There’s no doubt about it – 2020 has been an incredibly tough year. But while COVID-19 has had a brutal impact on our lives here in Ireland, we are fortunate enough to have support systems in place that have helped us all through this year. However bad things get, we know we’re not going to starve. Sadly, that’s not the case around the world.
If you’ve ever been on one of our expeditions, you will undoubtedly have amazing memories of the porters, guides and cooks we work with along the way. Our team of staff all around the world plays a hugely important role in what we do. But those people have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic.
Porters income dropped to zero
In countries like Peru, Tanzania and Nepal, there is no social welfare available to its citizens. Those employed through tourism have watched their income drop to zero as the borders were sealed and sites like Machu Picchu closed for months. Entire villages have been decimated by the lack of tourists. So many guides, horsemen, cooks and porters who work in these countries have seen their livelihoods destroyed.
How you helped
Right from the start of the pandemic, we knew we wanted to help out as much as we possibly could. We reached out to you, our customers, and anyone else we could think of to help. And we’re proud to say that all of our efforts paid off. Every bit of money we could spare went straight to helping our teams in Peru, Nepal and Tanzania and, in the end, a total of $13,000 (€10,979) was sent.
How our porters used the money
In Peru, we sent $5,000 (€4,222) to our team of guides and porters we work with on the Machu Picchu Treks. This money was invested in conservation agriculture techniques to generate better yields in their farms. They have already had their first successful crops of corn and potatoes, and are reinvesting their proceeds on other projects, which is amazing – all of the money has gone into projects that will continue to provide income.
In Nepal, we donated $2,000 (€1,690) to fund a goat farm started by three of the Nepali Sherpas who guide trekkers on their way to Annapurna Base Camp.
$4,000 (€3,378) was sent to the guides and porters in Tanzania who work on Kilimanjaro, to set up a small business loan scheme. Since then, an incredible 13 new businesses have been established, from clothes shops to farming projects.
My whole family contracted the virus
While we have all suffered as a result of the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how tough things have been in countries like Peru. Edgar Tito Peralta is our business partner in Peru. After he dispersed the funds sent by Earth’s Edge, the covid situation in Cusco worsened. Edgar’s parents both contracted the virus, as well as Edgar himself, his wife and two children. His father sadly passed away, and his mother was in dire need of oxygen, something that isn’t produced in Cusco. Edgar had to source and pay $2,000 (€1,690) for oxygen for his mum, who thankfully pulled through.
From all of us at Earth’s Edge – Thank You
If you partook in our COVID-19 Special Offer, you personally contributed to the funds that have provided support, income and much-needed resources for our guys in these countries. Without your generosity, we wouldn’t have been able to provide the funds that we have. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.