Jukil Community Lodge
Before their partnership with Planeterra, Jukil Community Lodge had been closed for five years due to a lack of customers and had fallen into disrepair. The lodge sees a monthly average of 300 visitors and an income of around USD 9,000 per month with profits to be invested back into the business and to a community fund to pay for improvements to social services in the village such as education and healthcare. With many of the village’s younger residents in search of economic opportunities, the lodge is seen by the community as a way to preserve their Indigenous culture and provide opportunities for the future. Visitors learn about the local agricultural practices, including their specialization in quinoa production, and take a guided walk with a community member to the sacred Jukil mountaintop.
The Santiago de Agencha community is located two hours across the salt flats from Uyuni, making it extremely inaccessible resulting in many youths choosing to leave the small community of about 280 inhabitants in search of economic opportunities elsewhere. This contributes to many of the issues associated with urban migration, including lack of housing, strain on infrastructure, lack of access to services, and diminishing populations and traditional cultures. The community is also located in the most expensive (but not wealthy) part of Bolivia (due to its remoteness) and low incomes create a day-to-day struggle for residents. Drought has also been a major problem of late, preventing success for families’ traditional crops such as quinoa.
Beginning in June 2016, Planeterra began funding the construction and upgrade of equipment and facilities at Jukil Lodge, thanks to a donation from Live Out There.
Planeterra also funded a training program and technical assistance for organizational management, cooking, restaurant operations, business formalization, business administration, and more. Planeterra connected the lodge to G Adventures tours in January 2017, after the completion of the expansion and renovations.