Our porters are the most important member of all our tours; without them, it is impossible to run our trekking tours like the Inca Trail, they are the hardest workers on the Inca Trail, and many companies will not treat them properly.
We are cautious with the Inca Trail operations. This is why you will have a maximum of 7 kilos of your personal stuff allowed in the Inca Trail.
The food we provide to our porters and guest are not the same, which is not possible due to the weight and porter number limitations from the government. However, they have their own special menu to help them with the heavy-duty. Usually, when you wake up for breakfast, they have already finished their breakfast, some oatmeal with bread and a heavy soup of noodles with dehydrated potatoes with some meat. When you arrive for lunch, they will already finish their meals. When you are hiking the trail, the porter will pass you running with heavy bags. To reduce our porters' weight and help the local economy, we buy goods from the local village on the trail.
Better wages for all our staff, especially our porters; everybody in the Inca Trail knows that TreXperience is one of the companies that pay them higher wages. This sometimes will cause many head porters to visit us in our office in Cusco. Unfortunately, we can’t offer the opportunity for everybody as we only require around 250 porters monthly. We believe in the snow bowl effect if we start raising the salary of porters, guides, chefs, and the other companies will need to do the same to keep their staff.
Equipment for our porters is provided, starting from jackets, t-shirts, hats, shoes, knee braces, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and group tents. We do not charge for providing uniforms; we pay for all transfers needed during the trips.
Insurance for our staff on the Inca Trail is essential. We are one of the few companies that provide health insurance to our porters. The job is not easy, and they carry heavy bags through mountains; this way, they and their families are protected.
Female Porters on the Inca Trail are rarely seen. This is because Peru is still under the Machismo; the TreXperience team is both men are women, and we have female porters, female chefs, and female tour guides. In fact, 70% of our office staff is women. Priscila, the owner of TreXperience, is determined to keep hiring more female staff to empower women.
Personal experience on the Inca Trail
When I was a tour guide, I used to work for a big Company, half Peruvian and half American, but I needed to say to my guest that the company was a 100% local operator. When guiding the Inca Trail, I often encounter a jumble porter wearing sandals in my group. Since most of the porters were wearing the companies’ uniforms, I told my guest that he was not wearing shoes because he was not used to it.
One day, when I was hiking on the trail, I tumbled with him again, and we started a little conversation. He told me he had a young son studying tourism and little children still in school, and money was insufficient. So ask him why he was never wearing the company’s shoes. The answer was that the company was forcing them to buy the uniform if they wanted to work; if they couldn’t be paid, their salary was automatically discounted. This just broke my heart, the love, and pride I used to feel about this company. They were charging the poorest people and lying to the guest, saying that this company offered all equipment, tents, and food. This day, I promised him that I would soon start a company and work with me.
Funny anecdote when I started TreXperience, many chefs and porters followed me to work on the tour, and most of them came to my office with their old backpacks and shoes from the previous companies. So I asked why they replied that the equipment was theirs. They bought it with their own money and were in the right to keep using it to work on the treks. I explained to them that our company doesn’t charge for any uniforms and we provide everything.