women own the business
people directly benefitting

Esencia Andina

Cuzco, Peru

Critical Need

Approximately 500 people (tourists and trekking staff) begin the Inca Trail Trek every day. This huge volume can leave more than footprints behind. Protecting the gorgeous natural environment for future generations is a priority that cannot be ignored. Non-biodegradable soaps and products can leave behind chemicals that pollute the land and the water in the area. Using biodegradable products means that the environmental impact of the trekkers is significantly less.

Our Involvement

Our Inca Trail Biodegradable Products initiative provided a $10,000 grant to launch a small women-owned business called Esencia Andina based in Cuzco, Peru. The 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 grow their own business and also lessen 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 G Adventures use these biodegradable products.


An investment of $10,000 allowed them to register these products for sale, vastly improving their market access and making their business viable. G Adventures is their biggest client, providing them with sustainable monthly income and creditability for them to increase their client portfolio. After less than one year they have more than 15 hotel and travel company clients in Peru, growing each month.

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