My project seeks to use a big initial push to develop a long-term, self-perpetuating change of mentality regarding the role of llamas and other native species in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The plan begins with one of two options: the donation of llamas from Llama Pack to one or two select communities or the option to trade one pack mule or horse for two llamas. For the first option the intention is to create a chain of learning good habits of llama husbandry, passed from village to village under the oversight of Llama Pack. Villages which receive llamas from Llama Pack must then pass on their knowledge and a some llama offspring to the next community, and so on. This method (inspired by Heifer Intl.)can quickly create a strong and growing network of llama-friendly communities who would be a strong basis for healthy pack llama breeding practices.
The second option of trading one mule or horse for two llamas would motivate locals and small holders to "make the switch." Training would also be required in this case, and after the initial phase would align with the learn & share method described above.
The events at which llamas are brought to a new village or community would offer a rich new experience for Llama Pack visitors and let them participate in the mission in a meaningful way. Special treks could be organized in which visitors could witness and help in this special exchange, offering a completely new perspective and making Llama Pack's mission tangible.
Changes to pricing structure in the form of a semi pay-what-you-want option for visitors would offer another opportunity for them to help Llama Pack fulfill its goals by showing a clear donation-return relationship for specific functions of the organization. These donations could be used, in part, to support an Eco-Tourism Cadet program which would allow motivated young people to gain experience as guides as well as learn llama and ecosystem care through practical experience.
Another focus would be on creating a more cohesive visual presentation of the company, including a website redesign but most importantly through the creation of a GoPro or drone-filmed video which could be used to bring the Llama Pack trekking experience to a wider audience of students and adults. Additional educational tools; a game and accompanying book for children and an illustrative walking stick for adults, offer simple low cost educational options for more remote areas.
The long term goals of the project would be to create grassroots understanding of the ecosystem and the importance of using llamas in everyday life, to create a lower-maintenance system to strengthen the position of llamas in the region and to train and support a growing number of dedicated locals who can continue to spread and support the core objectives of Llama Pack. These initiatives should be supported through the offering of new and exciting treks and tours to travelers, and by the enhanced tie-in of the diverse Llama Pack programs to the visitors' experience.