Cuncani Community Campsite
The Community of Cuncani receive technical assistance and ongoing training in organizational management, business formalization and taxation, and business administration for their community campsite, which was kickstarted with funding from Planeterra. In addition to the campsite program, 37 families received greenhouses and training on how to grow vegetables as a measure to address the severe malnutrition in the community. Income from the campsite has also been invested into planting trees, improving the community playground, and women have the opportunity to sell their handicrafts to visiting travellers.
The Cuncani community settled in the Lares Valley slowly over the years without any formal planning. The community has 71 families living in houses made of mud and stone, with thatched roofs and dirt floors. The community has piped water, which is in a state of neglect. They have no medical facilities so most of the population receives medical attention at the district of Lares, about four hours walking distance. The rocky terrain in the valley causes crops to be unreliable and produce low yields. Due to lack of food sources, and poor medical services, one of the main issues is malnutrition, which approximately 90% of the children suffer from.
With assistance from Planeterra, the Community of Cuncani created a campsite for travellers on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, which is managed and administered by the governing council of the community. The earnings from the campsite are allocated for investment in social projects such as health, education, food and nutrition, as well as infrastructure improvements to water and electricity. The Cuncani campsite officially opened in April 2014 and has an average of 450 visitors per month in the high season. Initial visitors to the campsite were the result of Planeterra’s connection with G Adventures, but the community services approximately 30 other tour operators and travel agencies from Cusco.