Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel is dedicated to its communities and utilizing its time to initiate a process whereby, we as a driving force of the tourism industry, become socially aware and active.
We began working with two communities situated among Cusco city, Yanamayo and Ccotataki. We created the first contact with both communities in a very informal and hospitable way, with clothing and toy donations as well as items for the local schools and finishing off with a Peruvian “chocolatada” or hot chocolate and fresh bread. We wanted our first visit to be felt and remembered, but also non-intimidating, to allow us to get to know the families of each community and assess the needs specific to the area, such an achievement was made possible thanks to the help of our employees at Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel and the constancy of our guests that stay with us while traveling to Cusco.
Our ideology at Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel is to work towards strengthening and valuing the culture of these communities, their language, traditions and way of life. In this way we are trying to aid them in their recognition of their own identity and make them feel that they are not only part of their community, but Peru as a whole. We believe that through this self worth, the locals will be driven toward a better quality of life by their own actions.
Our mission at Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel encompasses our ability to reach the individuals in these communities through the education platform, for both adults and children. Initially we are looking to improve the level and quality of education provided in the local schools of these communities. We hope to do this by providing not only materials for the classrooms, but support for the community in such a way that we help them maintain a healthy balance between their culture, their past and the pressures of modern society.
In our strive to aid this community we also want to be environmentally aware, being careful not to cause further contamination through the use of plastic bags, bottles, batteries, candies, etc.
Hence all donations made available by Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel in Cusco and our helpers to these communities in principle, are to be environmentally friendly and re-usable.
The Ccotataki community is found high up in the district of Pisaq in Cusco, overlooking the famous Pisac terraces in the Sacred Valley. The community works together, in order to cultivate and harvest their crops, though at this stage they are only producing enough potatoes to sustain themselves, it is in their future to be able to produce enough to sell in the local markets of the Valley, as well as the restaurants in the city of Cusco.
The community’s primary school is made up of 31 students between the ages of 6 to 14, in grades 1 to 5. There are also 20 children ages 2 to 5 in the pre-school program. In Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel we are looking to provide our support through the improved education of these school aged kids. By exposing the children to positive and creative influences we intend to open their minds to a better life and a better future.
The Yanamayo community is situated in Cusco as well at 3,800 meters above sea level (12,467 ft) in the Abra de Malaga region. Previously, travel to this area was limited due to the lack of accessibility by car, however due to the newly built road it is possible to reach this community in approximately 4 to 5 hours.
Though this is an isolated community, you will find as many as 100 families living in this area, scattered high among the mountains. They live “scattered” as opposed to next door to one another as they intentionally build their homes close to the their own potato crops, which are dispersed across the mountains. This is a great source of livelihood for them as it is one of the only crops that can grow at this altitude.
Due to the precariousness and lack of educational material, children attend school once a week, impacting the rate at which they can learn.
You can also collaborate by making direct donations at the hotel for the Yanamayo/Ccotataki community initiative; the following is a list of school supplies these local schools are requiring:
- Notebooks and notepads
- Colored pencils
- Permanent markers
- Pens/HB pencils
- Wooden rulers
- Pencil sharpeners (metal)
- Ruled paper A4 and A3
- Photocopy paper/Colored paper
- Colored cardboard
- Spanish text books
- Story books (pre-school age)
- Calligraphy books
We have also seen, due to the extreme cold experienced in these locations, that warm clothing and blankets are a necessity. We want to provide the community with warm items of clothing, preferably interior undergarments that will not interfere with their traditional way of dressing. Donations of the following items will also help us to support our communities and are received in the hotel in Cusco:
- Thermal underwear
- Socks and knits, gloves, headwear
All items preferably in small sizes for children between 9 months to 12 years. Adults are also on the small side and use small to medium sized clothing.
Volunteers. We will be delighted to have your company during our visits to the communities, to play with the children, distribute gifts and to share with them moments of joy!
Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel is honored to invite you to help us share the lives of these communities around the world! Tell your friends and family about your personal experiences with the communities, you can put comments on tripadvisor, facebook and other websites.
This way we can share these moments with many others looking to help us in our endeavor while spending their vacations in Peru.
Current Efforts and Future plans
Firstly, the building process for Casa San Blas involved the use of fine local woods from certified forests and the ironwork was contracted out to local artisans from Cusco. We have also adopted a towel/sheet re-use program in an attempt to conserve water and are currently using biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning products throughout the hotel. This way our hotel can also contribute to your eco friendly vacations in Cusco.
As we aim to look to the future we are also introducing:
*Energy saving LED light bulbs throughout the hotel.
*Sensor lights for the hotel hallways.