Australia’s leading adventure travel company, World Expeditions, has launched a new community project in a village located in Peru’s Sacred Valley, aimed at reducing the incidence of low birth weights in babies and respiratory disease in both children and women living in the region.
The village of Huilloc is a traditional farming and weaving community high in the Peruvian Andes, north of Ollantaytambo, near Machu Picchu.
The Huilloc community of around 200 families live in stone-and-thatch houses, relying on wood to burn in their rudimentary open fire cook stoves. These stoves produce a thick toxic smoke that hangs in the air and remains trapped within the confines of the small kitchens.
It’s a serious health hazard for the women and children and young people of the village who inhale the smoke during meal preparation, often spending up to eight hours a day in the small kitchens.
According to the World Health Organization the inhalation of indoor smoke has been linked to pneumonia in children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, low birth weight in babies and lung cancer.
There are two ways trekkers can get involved in building a healthier future for the children of Huilloc:
- 13-day Salcantay Machu Picchu trek:
Depending on the size of the group participating in the initiative, between eight and twenty cook stoves per visit will be installed on each visit, with the assistance of local experts. Trekkers are encouraged to make a donation to the World Expeditions Foundation to cover the cost of the cook stove materials, transport of the materials to Huilloc and also the wages of an expert to oversee the installations.
While in the village, trekkers will watch a traditional weaving demonstration by the local Huilloc women and observe the local men tending their fields and paying respect to pachamama (earth mother). Outside of the Huilloc project work, trekkers will visit the fortress citadel of Olllantaytambo and its traditional Inca village, spend time in the vibrant city of Cusco and trek along an ancient Inca trail taking in views of Mount Salcantay and the sacred glacial lake of Humantay. The adventure will culminate at the enigmatic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. The 13-day Huilloc Village Health Cook Stove Project & Salcantay Machu Picchu Trek departs Cusco 7 July 2017. From $2790 per person.
- Four-day Huilloc Village Healthy Cook Stove Project Extension trip:
This trip is the perfect ‘feel good’ addition to an existing World Expeditions adventure that departs from Cusco. Just two travellers are required for the project to go ahead, and you can choose the date that suits you. The trip costs includes a US$200 donation to the World Expeditions Foundation to cover the cost of the cook stove materials, transport of the materials to Huilloc and also the wage of an expert to oversee the installations.
From $1170 per person, departing Cusco.