The Rural Tourism Project in Media Luna was an initiative begun by Nexos Voluntarios (NeVo), a nonprofit Peruvian organization that works to promote Responsible Human Development in the communities of Peru.
In 2009, a group of students from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) carried out a diagnostic needs-based assessment of the community. The results from this evaluation showed that there were few options available in order to improve the socio-economic situation of the area. The community members themselves decided that they wanted to focus their efforts on an economic empowerment project – coming to the agreement that they would establish a rural tourism circuit based on sharing their own traditions and customs that have been passed down from the time of the Incas. Once the decision had been made, several members of the community founded the Media Luna Rural Tourism Association. The association is in charge of the organization of the tourism circuit and the activities carried out within the circuit. NeVo has been present since the inception of the association and has consistently assisted the association in developing its own constitution, and with the implementation and development of the rural tourism circuit.
In 2012, the circuit was finalized based on the local customs and traditions. Several workshops and activities were established, including: traditional weaving, ‘chicha’ making, medicinal plants and guinea pig rearing – all of which were included in the tourism circuit. Currently, NeVo’s role is in promoting the rural tourism circuit, through marketing, with the objective of being able to leave a fully self-sufficient local association that is capable of sharing its cultural heritage through tourism.
It is important to note that 100% of the profit made by the rural tourism circuit goes directly to the local people of Media Luna who run the different activities; they work the circuit, develop it, and receive payment from visitors directly.