Esencia Andina

Cusco, Perú


Planeterra provided a $10,000 grant to launch a small women-owned business called Esencia Andina based in Cuzco, Peru. This women owned-business produces biodegradable soaps, detergents, and natural products for use by travellers, porters, and cooks on the Inca Trail. 

This initiative is empowering young Peruvian women to start their own businesses and also lessen negative impacts on the Inca Trail – helping to grow a green economy and preserve this treasured destination. All of their products must receive sanitary registration by the government of Peru in order to be sold to the tourism industry on a wide scale. All Inca Trail, Lares Trek, and Amazon trips with our travel company partner G Adventures use these biodegradable products.

women employed
community members benefitting

Critical Need

Approximately 500 people (tourists and trekking staff) begin the Inca Trail Trek every day. This huge volume can leave behind more than footprints. Not only are plastics a problem but also non-biodegradable soaps and shampoos that can leave behind chemicals that pollute the land and the water in the area. Protecting the natural environment for future generations is a priority that cannot be ignored.

Our Involvement

With a $10,000 grant from Planeterra, Esencia Andina registered as an official business, and was able to scale the sale of their products, vastly improving their market access and making their business viable. Planeterra also connected Esencia Andina to one of our travel industry partners, G Adventures, who is their biggest client. This partnership provides this women-run business with a sustainable monthly income and credibility for them to increase their client portfolio.

After less than one year they had more than 15 hotel and travel company clients in Peru, growing each month. The success of Esencia Adina has inspired other tourism companies and government organizations in Cuzco to become more environmentally responsible.

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