Tag Archives: peru

Awana Kancha. Promoting Sustainable Development.

While travelling throughout Perú it is easy to recognize the major tourism industry that has been developed and counted upon my many native Peruvians. Many locals and their families have come to rely solely upon tourism and the support that it provides for their families and communities. In a report, “Peru’s Tourism Cluster-Macroeconomics of Competitiveness”, it is stated, “since 2004 tourism arrivals have grown 12% annually, over three times as fast as average growth rates in the world” (World Economic Forum, 2009). This paints a picture to show how impactful this industry has become for Perú and its citizens. Keeping this in mind it is of utmost importance for tourists to become aware of the impacts their decisions can make on the people, the environment and who they are supporting. By making the choice to travel responsibly when in Perú, you are able to help sustain and help preserve the livelihoods of this unique and wondrous culture. One such outfit that resonated with me and is a beautiful example of sustaining and supporting local community is Awana Kancha: Museo Viviente del Ande.

What is Awana Kancha and how are they creating positive impacts in the lives of the natives through the tourism industry? Awana Kancha in Quecha means the “Palace for the Weaver” . The vision began in 1989 when three brothers travelled throughout Perú searching to embody the richness of Peruvian life. In 1998, they opened the doors to what they now call the “first living museum of the living Ande”. The brothers recognized the importance of the llama, alpaca and vicuña to the native people and wanted to exemplify this to the tourist population. They also wanted to make the Peruvian camel accessible to tourists in its natural environment. In doing this, they have created an operation that is associated with over fourteen local communites consisting of over 420 families. This project embodies the entire process of dying, spinning and weaving which has been an ongoing tradition for the native people for many years. Lastly, you are able to purchase the high quality textiles on-site where 100% of the proceeds goes back to the local community.

My experience at Awana Kancha was unique. This place has resounded with me since I have returned home. Going to Perú with the intention of being a witness to the tourism industry and hoping that I was not seeing the country being exploited by irresponsible tourists, this was refreshing to observe. I was excited to learn that Peruvian culture to the natives is one that is highly cherished and will continually be preserved. Awana Kancha is one impactful way that this was showed to me during my travels.

When travelling the world or even at home, when we are creating our own human footprint it is important to become aware of the impacts that we are making on the earth and its people. To support local projects such as Awana Kancha creates small yet very impactful change in the world. To respect a foreign culture and to cherish and help preserve its beauty should always be a priority and this has been illustrated through the efforts of the people associated with this project.

http://www.awanakancha.com/ingles/01awanakancha.html

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Pura Vida…

562496_3323577897474_392869700_nI am taking inspiration for this post from a recent comment on my first article written here. Many times in our travels we find a simpler way of living or Pura Vida- the pure life theory in South America. There are many cultures that sustain their lifestyles only based upon what they need. It is interesting in our society how we have convinced ourselves of the material things, the social status, the money and power that we need. Living consistently this way endangers us of losing touch with some of the most important things in life. Such as who are true selves are and the beauty that exists within the world outside of material possession. Simplicity.

I have attached a photo from the “floating islands” in Lake Titicaca in Puno, Perú. These families live soley on a small island about the size of a football field made out of reeds. Their diet consists of mainly fish and potatoes and corn that are traded with the nearby city. For pleasure, the play soccer or volleyball to keep the layers of reeds tamped down to support the structure of their island. Pretty amazing, simplicity.

In your opinion, what is your version of Pura Vida? Do you believe it is a beneficial way of life?

Calling all quinoa lovers

quinoaCalling all quinoa lovers

Quinoa has been the rave in the states. And since we discovered it carries major amounts of protein and could ultimately be considered a ‘super’ food we have increased our demand for this nutritious food in copious amounts. Unfortunately, with high demand from a major economy comes loss of a staple substance for local communities. Here is a great article explaining the specifics..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa

Thoughts? Would you stop consuming quinoa for this purpose and if so what would be a good alternative?