Haku's Social Projects
Haku Expeditions founders Bill and Nicole Koch originally moved to Peru as volunteers with a charity organization called Servants of the Poor of the Third World. Bill worked at The City of the Boys, a facility that includes a school for poor and orphaned children, an orphanage for young boys, a technical school, and a farm. During his seven years there, Bill worked with employees and their families in their every day lives and with the school children as a mentor and English teacher while overseeing the maintenance of the City of the Boys. Nicole worked with young girls in Cusco as a tutor, mentor, and English teacher; she also oversaw the local technical school, which taught girls trades such as ceramics, sewing, cooking, knitting, and manual crafts. Through this work both Bill and Nicole developed a love for the Peruvian people and a deep understanding of the Peruvian culture.
When they first started casually booking tours for friends, Bill and Nic always made sure to hire out the locals for lodging and meals — not only to offer financial opportunity to locals, but also to give guests a more authentic, true-to-Peru experience. Once they officially founded Haku Expeditions, they made sure to keep that principle at the center of their tours; most of their Peru bike tours feature lunches and lodging with Peruvian locals. Over the years, Haku’s commitment to social responsibility has solidified into the Haku Social Project.
The Haku Social Projects include:
Right now, Haku has big plans for the social project. We aim to sharpen our mission to two main areas:
1) Helping with the education of Cusco children who have minimal resources.
2) Helping those children after they graduate from school by buying their products or employing them in their area of expertise.
1% of our profits will be donated to the program, and you’ll have an opportunity to donate to it at checkout. We hope you’ll share in our commitment to responsible tourism and a better, more sustainable future for the Peruvians who make the country so special.
What you can do to help!
We are always accepting donations to bring to the high Andean pueblos. If you can bring a suitcase with no additional charge please take advantage and fill it with things that people can use here. Below is a list of things that are easy to pack and very helpful to the families that live in the mountains. All these items may be used from around your home or bought from a second hand store.
- Colored pencils
- Red pens and pencils
- Regular pens and pencils
- Pencil sharpers
- Glue sticks
- Pencil cases
- Book bags
- Lunch boxes or lunch bags
These items may be new or used. It is important to know that children here do not use crayons or the same style notebooks or folders used in other countries. While you can bring items such as notebooks or crayons they are not as helpful as the list above.
Shoes and clothing for school children:
- Black school shoes for boys or girls
- All white sneakers for gym class
- White button down shirts for girls or boys
These items may be new or gently used. All children use these items for school as all schools require uniforms.
General clothing items for children or adults:
- Clothing for cold weather
- Sweaters of all types and especially wool
- Base layers or long sleeve shirts for underneath sweaters
- Hats, scarves and gloves
- Sun hats or baseball caps
- Leggings or pants that can be worn under skirts for added warmth
- Pants or jeans for boys or men
- Shoes, sneakers, boots for men, women or children. (Up to size 8 US/39 EU women and size 10 US/43 EU men)
These items may be new or gently used. Please do not bring clothing for warm weather like t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sandals etc. These families live above 3,500 m/13,000 ft and it is always cold there. Note that most women in these areas wear typical clothing like Andean skirts and will not wear jeans or pants. Please do not bring women’s jeans or pants. Young girls up to age 13 might wear pants although they too often wear typical Andean skirts. Most people of the Andes are short, therefore shoe sizes are often small.
Other useful items:
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap bars (new only)
If you would like to help but cannot bring items you can make an economic donation and we will purchase whatever is needed for our giveaways. You can also choose to spend an hour in Cusco purchasing these items to give as a donation.