We began our journey over 30 years ago and since, Journey Latin America has strived to operate as responsibly and sustainably as possible. Our aim is to provide our clients with unique and authentic experiences that are sensitive to the environments and communities we visit. We endeavour to respect local laws and customs and minimise the impact that long-haul travel inevitably has.
PUTTING PHILOSOPHY INTO PRACTICE
How do we achieve this? We communicate our policy of sustainable travel to all of our suppliers in Latin America and ask them to sign an agreement and promise of best practice before they begin working with us. What’s the result? We’re confident that we’re all working together to achieve the goal of responsible tourism.
Our suppliers agree to:
- Maintain the sustainable services they provide. This includes employment policies, resourceful energy supplies and upholding a commitment to the local communities and their development
- Inform us of any products that can be recognised for outstanding commitment to sustainability
- Ensure that benefits from tourism filter down to the local communities wherever possible
As gold sponsors of the LATA Foundation, a charity that supports grass root projects throughout Latin America , each year we make a donation which goes towards their carefully chosen causes. All donations go directly to inspirational projects that transform lives by helping to provide clean water, medical or dental treatment, practical support or training with new skills.
Prior to this, we helped small local charities in Latin America that we could make a difference to through our financial support. Here are just some of our achievements and initiatives:
- In 2012 we successfully raised £26,000 of contributions by our clients for a Lake Atitlán fuel-efficient stove programme. We’re also delighted to be averaging a 40% uptake from our group tour and tailor-made holiday clients of TICOS contributions towards the project - thank you.
- Moved by forest fires in Torres del Paine National Park at the beginning of 2012, we were delighted to take part with Reforestemos Patagonia’s project of replanting native trees in national parks and reserves which have been affected by fires, by donating a tree for every booking to the area that season.
- 2010 marked Journey Latin America’s 30th anniversary and as part of the celebrations we embarked upon an ambitious challenge to get 30 of our key supplier hotels in Latin America to reduce their water and energy consumption. A few heralded great results in just 12 months, cutting their water bills as well as helping the local environment.
- For the 2009-10 Patagonia season we encouraged our clients to refill water bottles where possible rather than purchasing a new bottle, to help reduce plastic waste, by supplying them with complimentary durable water bottles.
- In 2008 we sent all our clients travelling to Peru a toothbrush to donate and help support The Dental Project Peru with their work in dental hygiene and treatment in rural Peruvian communities.
In the office we carefully monitor and seek out new ways to reduce energy usage and waste. Light sensors, water saving devices, energy monitors and a new boiler are just some of the ways we’ve cut our carbon footprint (and our energy bills!) at home over the last couple of years.
Given the nature of our business, air travel to Latin America is unavoidable in maintaining our expertise and up-to-date knowledge of the area, as well as making sure that our products, hotels and activities are fit for sale. However we make sure that we minimise the number of trips taken throughout the year and all staff travel is offset through the company’s on-going carbon offsetting scheme TICOS.