Tag Archive for local community

Responsible Tourism in Ecuador

Charity Challenge would be nothing at all if it wasn’t for the natural culture and beauty of our expedition destinations. So Responsible Tourism has always been a huge priority and a topic very close to our heart. It’s for this reason that it is part of our responsible tourism policy to donate around US$500 (on average), on behalf of each of our expedition groups, to a charity organisation based locally to the challenge destination. Indeed it’s part of our Responsible Tourism policy to give as much back to the local community as we can, through employment, spending locally, engaging with locally owned businesses, and educating those that are travelling with us and leave as small a footstep as possible wherever we go.

In this series of blogs we are going to be highlighting some of the work that we do around the world so that past, present and future participants can see where their money is going to. Our Peru Project Manager Emma is particularly excited to be highlighting this part of our work.

“In the excitement of everyone fundraising for their specific charity, the good work that you are also contributing towards in the local communities where you are travelling is often forgotten. So to all of our past, present and future challengers – please take a moment to pat yourself on the back for your achievements abroad!”

This week we are focusing on Ecuador. In recent years we have taken to helping the local communities north of Quito in the municipality of Otavalo. Otavalo town itself is very popular with tourists as a day trip due to its huge local market. The market is one of the biggest and friendliest in the country and tourists get up early and drive from Quito to come and learn about traditional Ecuadorian products and handicrafts and how to haggle for them!   

However, a few hours further north of the town of Otavalo, where handicrafts are not made and tourists don’t tend to travel so much, living conditions are much tougher. Each year we try and help one of the small indigenous communities, often by contributing to building projects. This year has been the turn of the San Francisco community, 4hrs drive from Quito close to the town if Ibarra. They asked us (through our local ground agents) to help them to construct a new wall around the communities’ small local school so that the children could play safely in their breaks. We assisted them with this, and also helped build a small block of hygienic toilets the children could use, and to round it off, we helped to support the refurbishment of the kitchen which makes the children’s lunch. This is just one of many projects that we are proud to be involved with. Stay tuned to this blog series (by clicking the orange RSS button) if you want to learn more about how we give back to local communities. If you’d like to receive up-to-date news on our latest challenges, promotions and developments, please enter your name and email address into the adjacent box.

Charity Challenge, Climate Care and Carbon Footprints

In these times of foreign travel, where journeying abroad is the norm, climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing us all, with the potential for significant community, biodiversity and environmental consequences across the world. To take responsibility for the impact our business has on the climate (emissions from the office, and flights for Charity Challenge staff and our passengers’ flights) we are offsetting the carbon emissions from our business through Climate Care.

Who is Climate Care?

Climate care is one of the oldest businesses in the carbon market.  Since 1997 they have been reducing greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of companies and individuals. Reductions are made through a range of projects around the world that not only make real verified reductions in carbon emissions, but also make a difference to people’s lives.

How many tonnes have we offset?

During 2008 and 2009 our customer and staff flights and our business operations generated 4381.68 tonnes of carbon emissions, which were all offset by Climate Care on your behalf.

Who else benefits?

The offsets we purchase on your behalf help to fund a portfolio of projects in the developing world.   In many cases these projects are situated in countries where we have challenges.  The projects not only reduce carbon emissions but also  improve the lives of those living locally which in the long term benefits us all, by providing clean technologies to parts of the world where emissions are growing most quickly.

Cambodia Improved Lao stoves summary;

An example of one of the projects our contributions have been invested in is the Cambodia improved cook stoves Project.  This aims to transform the cooking market in Cambodia, overcoming many barriers to achieve its goal: developing the stove, developing the sales channels, improving sales techniques, marketing the stove and management training.

Replacing the traditional Lao stove with a stove with improved efficiency helps to reduce the demand for charcoal by as much as 21%.

On top of reducing the carbon emissions, the project has social and economic benefits:

  • The project is building the country’s capacity in technical skills in the manufacturing of the improved stove.
  • By reducing the amount of fuel used for cooking, the project enables stove users to spend less on fuel to cook, thereby saving valuable income.
  • The new Lao stove reduces harmful smoke and soot in the kitchen, improving the health of its users.

The reductions we have made through buying those offsets is equivalent to Grounding 16 full flights (assumed 348 passengers) from London Heathrow to New York JFK airport.

Click Here if you’d like to have a look at the Climate Care website, and if you want to keep up to date on our latest news and promotions, check the Charity Challenge Website, subscribe to the blog via the RSS button and subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email address in the box on the right hand tool bar.