South America | Sustainability

6 ways to support locals in Latin America

Responsible travel is all about benefiting the communities we visit. When you travel Latin America with Trafalgar, you’ll always leave a positive impact with our unique Make Travel Matter experiences. From meeting local families in Argentina and Costa Rica to supporting traditional arts in Peru and Brazil, here are 6 ways you’ll be supporting communities in Latin America when you travel with Trafalgar. 

1. Support indigenous weaving communities in Cusco

Trafalgar guests watching a Peruvian woman using traditional weaving techniques Cusco

You’ll be supporting some incredible crafts and communities when you travel Latin American with Trafalgar. In Peru, we’ll take you to the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco). This non-profit organisation founded in 1996 by Andean weavers to preserve the 10,000-year-old Andean weaving traditions and techniques. You’ll meet the master weavers and see the ancient methods used for spinning, dyeing and weaving traditional textiles. You’ll also get the chance to purchase some traditional textiles as beautiful mementoes of your trip.

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The centre employs over 500 individuals from the Cusco region, and your visit will help to preserve and promote the region’s indigenous weaving communities. The centre is also one of the recipients of the TreadRight Foundation grant. With the funds, the community was able to finish the construction of a weaver’s home at the Chinchero Weavers Centre, which also provides education about the ancient weaving techniques. 

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2. Meet the Quintana family at their ranch in Costa Rica

Trafalgar guests walking through Costa Rica jungle

You’ll be a part of sustainable tourism in Latin America with Trafalgar when we take you to meet Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana in Costa Rica. Join them at their Hacienda Pozo Azul, a 2,000-acre working ranch near Sarapiquí, for a traditional BBQ lunch full of local Costa Rican flavours. You’ll also explore the eco-friendly hacienda and learn how the Quintana family developed a sustainable income for many families in their community. 

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You’ll chat to the Quintana’s about ranch life, and learn about their crops like vanilla, pepper, fruits and medicinal plants. Discover how Costa Rica became the biggest exporter of pineapple and learn the history of sugarcane and coffee growing in the region. The Quintana’s are so passionate about what they do, and your visit will directly support their farm and the local families of Sarapiquí

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3. Learn how to dance the samba in Rio de Janeiro

women in bright costume performing at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

The samba is an iconic symbol of Brazil and a big part of the dazzling Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the biggest festival in the world. You’ll directly support the local samba communities of Rio de Janeiro when we take you to a local samba school to meet the dancers. You’ll also get a special insight into how the school prepares for the annual Rio Carnival.

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Marvel at the incredible samba moves and glittering costumes used in the festival, then test your own skills with a private dance lesson. Learn how to swing your hips Samba-style as you dance to the traditional music, before topping off the day with a visit to a churrascaria for some celebratory caipirinha mixing.

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4. Go wine-tasting with a local winemaker in Casablanca Valley

hands holding red wine glasses Chile

Wine enthusiasts will love this experience supporting the local people and wine-making communities of Casablanca Valley in Chile. The region is famed as one of the world’s best wine regions, and you’ll meet a local winemaker for a personalised winery experience. Take a guided tour around the stunning vineyards and enjoy the delicious wine tasting along the way. We’ll top it off with a gourmet lunch in the beautiful surroundings, and it’s sure to be a highlight of your Chile trip. 

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5. Enjoy lunch with a local chef in Lima

Chef Ignacio Barrios giving a cooking demonstration to Trafalgar guests in Lima, Peru

You’ll meet award-winning chef Ignacio Barrios in Lima to learn all about the tasty Peruvian cuisine. First, you’ll join Ignacio for a walk through a local market. As you wander through the colourful stalls, you’ll learn how the locals use the produce in traditional cooking. Next up, you’ll head to his cooking school for an unforgettable ‘Be My Guest’ lunch. Watch Ignacio prepare some mouthwatering dishes, and learn more about his life as a chef in Peru. Finally, you’ll get to taste all the dishes at lunch and savour those delicious Peruvian flavours. 

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6. Dine at the home of a local family in Buenos Aires

couple dancing the tango Argentina

You’ll have the chance to support a local family in the gorgeous city of Buenos Aires in Argentina with Trafalgar. We’ll head to the bohemian neighbourhood of Palermo Soho, lined with stunning European-style houses and trendy bars and boutiques. There you’ll meet a local family and long-time residents, and join them in their home for a ‘Be My Guest’ dinner. Discover the secrets of kneading fresh bread and learn the ingredients of homemade family recipes. You’ll even get to witness the sensual art of the tango. It’s sure to be one of your most memorable nights in Latin America with Trafalgar. 

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Have you experienced ecotourism in Latin America? What’s on your Latin America bucket list? Let us know in the comments below…

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