Peru offers a breath-taking world of contrasts, from sprawling desert and some of the deepest canyons in the world, to mountain glaciers and intense jungle.
The vibrant clothing of the locals will open your eyes to a culture of one of the world’s most ancient civilisations.
Alongside exploring the distinctive manmade floating reed villages on Lake Titicaca you’ll get the chance to trek the Salkantay Trail and tick visiting the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu off your bucket list.
At Camps International we have been working on projects in Peru for 2 years and in this relatively short time have built some strong and rewarding partnerships with the local communities.
Projects our international volunteers have been working on include:
Healthy Homes Initiative
The Healthy Homes Initiative is based in a small community that relies on farming potatoes and beans. The local diet comprises of these plus fish typically. This has resulted in high levels of malnutrition within the community.
In addition, the community are facing issues with getting fuel for stoves, as there is a lot of deforestation caused by the need for firewood. The wood being used for open fires is leading to smoke related health problems.
As part of the initiative we have been building smokeless, efficient stoves – enabling the households to cook with less risk to them and the environment. We have also built 5 green houses to enable locals to grow their own fruit and vegetables to help combat the nutritional issues.
In the next stage of the project we will be putting the roof on a number of greenhouses to continue enabling the communities to be self-sufficient.
Building a cultural house
One of our core values at Camps is to help communities to be better able to create and maximise their own income generation opportunities. In a community in Colca, where they get a lot of passing tourist trade, we are midway through building a cultural house.
The house will become a tourist attraction where local tradespeople can make and sell their goods to tourists. Furthermore, we have been in conversation with the local officials to add this location to their tourist ticket to everyone buying a ticket to visit the local canyon.
This small project has large implications for the future prospects of the locals, now and long into the future.
We have more work to do to complete the building of this project and then consider how we can best support the community to make the most of their new building and the income it could help them to generate.
Finishing building a classroom
Education is another key priority for Camps and we do a lot of work within local schools, including building new classrooms and facilities to enable more children to be taught in more suitable surroundings.
In one school we are supporting in Colca Canyon we are just finishing off the build of a new classroom. The school has approx. 120 students who had nowhere suitable to use as a dining area, so a decision was made to convert one of the classrooms into a dining room. This has resulted in cramped teaching space and therefore with the help of our volunteers we have nearly completed the build of an additional classroom, enabling them to teach as normal, without sacrificing any additional rooms or space.
We have already highlighted there are issues with deforestation in many areas in Peru and this summer alone our amazing volunteers have helped to plant 700 native trees in the Andes region.
Firewood is needed for families and businesses and this is resulting in vast numbers of trees being cut down.
We have a commitment to plant an additional 1000 trees in the coming 12 months and expect this project to continue on an ongoing basis to protect the environment, families and their income.
Whenever you travel to Peru, whichever project you work on, however long you volunteer for – this difference you will make to these communities and their future is immense.
Not only will you work alongside the community, you’ll live within our Camps based within these communities too. You’ll experience the culture, what Peru outside the tourist attractions is really like and appreciate the challenges families face on a daily basis.
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