Cuso Challenge trek to Machu Picchu, Peru raises over $80,000

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Trek

After several days spent hiking in the Andes Mountains and reaching an altitude of 4,550 metres (15,000 ft), the 19 Cuso Challenge trekkers successfully reached Machu Picchu on Sept 30 and raised a record $81,240. Funds raised will go toward helping the most marginalized around the world, communities like the Chari women outside Cusco, Peru who are building their businesses to earn a sustainable income.

Cuso International has a long history of collaborating with local partners in the Andean Region. Thanks to our trekkers tremendous fundraising effort, women and girls in this community have the support they need for lasting employment, all the while strengthening the Andean way of life.

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit one of Cuso International’s projects while in Peru,” says Amie Gibson, Cuso International Senior Philanthropy Officer, and trek participant. “Meeting the Chari women left a definite impact on us all. The experience was made remarkable by its combination of seeing Cuso’s work firsthand, a physically demanding trek, and fundraising for such a worthwhile cause.”

“This trip was an opportunity of a lifetime,” says Cuso International trekker and volunteer alum Dr. Betty Rozendaal. “We had the privilege to meet the Chari women and experience first-hand their warmth and appreciation for our support of the community.”

Trek-Partner visit

This year’s challenge took place from September 24 to October 2 with five of the nine days spent hiking and camping in the shadows of the Andes mountains. The group hiked from six to eight hours daily while taking in the stunning scenery. One participant remarked “I am forever moved and changed by our experience, and only fellow trekkers can truly understand.”

Participants enjoyed sunny weather throughout the trip and the final hiking day culminated at Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate, one of the most breathtaking vantage points of Machu Picchu. The day ended with a walk down the historic Inca Trail to the heart of the famous archeological site.

“I am still energized by the fresh memories I have of Peru. The more I tell people about the trip and relive it, the more I realize how fortunate I was to experience it all. Every part of it was magical,” said Astrid Nielsen, a professional forester from Ottawa and trek participant.