Maybe our blog title surprises you, but don’t be fooled, as experts in sustainable tourism under the RESPONSible philosophy, we have not simply revisited all our favorite destinations in Peru. We first prepared and carried with us information and work tools so that our suppliers fully align with us and to establish new collaborations for sustainability.
And our 10 years of existence could not be celebrated in any other way. Although we have had a lot of fun, we have also worked a lot.
We have also reaped many satisfactions seeing the response of our hotel partners, transporters, guides, agencies, and our very dear local families and communities – which are simply said, our reason for existence.
This article was originally posted in December 2019 and re-edited in December 2021.
It all started in January when we became partners of Travelife, the certifier that facilitates the tools and defines the processes to turn an agency into a provider of sustainable travel.
But we did not get to Travelife on our own. We were motivated and supported by our main account in Europe, the Better Places group, which increasingly sends us more and more responsible travelers and gives us the satisfaction of working with the type of client that we like. But they also give us all their support to meet the necessary goals to be increasingly sustainable.
Thus, the planning and ordering of ideas was put at full speed in August. Katty, who just joined the team, had the responsibility of collecting a lot of information under Guido’s direction from Barcelona; and also with Sandra they bought all the travel tickets for our trips around the country (always looking to minimize our footprint with as many bus tickets as possible).
In September the whole team would meet in Cusco for an in-person training of two weeks, to prepare all the material that we would distribute among our providers. There we realized the large group of people we had become and the great work we do together.
In October everything was ready for the first test workshop that we held in Cusco for 12 participants from 11 companies and entreprenuers.
Then our first envoys to the Colca Canyon would leave, to share the teachings with our communities of Coporaque and Sibayo that added 12 attendees.
This same group repeated the workshop in Arequipa, with the participation of six companies and independent partners: + 8 attendees.
In Puno we were very surprised because of the great receptivity, with a record of 21 attendees representing 10 different service providers: from communities to agencies and transportation providers.
At the end of the Puno workshop, Agnes met with Guido to investigate new RESPONSible opportunities in Tarapoto. And what a surprise they found!
Meanwhile, the turn was for nine of our allies in the Sacred Valley, with the workshop taught in Ollantaytambo, where the attendance was 11 people.
Having concluded in the southern highlands, a new group left for Nazca and Paracas to add another 28 people from ten companies to the count.
And before giving us a break for our group integration days in Huaraz, we replicated our presentation in Lima to 15 attendees, representing ten companies.
In November we arrived in Huaraz, for our own activities that were based on excursions and for the great celebration, we went to the cradle of RESPONS, Vicos, where we carried out many group activities to get to know each other and enjoy a great Pachamanca Vicosina.
After two lovely nights in Vicos we continue to our friends Diana and Wayne, creators of the very inspiring Lazy Dog Inn, where we spent three nights and where every day we discover more of their admirable work to make their accommodation a place in harmony with nature, and especially, with people from neighboring communities.
These days, although we also had a busy schedule, served to recharge our energies and come back strongly for the last two workshops that we would teach in Huaraz and Chiclayo, which took place more intimately in the Churup Hostel and in the offices of Chaskiventura respectively.
So, after 10 workshops for 115 people and 64 companies and entrepreneurs, we returned home with the satisfaction of having done a great job, but with many more tasks to be done, product of commitments made with all our providers.
That is why we have created our RESPONSible Newsletter for tourism professionals (in Spanish), of which, to date, we have written two issues and where we give global, national and local sustainability news; we share good initiatives; we promote responsible practices and a lot of etceteras.
Now, this 10-year celebration is over, we just have to continue working hard so that each new year we celebrate more and more achievements, however not alone, but with the great alliances that we have strengthened through the workshops.
It is clear that we have taken advantage of this publication to present our team, some of which we will finish presenting now: Kerenda and Gaby (both with glasses, bottom row left) are the operations coordinators; while those from the administration team are Naomi (right behind Pablo’s hat), Juan Carlos (wearing blue from head to toe towards the right), and Kevin who is behind him. The only one missing is Patrick (in the first group picture next to the blue post) who did not go with us to Huaraz because his son Thiago was born.
This article was originally posted in December 2019 and re-edited in December 2021. Obviously, since the pandemic, many things have changed. Our team has become very small but still very motivated, and our providers are still half-alive and equally motivated to come back stronger and more sustainable.