The inhabitants' homes are located within a radius of 30-40 kilometers on the outskirts of Cusco and other areas of southern Peru. They live in villages located at an altitude of between 3,400 and 3,900 meters above sea level; their main activities are agriculture, livestock and handicrafts, especially hand weaving. The other two communities live on the islands of Lake Titicaca; their activities are similar to those already mentioned, but in this case fishing is a complementary resource. Since 2004, the travel agency Tierras de los Andes SAC has been developing a plan, in collaboration with the Junta de Cultura Machu Picchu and the Andean communities. The plan is to be able to welcome visiting tourists in their homes and families, in the highland villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and in the villages on the shores of Lake Titicaca. To be able to offer today a simple but quality service. The settlers have made a serious commitment. They have managed to build a trust that today allows them to develop a type of tourism rooted in the cultural and natural values of these regions. At the same time, the inhabitants of the Andes will be able to improve their living conditions thanks to the benefits of tourism.
In addition, we would like to contact other NGOs that can send volunteers to help in the renovation of the houses and the feasibility of other projects of this type, or to support their daily activities, agriculture and education of young people. It would also be interesting to have resources in micro-credit organizations for the purchase of construction materials.
The project "Casas Vivenciales" with the Andean villagers started in 2004 on the initiative of the travel agency Tierras de los Andes together with the Patronato de Machupicchu and the wealthy communities with the desire to share their skills through tourism. To make viable an initially very precarious accommodation, SAC Tierras de los Andes and the Patronage of Machupicchu decided to support these 4 communities by granting projects to renovate their houses and make them viable to receive tourists. In addition, each year we provide training in these communities so that their inhabitants can meet the requirements of this new activity.
Today, the Patronage of Machupicchu wishes to be able to direct specific circuits with a vision towards rural community tourism, adapted to all types of people and economies; both individual and group, through the volunteer route. This responds to the needs expressed by the communities that want the season to be complete and that tourists stay a little longer to share more. Therefore, we expect the interest of many volunteers in the communities and the growth of demand. This, of course, will allow the communities to improve their quality of life through this complementary activity. In no case is it a question of putting an end to the traditional activities carried out by the communities and which constitute a large part of their identity (agriculture, pastoralism, handicrafts and customs of the inhabitants)….
In the last four years, these lodgings have welcomed tourists on alternative trekking circuits. Tierras de los Andes works with community-based tourism and wants to create specific circuits in the area of rural tourism. NGOs were present in the villages of Chinchero, Huchuyqosqo and Patabamba (for the construction of toilets). At the national level, MINCETUR (Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism) is promoting this new tourism trend in Peru through the implementation of strategic plans, methodologies, promotion and organization of events with the association of tour operators.
All this global work is aimed at diversifying little-known tourism offers, such as experiential or community-based tourism.
Lack of means to purchase construction materials. The need for constant training of host families in some camps. Due to the lack of information to tourists about the necessary services, we receive complaints, especially about the lack of hot water, which becomes an inconvenience for them.