Our social projects are translated into greater opportunities, socioeconomic growth for the families and improved social well-being for the community.
WINGS is in charge of working with the communities and its strategic partners to conduct the Condor Travel rural community tourism project, a homestay initiative that has created one of the most outstanding and complete destinations of its kind in Peru thanks to the efforts focused on infrastructure and service development. The organization is managing social projects in Misminay in such a way as to build a win-win situation between the community and Condor Travel: the community is benefiting from the training, opportunities, and market access, while Condor Travel has a strategic advantage in that it can offer its passengers a truly unforgettable experience in the community without sacrificing safety and quality.
In 2008, WINGS launched the first project with Mullak’as-Misminay, a community in the district of Maras, located about 75 minutes away from Cusco, at an elevation of 3700 meters, on a natural lookout point with a blessed view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the surrounding mountains. There are roughly 500 inhabitants, and it is geographically divided into two sections: Mullak’as and Misminay. People make a living by farming, and the main crops are potatoes, corn, lima beans, barley, and wheat. Tourism is the second most important economic activity, thanks to the project, which has brought about improved infrastructure, a variety of activities, and quality tourist services.
The three main action lines for the WINGS social projects are: homestay, handicrafts, and potable water.
The homestay project is being conducted in the Misminay sector where close to 300 people live. Funding for the construction of rooms in the houses where tourists can stay, a visitor’s center, and bathrooms with showers that use solar energy to heat the water came from Condor Travel, IDB-MIF, and SNV. Moreover, Condor Travel helped by providing part of the home furnishing, cooking utensils, bathroom sets, and bedroom and dining furniture, all for the purpose of making tourists feel more at home.
Members of the Homestay Association were also trained on principles of housekeeping, cooking, food handling, and customer service in order to offer tourists high quality service. The sessions are arranged from time to time and conducted by the staff of the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco.
Experts had a hand in designing the products and activities offered to the tourists, the scripts for the local interpreters, and the efforts to rescue cultural assets as a means of making the community a much more attractive and enriching tourist destination.
Thanks to Condor Travel’s effort and partnership with the community of Misminay, the people have been able to harness the income generating power of tourism to increase the earnings they normally make from farming only. At the moment, families are able to save more money which, consequently, allows them to improve their quality of life. Examples of this progress are that they now invest more in their children’s education and health as well as purchase farm animals and upgrade their homes. These changes and improvements are clearly visible for anyone who visits the community and are models for, and actually have a multiplier effect on, the rest of the members
POTABLE WATER FOR THE COMMUNITY
The community is suffering from a serious lack of clean water. Only 50% of the population has daily access to water, and the water from the rivers is high in sodium and other minerals, making it unfit for human consumption. Nevertheless, WINGS has undertaken a project to help alleviate this problem, consisting of the construction of a rainwater filtering and harvesting system that will provide the community safe drinking water. The project is made possible thanks to the tripartite agreement among the provincial government of Urubamba, district government of Maras, and Condor Travel, with funding from Just A Drop. Furthermore, one of WINGS’ volunteer projects has to do with setting up a rainwater harvesting system using gutters and tanks in individual homes so that families will have instant access to water for doing their daily chores.
AGRICULTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT
The farmers receive technical assistance for irrigation and diversify their agricultural products, find solutions for the insufficient access to water and make agreements with hotels and restaurants of the zone so they can sell their vegetables. Condor Travel offers sometimes their agricultural products to the passengers in the Camino Inka.
There are two handicraft associations in Mullak’as-Misminay, and members of both have been trained to improve the products they make and sell. These regularly offered sessions prioritize adding the finishing touches that make for a high quality piece, enhancing the weaving techniques used for the production of alpaca garments and accessories, as well as incorporating traditional patterns and symbols in them. The people in charge of this instruction process are expert artisans from two stores: Inka’s Expression and Awana Kancha, both well known for the quality alpaca goods they sell. Members from one association have been granted a section of the store, Inka’s Expression, to display and sell their works, and they even have an onsite workshop where they demonstrate their skills and explain how they dye and weave the threads to patrons. These lucky individuals have the chance to learn a little something about the making of crafts and to purchase high quality garments and goods made by hand in Inka’s Expression without having to visit the community.
You can also reach us by phone
511 6153000 Extension 525