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Giving Back in Peru


AwamakiFor two years, Kennedy Leavens, Miguel Galdo and Emma Hague worked with weavers at a local museum. When the museum could no longer support the project, Miguel, Kennedy and Emma founded Awamaki.

Awamaki provides market access to a cooperative of ten women weavers from Patacancha, a rural Quechua community in the Peruvian Andes.

These Andean women sell their products to international retailers of ethically-sourced handmade goods. They connect with global volunteers who make a difference. They welcome intrepid travelers into their culture.

Chicuchas Wasi School

Chicuchas WasiGrowing up in Cusco, Ruth Uribe was disturbed by the large number of children she saw living on the street.

Her curiosity evolved into a sociological study. The study revealed that poor women are often abandoned with young children they are unable to support. As a result, they are forced to make a difficult choice – to live on the street with their children or to abandon their children in favor of finding men who can economically support them.

As the director of Chicuchas Wasi, Ruth has selected and specifically trained her staff of teachers to work to change the future for poor females and future mothers.

Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco

Center for Traditional TextilesNilda Callañaupa learned to spin wool when she was 5 and wove her first pattern at the age of 6 under the tutelage of her Chinchero grandmothers. Today, she is the charismatic director of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.

The goal of the Center is not only to preserve ancient Peruvian textile traditions, but also to assist communities in creating a new economy to supplement what they earn from farming.

As a result of her work, weaving families are able to afford the benefits of food, healthcare, and school supplies necessary to take advantage of opportunities in the modern world.

Surfing Tribe of Casa Generación

Surfing TribeOver 20 years ago, Lucy Borja was so shocked by the stories of a few street children she met in Lima that she invited them to sleep in her office overnight. After just a few nights, Lucy came into the office to hundreds of children sleeping on the floor.

She obviously could not continue to accommodate hundreds of children in a building she did not own, so she quit her daytime job, and within a few years started Generación, which allowed her to bring street children an opportunity to live a stable life.

Lucy’s work made an incredible impact on the children she helped. Not only were they brought out of a harsh lifestyle of drugs, violence, and often prostitution, but were also given a new community as well as the chance to attend school.

Because the San Bartolo safe house is only blocks from the beach, surfing has become a huge part of the culture of this home. The majority of the children have a deep passion for surfing, and many are even competing in regional surf competitions.

Waves for Development

Waves for DevelopmentWaves for Development is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2004. Its goal is to develop children into healthy and empowered adults and to engage travelers to transform their views of themselves and the world through surf voluntourism.

Current projects include helping local youth with limited resources enjoy surfing and offering educational programs on conservation.


Yanapana Peru

YanapanaYanapana Peru is an independent, nongovernmental, nonprofit association. Its purpose is to reduce poverty through sustainable community development.

Project participants make jam and create textile weavings to sell to travelers who are trekking or horseback riding along the Salkantay route to Machu Picchu. Project participants also sell their products to lodges in the area.

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