Posts Tagged ‘Jorge Martel’

Inbox: Service and Comfort Zones in Peru


Llama with Cordillera Blanca in Background

Below is an excerpt from someone asking a question,  who will most likely be joining us on a Peru: Machu Picchu/Cordillera Blanca combo trekking program in 2011.

Dear Randall,
Here are a few of my thoughts and ideas and questions as I have started to read about Peru and hiking and Machu Picchu.

I think we would like to have a day where we could do some type of community service so we could give back to the people and the country.

Nancy C.

Shamans, Peru. Circa 1997

Dear Nancy,
Excellent, glad your thinking along these lines.

Additionally, as you know, we are a unique educational organization – a hybrid, or cross between a guide service, an experiential educational org and a holistic learning center on the fly.

So if you and the other participants are willing to step out of their comfort zone, try new things and be willing to let the place, the mountains, the people and the experience change you, then it will be a good fit.

I get the feeling you and your friends fit this description. See you soon for an orientation.


Cottage Industry in Huaraz, Peru


Yuri at his storefront, Hauraz, Peru

Yuri at his storefront, Hauraz, Peru

Climbing Gear Manufacturer Grows Business in Huaraz, Peru

I’ve known Yuri Yamirez for about 12 years. We met through his brother Jorge Martel, with whom I guided on Huascaran and other peaks in the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz.  Back then, Yuri had one sewing machine and was making tents and anything climbing related.  He had a chaulk bag inlaid with traditional Peruvian material.  Now, he’s got a staff of 8 or so people and is selling items in Europe and the USA. We’ve had his items on our website’s fair trade page for some time, but haven’t done his stuff justice.

Yuri in Yuraq Janka workshop

Yuri in Yuraq Janka workshop

Peru’s tourism trade is booming, and it’s good to see Yuri has benefited from the rise in Peru’s profile worldwide.  His company is called Yuraq Janka, which means (we think) the Cordillera Blanca in Quechua.  Yuri does great work. We purchase one of his 40 liter climbing packs (model: Chacraraju 40) which is one of the lightest you’ll find anywhere.  If you want more info check out MSI’s fair-trade webpage, or his website, which is still under development but does have an index page and contact info.