A Sustainable Future for Manu

Launched in 2010 to assist communities in the Amazon to start their own sustainable enterprises, The Crees Manu Project has helped to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, fight climate change and protect the rainforest. Standing beneath the canopy of a pristine rainforest is to experience life at its most exuberant. The Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the “The Lungs of our Planet” accounts for around 20% of earth’s oxygen, and there is a need to preserve this beautiful natural ecosystem.

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of the Amazon rainforest, it is still under huge threat from logging, mining and burning. Huge areas have been destroyed, poverty is rife in the region and 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.  The Crees Foundation was set up to combat these challenges; their goal is to reduce poverty and protect the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.

Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon

With the help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa, shown in the above video,  and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Crees has created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way. Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu and to us all in how to lead a sustainable life. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his life to finding new ways of living in balance with his environment. By encouraging farmers to plant trees and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce he is helping to forge a sustainable future for the region. Help and funding has helped them with their work over the last three years, however, their funding is set to end in March 2013. Despite all the work they have done, there is a lot more to be done.

With ongoing donations to their project, they hope to:

  • Build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices
  • Plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity
  • Build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management

Inkaterra is an association that pioneers ecotourism and sustainability throughout Peru, and the Crees project’s values and mission reflect those found at the heart of the Inkaterra brand. Just like Crees, Inkaterra’s mission is to promote excellence in conservation and biodiversity. Their vision for the future is focused around supporting the local environment in which it operates. The guides across each property strive to improve the lives of the local people and the sustainability of Peruvian nature.

Inkaterra began research and conservation programs over 35 years ago at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. To bring this into further tuition, Inkaterra created Inkaterra Association - an NGO that is devoted to the biodiversity conversation of the unique ecosystems where Inkaterra works. Through the ITA, 15,000 hectares of rainforest at the low basin of the Madre de Dios River are protected every year. It doesn’t stop there. Their education programs enable the local people, the guides and interpreters and the guests that visit, to learn about the enormous wealth of biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”.  

To read more about the project click here. By donating you will help generate positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable the Crees Project to develop and continue on the path of success that they have already set out to achieve. The Amazon is vital for the existence and future of all human beings on our planet. It’s time for us to do something about it.

Inkaterra awarded at ETC’s Responsible Tourism Showcase

Mr. Jose Kochlin collecting the award for Responsible Tourism

Inkaterra was awarded at last week’s Educational Travel Conference 2013 for their efforts towards Responsible Tourism. The event takes place to recognise the efforts of those members that are continually working on developing and implementing their initiatives towards the future of sustainable tourism. The event took place in Orlando Florida, where tourism representatives, suppliers and governments joined together for the five day summit. The ETC’s mission is to facilitate deeper, more enduring connections between travellers and the communities in which they visit. Through authentic, people-to-people exchanges and strong guide interpretation, this can be achieved.

This year was a special celebration as Inkaterra were recognised for their 38 years of effort towards promoting eco-tourism and sustainability in Peru. Throughout Inkaterra’s history, they have pioneered authentic experiences in Peru, whilst ensuring they preserve and rescue Peru’s geography, nature, traditions and cultures.

Reforestation Project at Inkaterra

Another great success story for Inkaterra. 2013 has kicked off to a great start!

Guest Blogger: Martin Morales – Pisco Sour Day

To celebrate Pisco Sour Day on February 2nd, we invited Martin Morales as our guest blogger for the week. Martin is founder of London Peruvian restaurant Ceviche. In 2010 Peruvian cuisine was almost unknown in the UK but now, its become the foodie craze of the past year, and Ceviche is one of the go-to destinations for authentic Peruvian food in London.



Founder of Ceviche Martin Morales

Martin Morales – Guest Blogger 

After a month of only hearing about sobriety and non-alcoholic cocktails, there is no better way to start February then by celebrating Pisco Sour Day on February 2nd. The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national cocktail and Ceviche’s favourite. It’s a cocktail of Pisco Quebranta, lime, sugar syrup, egg white and Amargo Chuncho bitters. Created in Lima in the early 1900s, it is the perfect aperitif and also goes brilliantly  with our delicious ceviches and anticuchos.

The pisco sour is uplifting, refreshing and a real pick me up that’s why many are saying that its set to take over mojitos. I think its even better. Tastier, edgier, more refreshing and healthier with its higher vitamin c content. And now for a revelation…at Ceviche the Pisco Sour outsells any other cocktail by 10 to 1. We try so hard creating new cocktails, with new fruits, new ingredients. We try infusing Pisco with exotic herbs, unusual or delicious fruits and crazy roots, but nada. Miguel, our Head Barman and I tear our hair out trying to make great drinks with pisco. So much so that he has lost all his hair now. Because the pisco sour always wins.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

This has been happening all over the world for decades and decades. Millions of mixologists and bartenders have tried to beat the recipe, create something new or pimp it up. But to no avail. Does egg-white put some people off….naaaa. 1 in 100. People love it. We create new cocktails every week and although our customers love these, the pisco sour just smashes through all of them. Some creations are just perfect. That is why they last 100 years.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

I’m a self confessed Pisco Sour obsessive and although its our national drink its actually got international roots. An American entrepreneur named Victor V. Morris first created the Pisco Sour in the late 1910’s as a local alternative to the then fashionable Whisky Sour. He was the owner of Morris’ Bar, located in the heart of central Lima, which was almost exclusively frequented by English-speaking customers and travellers, who started spreading stories around the world of this new, refreshing cocktail that could quench your thirst without impairing your taste buds.

Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles became huge fans of the drink. It was rumoured at the time that Ernest Hemingway held the record for the most amount of Pisco Sours drank in one sitting. I think he probably held many records like that!

But the drink wouldn’t have been so popular if it hadn’t had the right ingredients to begin with. Lime has always been a staple of Peruvian cuisine, while Pisco Quebranta (a ‘pure’, single-grape variety of Pisco) suited cocktails perfectly. American by design, Peruvian by nature, Pisco Sour is the happiest of coincidences in cocktail history.  Morris’ Bar closed its doors shortly before the death of its owner, but soon enough established hotels such as Bolivar, Crillón and Maury took the recipe and perfected it by adding angostura bitters and egg white. Luckily for us, the bars of these hotels are still open and continue to offer some of the best Pisco Sours in Lima today.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Apart from of course Ceviche in London, some of my favourite places in Lima to have pisco sour are El Pisquerito, Bravorestobar, Bar Ingles del Hotel Country Club, Hotel Bolivar, Huaringas, Rosa Nautica, Capitan Melendez, Calesa, Amor Amar and Club Nacional.

In Peru there will be a ton of activities. Provinces and cities will have competitions like who can make the biggest pisco sour in the world and who can make the best one, there will be Pisco Sour Festivals and there are competitions for who can make the tastiest things inspired by pisco sour such as cakes, ice cream, desserts and shakes.

How did you celebrate Pisco Sour Day?