In the indigenous communities where Awamaki works, most men work as porters in the tourism industry. This difficult work is a primary source of income for many families, including most of the families of female partner artisans. Many of the men in Quechua villages have deep knowledge of local trekking trails and have been working with tourists for years. They dream of being guides, but there are significant financial and language barriers to this.

In the spirit of promoting economic opportunity and skills training for Quechua community members, we are pleased to announce our partnership with The Intrepid Foundation and PEAK DMC South America to launch their Tourism Academy for Porters. The Tourism Academy for Porters will equip porters with the skills and training they need to be guides, cooks or tour leaders, and offers them employment opportunity when they graduate. The Porter Academy will also offer women—who do not usually work as porters—the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to begin a career in the tourism industry.

The Tourism Academy for Porters is closely aligned with our values of promoting economic opportunity and skills training for Quechua community members. Through this partnership, we are thrilled to be extending our commitment to creating opportunity and improving quality of life to more community members in the Andean villages where we work.

The Tourism Academy for Porters launches in 2020—until then, stay tuned!

In the meantime, learn more about The Tourism Academy for Porters, The Intrepid Foundation, and how to support their work here.