[Work in Progress] First Official Group Trip to Cuncani!

Credits: Kenji Misawa

If you google Cuncani-Peru, you will find out that the community is recognized as a good destination for camp and to do trails in the High-Andes in Cusco. Indeed, Cuncani is a beautiful destination for it. However, Cuncani does not receive the benefits they deserve. This is the reason that for a year, we have been talking to some families of the community on whether or not to start an Experiential Tourist Circuit . Although, we were began the planning in January we decided to work with them and support them in the implementation of their own Experiential Tourism circuit and it is finally ready!

This October 23rd and 24th, we expect to have a small group of tourists visiting the community. Despite the fact, that individual tourists have done the tour already, this is the first time we are organizing a group trip to the community. Besides all the interesting activities included in the circuit, these dates are special as well, as it will be the celebration of the “Siembra” season of the potato! This important event is called: Yapuy. The tradition of Yapuy has been maintained since the time of the Incas . Yapuy is an opportunity to appreciate the physical strength of the Andean men.

Saturnina mostrando papas por Miguel Arreátegui
Credits: Miguel Arreátegui
Señores trabajando en Yapuy, uno saltando por Jorge Carrillo
Credits: Jorge Carrillo

You can find information of this first group trip to Cuncani, here (in Spanish). If you are visiting Cusco these days or if you have friends/family that are, feel free to share it.

This is the beginning of what we expect to be a genuine opportunity for the economy of the community of Cuncani and a good opportunity to prove that tourism is good to combat poverty only when local communities are really included.

 

Expanding Knowledge and Making Societal Impact with Nexos Comunitarios

By Mackenzie Vozza , Western University – Alternative Spring Break 2016

#BeTheChange – NC Learning Program

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“If I could recommend anything to a university student looking to expand their cultural knowledge and make a significant societal impact, it would be working with Nexos Communitarios. The Nexos staffs not only ensured we had everything we needed pre-departure, but were also constantly in contact with us during our trip to ensure a flawless execution and unforgettable experience.

The project I had the privilege of working on, PhotoVoice, was an amazing initiative designed to change the mindset of children in impoverished areas in order to help them believe they can do anything they set their mind to. Partaking in this project was an eye-opening and wonderful experience as I made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.”

ASB is the perfect chance to get a life-changing experience

By Monika Volz (Alternative Spring Break 2015) – #BeTheChange

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“ASB was the most rewarding, fun, and life changing experience I’ve ever had! I will never forget the amazing memories I made in Peru with all of the wonderful people I became so close with. It opened up my university experience to so many new opportunities and meaningful friendships. Everyone should be able to have an experience like this at least once in their lives, and ASB is the perfect chance! This program is highly organized with incredible projects and wonderful objectives to help people around the world. ASB has an assortment of different objectives such as health and nutrition, community involvement, and education among many. I went to Peru to work with an organization called Nexos Voluntarios (now called Nexos Comunitarios) where I volunteered in many of their projects. I was involved in building a bathroom for a young girl with Cerebral Palsy, volunteering at an orphanage, working with children with disabilities, teaching English, and much more. ASB is also a great program because they carefully choose really great locations and organizations to work with. When I went to Peru, I thought that I would be making a big difference in the world. I do believe that I made a difference while I was there, however, what I wasn’t prepared for was that the people in Peru made an even bigger impact on my own life. I learned so much about compassion and selflessness; everyone around me was always so loving. They taught me to be genuinely kind to everyone and treat everyone with love and respect. They made me realize that we are all connected, even if it’s not by blood. They taught me to be unselfish and to help other people. If everyone in the world would embrace the people around them like the people I met in Peru have, the world would be a much happier place. This experience has truly shaped who I am and what I believe in. Everyone should have a chance to experience a program like ASB!”

Self-sustainability

By Carlos Kamisaki (University of Piura & Nexos Comunitarios)

In January 2015, I became part of Media Luna’s Rural Tourism Association, which is where my involvement with our work began. Many of my responsibilities involved providing resources to the association so they could work towards self-sustainability, which has been NeVo’s goal for more than four years.

In order to work on this project, I was given the opportunity to travel to Cusco. As if this valuable trip and putting my work to practice was not enough, my colleagues  and the Media Luna’s Association endlessly taught me daily lessons of patience, tolerance, respect for traditions, and pride for my roots. Every shared moment allowed me to realize that work pays off only when it generates positive impact for others. However, these lessons were not easy to face. I counted on the trust and friendship of the our (NC) family, which came in a very special way from each of its members.

I have already written an article about my experience with the rural tourism association, which is why I am going to focus solely on the importance of volunteering. Volunteering is a means of doing something about a situation that one sees as undesirable. My advice for those who are interested in volunteering is to focus on the desire to “do something” about a situation, while always keeping in mind that changes do not happen overnight. All coordinators’ work have been magnificent, but the time has come to start a new road with more ambitious goals and the same, if not more extraordinary, projects.

Nexos Comunitarios is now the leading organization. We are facing very important challenges for the coming years and are increasingly excited by the goals we are working towards. In Lima, we seek to earn a name that will identify our job with our ideals, obtaining sources of revenue through the participation of more Peruvians. The situation is complex in our country because there are many paradigms regarding the work of NGOs. However, nothing is impossible and with this way of thinking we have already seen pleasing results.

Our inexhaustible labor continues. In places that we have already started implementing our development projects, we will continue growing towards self-sustainability and the ideal that we aim to reach every community. Furthermore, we have extended our scope with the hope of including more Peruvian volunteers, alongside the help that we already receive from our international agreements. Note to self: I cannot thank Jean Gabriel Tarassenko enough, the most Peruvian English man I know. JG was the program director of NeVo and he is still an invaluable piece of all our organization’s efforts. Thank you JG for your friendship and your extraordinary work (as extraordinary as you are). I hope you come back soon and find us more capable than ever of serving more people. Success! I believe that we will smile at the end of the year while reflecting on our achievements and always maintain the optimism of facing the future with good desire and hard work.

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Carlos with Don Tiburcio, a member of Media Luna