Encouraging development and inspiring confidence among the disadvantaged youth of Peru, the Concrete Jungle Foundation exemplifies a truly unique project that has the ability to positively impact future generations through the simple joy of skateboarding.
Peru is an integrated tapestry of vibrant cultures, ancient treasures, and natural beauty. As responsible travelers, we all want to do our part to preserve the delicate biodiversity woven into the country’s landscapes and respect the rich traditional ways of life of indigenous communities. The experiences Peru offers each of us are individually unique and our Peru For Less team is proud to connect you with travel opportunities that not only enrich your time here but impact the destinations and local communities we visit for the better.
Along Peru’s southeastern border, tucked away on remote islands in the middle of Lake Titicaca, live small communities with a rich Andean heritage. The ancient cultures of these families are specifically unique to this remote region and today they share their way of life with travelers like us. Traditionally these island residents survive by farming and fishing, but nowadays they can also earn extra income by hosting overnight guests. Our Lake Titicaca homestay tours - usually 2 days/1 night - by All Ways Travel are a sustainable form of tourism and amazing cross-cultural experience. Board a boat in Puno and motor across the water to the floating reed islands of Uros, or further out to Taquile or Amanti where you meet your host family.
Accommodations are simple but clean and during your stay you share meals and cultural activities with locals. We are proud to work with All Ways Travel. Since 1996, the Peruvian-owned tour operator has been committed to not only offering travelers authentic experiences, but giving back to the local communities and helping them build pride for their indigenous origins. All Ways Travel also organizes the collection and delivery of much needed books and other educational supplies for the children living on the islands.
The footpaths blazing through the Andes Mountains of Peru are an outdoor lover’s playground. Every year a growing number of people from around the world are eager to set foot on the famous 4-day Inca Trail or do one of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu. These epic hiking opportunities - paired with spectacular Inca archaeological sites galore - have been major contributors to the recent tourism boom in Peru’s Cusco region and the need to support ethical trekking has never been greater.
Our team works exclusively with Wayki Trek to ensure our travelers embark on a fun journey that’s environmentally and culturally sensitive. Wayki takes porter welfare very seriously and respects trail guidelines that have been imposed to protect the natural beauty. Furthermore, most of the staff at Wayki grew up in small rural communities outside of Cusco and bring their lifelong mountaineering expertise on each trek.
Lima is home to a sprawling population of some 10 million residents. While most travelers stay within the Miraflores, Barranco, and Historic Downtown districts, Haku Tours offers an opportunity to experience a side of Peru’s capital city rarely seen by tourists. Our team joined Haku for their popular Shanty Town Tour to the outskirts of Lima where stairs lead up a hillside maze of homes. During the tour, our guide took us to visit a neighborhood market, resident craftsman, and friendly family residences. The experience is an introduction to how the majority of Lima’s population lives, and how community-based tourism paired with strong local spirit make a positive impact for everyone involved.
Haku Tours was founded by Lima-born Edwin Rojas who holds a masters degree in sustainable and responsible tourism. Haku was created with the purpose of helping communities with less resources by providing jobs to families in need and aiding with a variety of volunteer projects.
Hotels by Inkaterra are consistently at the top of our most-recommended list for travelers seeking premier luxury in Peru. The 5-star amenities and breathtaking properties are bar none, but what genuinely sets Inkaterra apart from its competition - and what we love - is this Peruvian-owned company’s deep rooted commitment to ecotourism and will to protect the country’s biodiversity. Inkaterra has been at the forefront of sustainable development in a big way since 1978. The company’s non-profit institution, Inkaterra Association (ITA), is self-funded through its ecotourism activities which include earnings from the nights travelers book at their hotels in Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon.
ITA has partnered with National Geographic, the Global Environmental Fund, and numerous universities to conduct field work and biodiversity monitoring that develop conservation strategies for Peru’s most at-risk regions like the Amazon Rainforest. Conservation, after all, is achieved through the sustainable use of natural resources. Among several ongoing projects, Inkaterra manages more than 30,000 acres of Amazonian forests through private conservation areas and organizes educational programs to inform locals about sustainable fishing and organic production, among many topics. Visit the Inkaterra Association’s webpage to learn more about their inspiring work.
