Adding Charity to the Vacation Packing List

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Our mission at Go Eat Give is to tie travel with giving back to the community. While volunteering is one of the ways to do so, here is another great opportunity to make a small difference wherever you go. Posada Amazonas Lodge, one of three accommodations under the directive of Peru’s visionary leader in sustainable tourism, Rainforest Expeditions, has partnered with Pack for a Purpose that encourages travelers to carry with them five pounds of school or medical supplies that can make a difference to communities they’re visiting.

Rainforest Expeditions’ team has identified needs of its local community of the indigenous Ese’eja of Infierno who own this lodge that is located within a communal reserve. Some 170 native and ribereño families (second or third generation settlers) work and profit from this 30-room eco-lodge, wellness and holistic center. They partner with this 500-person community, where the 65 or so children between the ages of 6 and 14 face academic challenges and shortcomings. The community schools welcome computer equipment, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, English teaching books, English/Spanish dictionaries, software, ecology-focused teaching aids and playground equipment along with puzzles, rubber balls, crayons, modeling clay and colored pencils. You could also donate clothing and shoes plus medical supplies for the Native Community of Infierno Clinic. Most items are easily found in hometown pharmacies and discount stores. Five pounds equates to 400 pencils, or five deflated soccer balls with an inflation device or a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band-aids. Now, that’s not a lot of luggage to carry!

Surely, charity comes with some fun, so don’t overlook the “vacation” part of this initiative. Posada Amazonas is a remotely located comfortable lodge in the Madre de Dios region of southeastern Peru, teeming with monkeys and more than 850 species of birds. In biodiversity-rich surroundings, The Rainforest Alliance Verified™ lodge hires from within the community, and sources locally produced goods whenever possible. Since joining Rainforest Alliance’s verification program, the lodge has implemented a biodegradable sanitation system, reduced air and water pollution by purchasing eco-friendly boats, improved waste management and conducted extensive training in sustainable management.

A common area at the lodge includes a hammock lounge, dining area, a meeting room and a bar. A 30-meter Canopy Tower offers views of the vast expanses of standing forest and nearby Tambopata River. Resident are toucans, parrots and macaws; hoatzin, caiman and horned screamers. From a catamaran on Lake Tres guests are treated to sightings of a family of Giant River Otters. Activities include walking an ethno botanical trail, visiting a working vegetable farm, community visits, kayaking and mountain biking.

~ Story courtesy of Widness & Wiggins PR

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 50+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and chief editor of Go Eat Give.