Discovering opportunities to help develop “Rural Living Tourism” in Peru has become a real passion for me. My visit in September 2007 led me to a community in the Lake Titicaca area that truly captured my heart. I feel blessed to be able to offer opportunities to a segment of Peru’s tourists who wish to participate in unique and rewarding activities, and return to Peru, to my heart of hearts.
The local residents of a village called Atuncolla (pronounced atoon coya) are the descendants of the Qolla Kingdom in the Andean highland region. The Qollas rose to power following the collapse of the Tiahuanaco culture in the 12th century, and were later conquered by the Incas. Fourteen families have organized in this community with the compassionate guidance of Victor Pauca to form an Association of Living Tourism—LOS QOLLAS SILLUSTANI, ASTURIS.
The president of the Association is Santiago Monteagudo Bruna, and his main assistant Julio R. Vilca Monteagudo, who is tremendously dedicated to helping their piece of the planet improve on all levels. Victor Pauca, a retired engineer and native of Peru, now dedicates his life to organizing and aiding the local communities. He honored me with an invitation to visit Atuncolla and see if my company, Ancient Summit Enterprises, would be interested in participating by sending tourists and volunteers to donate their time and talents while experiencing life in the community.
At Ancient Summit, our goal is to offer opportunities to a segment of Peru’s tourists to participate in unique and rewarding activities. These visits help support families and communities with very few resources. In order to help, we design special visits provided by local member families. We are training locals as guides and helping prepare them in general to succeed as a new product of Rural Living Tourism.
To qualify, the project must meet conditions to ensure respect for the environment, customs, and traditions of locals, develop selfesteem, and provide a system to educate the children. In other words, we create an ecotourism product which is auto-sustainable and sustainable over time.
AYNI is an ancient Andean word meaning RECIPROCITY. The development of this class of Participative Ecotourism provides the opportunity for AYNI. Visitors are able to lend a hand to people with limited access to economic resources in order to give their children a better chance for the future, helping them become productive members of society as well as mindful custodians of the planet.
Tips on Giving & Receiving
“Wear and pack clothing and shoes that you will not mind leaving behind. This serves a double purpose: you are recycling your clothing in a wonderful way, and you will then have plenty of additional room in your bags for purchasing handicrafts from the local artisans, helping support the community. For children, used sports team uniforms are great gifts.”
Nina Fogelman & Ancient Summit
When in 1983, Nina accepted a one year contract in Peru as Director of an Alternative Healing Arts Institute, little did she imagine she would end up living there for the next six years. Through a series of circumstances during her stay in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, she “love” adopted 4 local children who are now grown into extraordinary adults with children of their own. This led her to a chain of events that have helped her to support others to have similar experiences, resulting in the creation of Ancient Summit Enterprises, Inc., which dedicates to personalized and unique visits with a conscience to Peru. Nina’s love of Peru and her ability to move between the two cultures broadens and enriches your Peruvian experience. Nina can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2007 through TIES EcoCurrents “Sustainable Suitcase” edition. Check out the October 2009 ecoDestinations Peru feature to learn more about Ancient Summit and other members’ great ecotourism and community initiatives in Peru!