Ecotourism and responsible travel are cornerstones for the tourism industry in Peru’s jungle destinations. Eco-friendly lodges have sprouted up and down river across the Amazonian gateway towns of Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. These remote jungle lodges emphasize the importance of reducing environmental impact and respecting local knowledge. They are dedicated to putting sustainability into practice while at the same time giving back to the indigenous communities of the Amazon region. Many of our travelers stay at Posada Amazonas, a remote jungle lodge near the Tambopata National Reserve and about a 45-minute ride along the river from Puerto Maldonado. The lodge is owned by the indigenous Esa-Eja community of Infierno and managed in partnership with Rainforest Expeditions.
Daily excursions to see native wildlife are complemented by cultural tours to visit a jungle farm and traditional community clinic. The result is an amplified experience for visitors which fosters an appreciation and respect for the natural beauty and indigenous cultures, raising awareness of issues facing the Amazon region and the people who live there.
Concrete Jungle Foundation (CJF) is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission: to build skatepark facilities for the youth in underserved communities. But don’t be fooled, skateboarding is so much more than a fun pastime. By providing children with free access to skateparks, the activity of skateboarding is a powerful vehicle to improving self-esteem; promoting a healthy, active lifestyle; and building positive community relationships.
News of CJF arrived at our office in 2016 when Clement Taquet joined our team as the manager of Inca Expert Travel. He had previously spent 3-months volunteering in Trujillo, Peru, and the experience inspired him to cofound CJF with his friend Harry Gerrard. Their mission resonated with our entire team, so partnering with CJF to complete their first skatepark project in Peru was a natural fit.
Concrete Jungle Foundation chose Alto Trujillo as the site for their first skatepark. To get to this impoverished neighborhood of Trujillo, you must follow the streets leading away from the city’s plaza de armas and venture to the outskirts where many families survive on incomes far less than Peru’s minimum wage of 850 soles (about 250 US dollars) per month. Life here is tough and further compounded by the scarcity of clean running water and reliable electricity.
Clement and Harry, worked alongside the residents of Alto Trujillo as volunteers and observed firsthand the hardships that families face on a daily basis. For children, a concrete football court cracked with age was their only outlet for outdoor fun and CJF wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to fill this void in a big and educational way.
The Alto Trujillo Skatepark was built on the grounds of the public school Colegio Simon Lozano Garcia. This decision was an important part of CJF’s holistic approach for making lives of children in Alto Trujillo better by using the loving culture of skateboarding as a motivating tool to improve school attendance of this primary and secondary school’s 450 students. Only students who show up for class are allowed the use the skatepark facility, which is a strict policy enforced by school staff.
Inca Expert Travel is proud to partner with CJF and make Alto Trujillo Skatepark possible. Fundraising, volunteer support, and construction expertise were made possible by CJF to build the Alto Trujillo Skatepark, and then the nonprofit coordinated with the director of Colegio Simon Lozano Garcia to establish policies to regulate use, safety, and general upkeep of the skatepark.
About 500 discarded tires were collected by the truckload from the side of the road in Alto Trujillo as well as local car repair shops. These old tires were then reused as the principal building blocks of the skatepark’s foundation. To add extra support, the tires were filled with sand and stacked on top each other to manipulate the shape of each ramp before putting down the cement.
Palm trees were donated by Vivero el Palmar, local palm nursery, to plant around the skatepark facility. The coastline of Peru is dry desert and in low income neighborhoods such as Alto Trujillo these palm trees not only add shaded relief from the sun, but also add lovely green beauty.
Here’s a look at how the Alto Trujillo Skatepark is making a difference.Improve School Attendance:
The Alto Trujillo Skatepark opened its ramps to the primary and secondary students of Colegio Simon Lozano Garcia in April 2017. Only students who attend school are allowed to use the skatepark, which will encourage more boys and girls to go to class so they can enjoy the new facilities. The skatepark is also a supervised place where kids can socialize after school and channel their energy into the creative outlet of skateboarding.Respect:
Because the skatepark is a space that’s shared among all the students, everyone needs to respect each other, the rules of the skatepark, and the equipment that’s available for use.Equality For All:
Skateboarding is a fun activity for both girls and boys. The skatepark will build a sense of community through their mutual enjoyment of the sport.Healthy Lifestyle:
At it’s core, skateboardings is a really fun outdoor sport that promotes a healthy lifestyle. There were no opportunities to skateboard in Alto Trujillo before the skatepark was constructed. Learning new maneuvers through dedication and practice can also help children gain more confidence and self-esteem.