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Llama Travel recognises that tourism has a significant impact, both on the lives of local people and on the natural environment. When carried out sensitively, this impact can be very positive, providing employment and income as well as encouraging the preservation of local resources and culture. The economic benefit comes more directly than most other forms of export; through restaurants, shops and other services supplied by locals.

Many countries in Latin America and Africa are poor, and to make a living, natural resources have always been exploited by locals. However, as tourism has become more important economically, there is a growing recognition of the need to preserve natural resources, with many locals now employed as guides, trackers and staff in lodges.

Llama Travel works with local companies and organisations in our destinations to try to ensure that our holidays are beneficial for the people of the destinations we visit. We ask you to help with this:

  • Support the local economy by buying local produce and services.
  • Respect local people and culture, especially when taking photographs.
  • Respect the behaviour and habitat of wildlife.
  • Do not buy products made from endangered species or tropical hardwoods.
  • Support local environmental projects and those designed to preserve local heritage.
  • Please do not litter.

All Llama Travel excursions are taken with knowledgeable local guides who are fluent in English, and often in other local languages. Some trips include sections without guides; in these cases drivers may have only rudimentary English. We feel that the use of local guides aids the traveller in a better understanding of their destination, as well as working to better the lives of people living in the local community. We try to ensure that all local staff we work with are treated and paid well. However, some of the local companies we work with may not always share these concerns. If you come across anyone on your holiday that you think is being exploited, please bring this to our attention.

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Porters on the Inca Trail trek, Peru
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Practical Action

Llama Travel supports the work of Practical Action, a UK-based development organisation founded in 1965 by Fritz Schumacher, who coined the phrase ‘small is beautiful’ to describe the need to apply small-scale technology to reduce poverty. Practical Action helps people in local communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally-owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. In this way, people in poverty can improve their lives. Llama Travel is particularly impressed with the way Practical Action operates, working with local people to develop appropriate solutions that have a long-term impact on their lives.

If you would like to join us in helping Practical Action, see below.

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Carbon Emissions

Flying, like other forms of transport and many other activities, produces greenhouse gases. Many people are looking to find ways to reduce their impact on the environment and in particular to offset their carbon emissions in some way.

There are a number of organisations which you can buy ‘carbon offsets’ from. The going rate for a long haul flight to Latin America or southern Africa is currently about £20. Whilst this is a valid option and many operators specifically suggest that holidaymakers do this, we are less comfortable with this approach.

Most of these organisations are commercial enterprises. In addition, a lot of the activity they undertake is planting trees, the environmental benefits of which are much disputed. We prefer the support of organisations involved in introducing renewable energy sources in developing countries, so that these countries are able to advance economically and socially without developing a ‘carbon habit’.

Llama Travel supports the work in Peru and Zimbabwe of Practical Action, a UK-based development charity. One of the Practical Action projects we are supporting is the development of renewable energy sources in rural communities. This allows the communities to develop without having to burn resources or use other polluting forms of energy generation.

If you would like to contribute your £20 carbon offset amount to this Practical Action activity, please let us know. We will match your £20, so that Practical Action will receive double your contribution to developing renewable energy projects in Peru and Zimbabwe.

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Installing solar panels.