Hello from Cusco, Peru!
I am the co-founder of Adios Adventure Travel and owner of the Peruvian office. My co-founder, Jacquie Whitt, an experienced adventure travel organizer, and I, figured out how to create a travel company that would benefit everyone including the people in the places we take our groups. I met Jacquie when I guided her group of students to Machu Picchu in 2007. This was the beginning of working together on many trips to Peru and has expanded as we went together to Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile to meet with other small tour operators to set up a support system for arranging trips in each country.
At 17 years of age I enrolled in our local law school. But shortly after my neighbor took me with him to work as a porter on the Inca Trail where I probably earned $30 USD. My first day of hiking was really tough. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I didn’t care if I got to Machu Picchu. I just wanted to throw away the things I was carrying.
I dropped out of law school to work as a porter, but after a couple of trips I realized I didn’t want to be used as a mule on the Inca Trail. I looked for a guide school where I could get trained and licensed. Every time I worked as a porter I used that money to pay for guide school.
In those days, it often happened that after a hike the guide would go in their tent and sleep. The cook would ask me to talk to the clients to tell them what to do. So I learned to speak English by talking to the foreigners during the hikes and from a pocket dictionary I found, and by listening to popular music on tape.
I got my guide license and started working for different companies all over Peru. Eventually I started my own company so I could work for myself and be closer to my family in Cusco. Because my parents come from a small high altitude Qechua farming community south of Cusco, I have access to a diverse array of opportunities to travel and explore off the grid. I have shared these special places with Jacquie and oftentimes we are able to include them in your trips to Machu Picchu.
Cusco has been my home for most of my life where I live with my spouse and 2 children. With the help of my family, I have built 3 adobe houses, two of which are hostels in Cusco. When I’m not guiding or running our company, I take care of the maintenance and management of our hostels and homes.