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Peru through the lens of Chalay: Andean Culture and Connection to Food

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Peru 10 DAYS, 9 NIGHTS from $2,650 per person based on group size

Trip Overview

Global Family Travels is pleased to offer a truly regenerative adventure in Peru with a lens on Andean culture and the sacred nature of food, land, and the people who cultivate it. In partnership with community organizations, ANDES Association, Potato Park and Awamaki, this journey through Peru’s Sacred Valley offers the opportunity to immerse and learn firsthand from farmers, artisans, and Indigenous peoples about ancient farming techniques and economic practices, traditions which have protected food sovereignty and biodiversity in the Andes, while adapting to the challenges of food security, climate change, water shortages, and biodiversity loss.  

Participants on this trip will also learn about Chalay, the ancient Andean practice of bartering, or trading goods without the use of money. Through alternative economic systems, chalay strengthens relations between friends and families from diverse agricultural zones where seeds and food are thought to be members of the family.

Learning themes and experiences unique to the Peru part of your trip include:

  • Take in the charm and history of Cusco and Ollaytambo
  • Visit the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Learn by engaging with Awamaki about their work and how they are uplifting local women and communities, while learning about some economic development theory too!
  • Learn firsthand about local traditions and life by spending a day with Patacancha indigenous people in their village, enjoying lunch with them and learning traditional weaving techniques. (Note, a homestay with a Quechua family is optional)

Learning themes and Learn, Serve & Immerse experiences 

Location : Cusco, Peru

At Global Family Travels, we believe that the most powerful way to learn is through first-hand experience. We let the country and its people be your teachers. While taking in the charm and history of Sacred Valley cities and sites in Cusco, Ollantaytambo and other towns.  While on the trip, you will be immersed in the community, meeting community members,  and even working alongside them performing the various service project tasks. A highlight of the trip is the option to spend one night with a host family in Potato Park, living as they do, helping to prepare meals and participating in the daily routine of the house.

Unique educational experiences on this tour include: 

  • Immerse in Potato Park to learn about their incredibly diverse collection of potatoes and how Indigenous communities and farmers are helping to conserve them, while adapting to the challenges of food security, climate change, water shortages, and biodiversity loss. 
  • Engage with and learn from our non-profit partner, Awamaki, who is helping to empower rural women with skills-based education and vocational skills. 
  • Visit barter markets to witness an ancient economic system called CHALAY in action. Chalay is a tradition in which commodities are exchanged for non-monetary items like food, woven items, etc.
  • Learn how our non-profit community partners, ANDES/Potato Park and Awamaki are preserving Andean cultural heritage, economic systems, and Indigenous traditions.
  • Learn about astronomy and how it relates to agriculture.
  • Visit and learn about the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

About Andes and Potato Park

Potato Park is a biocultural territory dedicated to the conservation of biological and cultural diversity in the Andes mountains near Pisaq, Cusco, Peru. This 35 square mile (90 square km) park is administered by the five Indigenous communities of Amaru, Chawaytire, Pampallacta, Paru Paru and Sacaca, with the support of the Association for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES). ANDES and community members of the Potato Park are our hosts as we will learn about their work and participate in the daily routine of the Indigenous peoples.

The Potato Park is not just a conservation initiative for various varieties of potatoes. It is, above all, a bio-cultural territory dedicated to the conservation of the heritage of six indigenous communities that live here: not only hundreds of cultivated varieties but also related wild species, the landscape and its elements that also include knowledge, traditions, innovations and the worldview of the more than 6000 inhabitants. Learn more about Potato Park:

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a Peruvian non-profit organization that works with rural women to empower them with skills-based education and connect them with access to the market so they can earn an income, support their families, and help transform their communities. Awamaki does this through women’s artisanal fair-trade crafts cooperatives and sustainable tourism. Awamaki works with nearly 140 women in 5 communities. Learn more about Awamaki here:

About Global Family Travels

Location : Seattle, WA, USA

Global Family Travels' vision is to unite humanity and inspire travelers to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly inter-connected planet. Much more than a traditional tour operator, Global Family Travels’ mission is to provide authentic community-based “Learn, Serve and Immerse” travel experiences, as means to foster cross-cultural understanding and better global citizens.

Using tourism to help solve community challenges, we organize sustainable travel experiences in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations.  Our local Seattle Community tours and global trips often support of many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including education, access to clean water, conservation, gender equality, and the preservation of diverse and indigenous cultures.

Global Family Travels also offers Travel Advisor Services, to help plan custom trips for families, multi-generational travel, individual adventurers, or spiritual seekers.

Expect to Expand Your Family Circle when you embark on a Global Family Travels trip!

Visit our website for more information.

About Sustainable Travel International

Global Family Travels has partnered with Sustainable Travel International (STI) to provide carbon-offsetting for all of our guests' flights between the USA and Peru, which is already included in the cost of your trip. Through this partnership, we support projects that reduce carbon pollution by protecting and restoring forest ecosystems, generating clean energy, or increasing energy efficiency. In addition to fighting climate change, Sustainable Travel International's offset projects also provide meaningful benefits for communities and biodiversity such as creating local jobs, protecting indigenous land rights, safeguarding the habitat of endangered species, and bringing clean drinking water to rural families. Learn more about STI and their impactful work here: 

Safe and Flexible Travel Guaranteed

The health and safety of Global Family Travels’ travelers, community partners, colleagues and guides are of paramount importance to us. To mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19, we have adopted COVID-19 Health and Safety guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with the Adventure Travel & Trade Association (ATTA) and Cleveland Clinic, as well as the Washington State’s public health policies.   You can find more detailed information on our website COVID-19 and Travel.

Global Family Travels’ customers will have peace of mind when they choose to travel with us and know that their health and safety are backed by flexible booking conditions. Please refer to the "Tasks" outlining specific details for the health and safety protocols for destination and itinerary.   Please also visit our Booking terms and Conditions for the specifics of your personal trip page.

These critical health and operational measures ensure that we can continue to offer tourism experiences with community partners and suppliers in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about these protocols or your trip and thank you for helping to keep yourself and fellow travelers,  host community and guides safe!   

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