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The rapid growth of tourism in the 21st century has had both a positive and negative impact on the environment and as a result, as a tour operator, we are now more aware than ever of the responsibility we have to operate sustainably in this ever-changing world.
In 2020-21, Latin Routes aims to give back to the environment and communities by offering more sustainable ways to travel around Latin America and in-turn lessening the invisible burden of tourism. We will do this by setting up a Sustainable Solutions programme.
This Sustainable Solutions programme will include a carbon offsetting initiative that we aim to set up in 2020/21, details of this will be posted on the Sustainable Travel section of our website, across our social media channels and through email communication. It will offer our guests the opportunity to support local tree-planting projects in the Amazon rainforest from next year. Planting trees will help to reduce the impact of our guest’s holidays on the environment, as well as supporting a region of the world greatly affected by deforestation.
Another of our Sustainable Solutions programme aims is to launch a selection of sustainable holiday itineraries. These are for guests who want to reduce their carbon footprint and in turn help local people with community projects such as our Sacred Valley Project in Peru, which helps indigenous girls with education and access to transportation, food, uniform, supplies and more. Our product team will be working hard this year to launch these in 2021 along with new destinations in Latin America.
At Latin Routes, we are passionate about Latin America and travel, and we are just as passionate about protecting this region for future generations to experience and enjoy.
Here are some of the ways we are already contributing to sustainability in the areas which we travel to:
The Sacred Valley Project provides indigenous girls from the Sacred Valley area with education, skills and resources to become leaders in their communities. Most communities in the Sacred Valley suffer from extreme poverty and a lack of access to public services including schools. The Sacred Valley Project addresses the need for better access to secondary school, removing the barrier of a long and unsafe journey. The project provides a dormitory and education centre where the girls can live in a safe and nurturing environment, receiving nutritious meals and after-school tutoring. To further this mission, the Sacred Valley Project is currently implementing a long-term academic and personal development curriculum. Donations contribute towards food, education and transportation, along with supplies and uniform. The Sacred Valley Project are grateful for all aid in creating sustainability for girls, as the smallest of amounts can make the hugest of impact.
In 2017 the Sacred Valley project served 38 girls from 18 rural Andean communities. 95% of students passed their courses, with 100% of final year students graduating successfully. Images of the Sacred Valley Project are courtesy of Kate Lord Photography).
In our first 6 months of fundraising, we raised more than £1,000 for the Sacred Valley Project, which will cover the cost of a private tutor for the girls for a year. You can learn more about the project on their website sacredvalleyproject.org. Images of the Sacred Valley Project are courtesy of Kate Lord.
The Galapagos Islands are among the most remarkable and unique archipelagos in the world. The Galapagos Conservation Trust’s projects are wide-ranging and include cleaning up marine plastic pollution, educating the next generation of conservationists, controlling invasive species, monitoring the populations of land, bird and marine life and promoting sustainable ecotourism in the Galapagos Islands. Amongst their ongoing projects is the restoration of Floreana. The sixth largest island in the Galapagos, this ambitious project will see the eradication of invasive species (rats and cats) which have devastated the island’s wildlife. The project aims to reintroduce Galapagos Racer Snakes and the Floreana Mockingbird which have been preserved on neighbouring islets, in total the project is expected to help 55 threatened species to recover. Contributions will help to support these projects and promote sustainable development in the Galapagos Islands.
In our first 6 months of fundraising, we raised more than £1,000 for the Galapagos Conservation Trust. The proceeds from this will contribute towards the trust's efforts to restore Floreana Island to its natural state and safeguard the future of the critically endangered medium-tree finch whose numbers have been devastated by habitat loss and invasive species.
You can learn more about the trust on their website galapagosconservation.org.uk
For every holiday booked through Latin Routes, we will include an optional £5 donation per person to our chosen charities. Please speak to your travel specialist if you would like to increase this donation, or do not wish to participate. Our team is also involved in a range of fundraising events throughout the year which you can support and we will be happy to share the details with you and let you know how you can get involved too!
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Our Truly Individual Holidays allow you to choose the destinations, inclusions & budget
Our Escorted Small Group Tours offer fantastic itineraries, travelling with like-minded people
Winner of 'Best Tour Operator' at the 2019 & 2018 L.A.T.A. Achievement Awards
All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind