Since 2007 Amazonas Explorer has been planting trees in the Lares Valley of Cusco, Peru as part of our commitment to 1% for the Planet. Now known as Queuña Raymi, we work with some great partners including ECOAN, El Albergue Ollantaytambo and the American Bird Conservancy.
More importantly, we work with 21 communities of the Lares Valley. Too many well-meant projects fail because the local communities are not fully involved. ECOAN has been key in creating this sense of community. The villagers are paid to grow and take care of the trees. And these communities, some of who do not normally get on, come together to help each other plant trees every year, between December and March.
This year, 159,000 trees were planted. The original target of one million trees by 2020 is going to be achieved. But we will not stop there.
Amazonas Explorer owner Paul Cripps said, “My goal for 2020 is to plant two trees per client, per day that they are in Peru. I appeal to people out there to come an join us. It is not a competition, it is about doing the right thing and protecting the area we work in.”
This excellent video explains more about the project and documents this winter´s efforts. We were fortunate to be joined by organisations from Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia, coming to see how they could replicate this in their parts of the Andes. This truly is a festival of trees and of hope.
Community member Honorata Vargas put it beautifully, “We are seeding water as an inheritance for our children.”