Country Walkers has led customized walking tours since 1979, now visiting some 70 countries worldwide. They strive to preserve the environment and give back to communities in each of their destinations. They frequently give back to communities both on a small scale (donations to parks and museums they visit) and on a large scale – by sponsoring community efforts:
The Patacancha Dormitory Project began in 2001, when a Country Walkers tour visited with the people of Patacancha, a small village 13,000 feet in the Andes. Moved by the tremendous spirit of those they encountered, guests began asking our guide, “What would this village need?” Our guide, a Peruvian native with more than two decades of guiding experience, asked the Patacancha school principal. He suggested that a dormitory would be a tremendous help to local children in the remote Ollantaytambo district of the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The school draws students from five surrounding communities. With no public transportation in the region, and a challenging trek by foot amidst chilly temperatures from autumn through spring, low class attendance and retention rates are the norm.
Today, Country Walkers and its guests have donated enough money to fund a two-story, five-room building complete with a basic kitchen. The dormitory is quite modern by local standards, and doubles as a community center and health center. It has electricity (lacking in most village dwellings) and space enough for 20 students during the week. Country Walkers guests have also brought along school supplies and even hand-made quilts for the children.
As we continue to support the estimated 120 students of Patacancha, our projects have grown to include:
* Computers for students – the school has 14, and hopes to have one per student.
* Stocking the new trout farm.
* Outfitting classrooms with sufficient desks and chairs.
* Starting a lunch donation program for the entire school year.
* Starting a sustainable guinea pig and chicken farm, providing meals and valuable skills.v
* Building additional toilet facilities and repairing existing ones.
* Purchasing large colored trash containers to introduce the children to recycling.
To make a donation to the Patacancha Dormitory Project, click here: