Women in Community Tourism: Three inspiring stories

In case you haven’t heard, Planeterra has joined forces with Evaneos to champion community tourism worldwide, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

The timing of our partnership announcement couldn’t be more perfect, coinciding with International Women’s Day.  So, let’s take a moment to celebrate and shine a spotlight on three extraordinary women who are at the forefront of the first community tourism enterprises supported through this collaboration.

Get ready to be inspired by the stories of Yenny Quispe Sallo, Ni Komang Sariadi, and Jenny Rasija as they lead the charge and uplift others with their remarkable work.

Yenny Quispe Sallo

Community member and former President of the Urpis de Antaquillka Association

Before joining the Urpis de Antaquillka Community Association, Yenny Quispe Sallo made a living by weaving belts and chullos (Andean beanies) to sell at a local market. However, this work was exhausting and unprofitable due to the low selling prices.

After meeting with her colleague Roxana, they decided it was time for a change. They wanted to showcase their amazing creations and explore new opportunities in tourism.

So, even though Yenny lacked experience in the area, she eagerly accepted the position of secretary in the association, backing up Roxana, who served as president at the time. Years later, Yenny ended up taking the presidency twice! 

In 2019, they formalized their association with 40 women, although not all of them are currently active members.

Yenny Quispe Sallo Urpis de Antaquillka Association (Peru)

Yenny and her colleagues also decided to level up their skills with some training in gastronomy and hospitality, getting ready to welcome travellers with open arms.

They were all set to welcome their first visitors in March 2020, but then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and drastically changed their plans. This brought them down, but despite the initial setbacks, they found the motivation to move forward and complete the construction of their premises, with the help of their husbands during the pandemic.

Their perseverance paid off when they finally welcomed their first guests in July 2022, reigniting their determination. They’ve been hustling ever since, teaming up with local agencies to bring in more travellers. And by 2023, they were hosting 3 to 4 groups of tourists every month, which meant more jobs for the 23 incredible ‘mamás’ (as Yenny likes to call her colleagues), with plans to expand even more!

Their vision for the future is to keep growing, and they are immensely grateful for the support of Planeterra and Evaneos. Through our partnership, we’re supporting Yenny and all the women from Urpis de Antaquillka in enhancing their current tourism experiences and upgrading facilities and infrastructure.

This includes improving the llama hiking paths, kitchen facilities, and overall experience development. Additionally, we provide training and capacity building to ensure the success of their tourism enterprise.

Ni Komang Sariadi (Ibu Sari)

Founder of PKP Community Centre

Ni Komang Sariadi (also known as Ibu Sari) has travelled a remarkable journey from adversity to empowerment, inspiring everyone she meets along the way.

Despite enduring the heartache of a difficult divorce and being separated from her daughter for 12 years, she refused to let despair define her. Instead, she embraced resilience and determination, returning to school with a clear mission in mind.

Driven by her own experiences, Ibu Sari recognized the need to support other women facing similar challenges. Thus, she founded the KIM Women’s Centre, a sanctuary of hope for those seeking to rebuild their lives. Understanding the importance of holistic well-being, she developed comprehensive programs to nurture the mind, body, and spirit of her fellow women, offering both emotional support and practical skills.

Ibu Sari PKP Community Centre (Indonesia)

But Ibu Sari’s vision extended beyond individual empowerment. Recognizing the crucial role families play in women’s lives, she expanded the centre’s focus to encompass the entire community. With the introduction of the new PKP logo, symbolizing unity and growth, the centre transformed into a vibrant hub where people of all ages and genders could gather to learn, collaborate, and flourish.

Today, the PKP Community Centre stands as a testament to Ibu Sari’s resilience and compassion. Through initiatives ranging from sewing and cooking to yoga and more, it continues to empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to their community. However, sustaining this vital work relies on the ongoing support of generous donors who share Ibu Sari’s vision of a brighter future for all.

We are collaborating with Evaneos to support Ibu Sari and the PKP Community Centre in upgrading their existing catering tourism infrastructure.

This includes enhancing the walking path around the garden to make it wheelchair-friendly and accessible to everyone. Additionally, we will provide training on the technical aspects of running a successful tourism enterprise.

Jenny Rasija

Founder of Razafindrabe

Jenny Rasija is a young Malagasy entrepreneur driven by a passion for arts, community development, and women’s empowerment.

Her journey into handicrafts started in 2010 when she joined family members in the trade. However, it was her travels across various African countries to engage in social work that reignited her passion for handicrafts. Inspired to make a difference, Jenny raised the bar and established Razafindrabe Collections in 2016.

As a social activist, Jenny advocates for artisans, working tirelessly to secure a brighter future not only for them but also for their entire families.

As a result, we aim to help Razafindrabe diversify its income, foster cultural exchange, and empower the women artisans involved. This will also lead to opportunities for their own education and that of their children, enable infrastructure upgrades and offer financial freedom.

Jenny Rasija Razafindrabe (Madagascar)

The stories of Yenny, Ni Komang Sariadi, Jenny Rasija, and all the women inspiring change within their communities are true examples of the power of community tourism to uplift lives and create better futures for women worldwide.

We are grateful to partner with global leaders such as  Evaneos to continue fostering the positive impact of tourism. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting partnership.


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