivers, and other important providers in Peru. During the worst moments of the pandemic, we have asked many of our partners in Peru whether they wanted to benefit from these donations, gathered the necessary details of all of them, and calculated how much each of them could receive.

What have we done with the donations?

In total, until the 15th of July 2020, we have received €8.255,- in donations for this purpose: that’s huge!! In this letter, we’d like to inform you how it has been used.

60 families have benefitted from your donations.

7 providers responded that it wasn’t necessary and that they preferred the donation to go to families that needed it more.

Most of them have received an amount of 500 soles. That is enough for a whole family to do their grocery shopping for a whole month.

So far, we have paid out S/ 27,800.-. Which means we have around S/ 4.700 left to donate in a next round. We distributed amongst the following categories of beneficiaries:

Communities: most to the families that usually receive our travelers, but also to heavily affected communities in the jungle and coast of Peru.

Drivers: to our most loyal taxi drivers and small transportation agencies.

Guides: to our famous guides from all over the country.

Non-profits and social enterprises, that take care of children, communities, or protected areas.

Others, like local agencies, restaurant owners and the cleaning lady 😊

(Remember: 100% of Go Fund Me, bank, and transactions costs are covered by Guido personally.)

Some comments we have received

Obviously, the beneficiaries of the donations have shown much, much gratitude. Even though it’s not a huge amount, the moral support it symbolizes is what matters most. They see that RESPONS and the RESPONSible travelers are people with a big heart and are proud to form part of this family.

Some have said that they feel betrayed by their patria (fatherland)… The Peruvian government has not done much for its inhabitants, especially not for those that pay taxes. Many feel abandoned. On the other hand, most believe very much in the catholic God and/or in their own Pachamama, and get much strength from their religion. We have received dozens of “bendiciones”; blessings, for you, our donors. I am sure some of those blessings will get to you in a moment you need them 😊

Fortunately, the Peruvians (once again) have shown to be very inventive, flexible, and resilient. Many have gone back to their roots in agriculture: you’d be surprised how many people who live in the cities, still know perfectly how to work the land and many still have plots (or family plots) where they can work on to grow food and crops to sell.

A cook who lost her restaurant because of COVID-19, has started selling food on markets. Sometimes she’d sell nothing, but the next day she prepares something with the unsold products and it sells very well. One day, she said that she had had a dream with Guido and said “I never dream of that guy, it must mean something”. That day she sold all her fishes on the market and started making lunch menus which are now sold on a daily basis. “Thanks for the luck”, she wrote; we’re convinced it’s the positive vibes we are all having thanks to your donations!

Our driver in Lima said that one night, he couldn’t sleep because he was worrying so much. He went down and prayed to God. That calmed him down, he went back to sleep and slept well into the next morning. When he woke up, he saw Guido’s message about the donation and knew that God had listened. He is convinced that we are “sent by God” and is grateful for God who always puts good people like us on his path.

Several of our guides have expressed their gratitude to us and you, some even mentioned that the other agencies they work with have either never communicated with them, or only to ask for lower prices for next year…. 😉 They are super grateful for our unconditional support to them and their families and promise to always improve and become more RESPONSible guides in the future.

A hostfamily in Sibayo, in the Colca Canyon, will share the donation with a lama driver they work with. Coporaque also decided to share their donation with a fifth family that has just entered their group. In Vicos, we have donated to the three most vulnerable families with older people that have precarious state of health. It has been received with a lot of gratitude, they mention that sometimes they feel many people forgot about them and that this donation reinstalls their faith.

Walther from the community-based tourism organization we work with at the Titicaca lake gave a list of ten persons he works with in his community: local guides, drivers, administrative personnel and other hostfamilies. He was prioritizing others but didn’t put himself on the list. Of course, as soon as we found out, we let him know that he would also get his part!

One of our coffee farmers has used the donation to buy more seeds for vegetables, some natural fertilizer, and to buy guinea pigs to breed and sell: a great and typically Peruvian solution! The children of all our coffee farmers are back from the city and living with their parents now, growing more coffee and cacao and thinking about how to further strengthen the agricultural side of their family income.

Many of our beneficiaries have stated how the support is important for their whole family, like our cleaning lady who sent pictures of her children, a transportation company who mentioned how apart from the business they now also share the house amongst the brothers or two guiding brothers who mention how they’re sharing the donation with the whole family. The family bonds are stronger than ever!

¡ Un millón de gracias!

And finally, your comments

I am lucky that I can help your company and I do it with pleasure. You deserve all the support in the world in this difficult period. You have given us an unforgettable holiday and if we can help, here we are. A hug and best wishes!

Last year we visited beautiful Peru together with you. We have fantastic memories of that. That is why we definitely want to support you. Much strength to everyone!

We had a wonderful time in Peru. Glad to support all of these nice people in these difficult times.

A few years ago I had a beautiful trip in Peru and I realize only too well what kind of luxury bubble we live in. I still feel connected to this country and its people! They can definitely use our support!

The people in Peru are just as beautiful as their country. Hopefully, we can give them something back and support them in the same way that they have always welcomed us in their country.

You’re welcome! It’s nice to be able to help you this way and to make sure that the money gets to the right people. We hope you can keep your head calm and deep respect for your efforts and sacrifices. Good luck with your beautiful project.

Why (have I donated)? Because I have affection for people and because this way I can give something back to this country that has given me a lot: beautiful experiences and encounters.

We made a fantastic trip to Peru in 2019; thanks to the help of the guides, chefs, and local families it has become truly unforgettable. We hope that through this funding they will get better in these difficult times. Thank you for all those wonderful memories.

This post was originally published in August 2020 and last updated in November 2021.

ABOUT RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL PERU

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.

Tours in Peru

Travelers and locals playing volleyball together on a visit to the floating Uros Titino islands at Lake Titicaca - RESPONSible Travel Peru

Peru the Local Way: our signature trip

Car driving by lamas and alpacas in the Andes - Road Trip - RESPONSible Travel Peru

A Different Kind of Road Trip through Southern Peru

Selia and three young travelers showing off the dishes after the cooking class | Responsible Travel Peru

Cooking Class in Cusco

Child Matsiguenga posing for our photographer | Responsible Travel Peru

Exploration to the heart of the Manu National Park

Spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca from the community of Vicos | Responsible Travel Peru

Short immersion in the Andean community of Vicos

Guido assisting the locals in Vicos with opening the Pachamanca and gathering the freshly cooked potatoes. Community-Based Tourism in the Andes - RESPONSible Travel Peru

The complete Vicos experience with Pachamanca

San Martin square is characterized by the big monument to the independence leader | Responsible Travel Peru

Lima Walking Tour

Close up of a chef serving ceviche on a dish | Responsible Travel Peru

Lambayeque Gastronomy Workshop