"...the world is a better place because there are people like Wilson in it."

Raymond Jones, Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, June 29, 2014

From June 29-July 3, my wife and I booked a trek with your company. Our tour guide, Wilson Callañaupa, met us our hotel the evening before. His knowledge and calming presence did a lot to calm the worries my wife had regarding departing on this hike with no time for acclimatization. While, I was impressed, I didn't realize what a unique human being he was until our first stop along the trail at the Llactapata Ruins. Wilson pulled a packet out of his backpack that contained photocopies of examples of all the previous civilizations that had inhabited Peru before the Incas. He gave an incredibly informative presentation, patiently answering questions and deepening our understanding of Peruvian culture.

And this was just the beginning… Not only did we constantly test his knowledge along the trail about animals, birds, trees, flowers, geographical features, etc. ( We never stumped him), but each evening at tea time he would hold a seminar on a topic of our choice: Tupac Amaru II, The War of the Pacific, Alberto Fujimori, Peru's economy, Peru's educational system, Quechuan phrases, etc. His knowledge was bottomless.

As a teacher who travels a lot with his students, my expectations were very low for a tour guide. Because of this, I had read extensively before coming to Peru. I did not need to prepare so well: Wilson knew and taught us so much. Wilson also has a gift for understanding people. Of course he treated us well and with respect. That was to be expected. As a teacher, I am judged not by how I treat the best students, but the weakest. This is how you can judge a man's character. I watched Wilson along the trail and payed attention to how he interacted with porters and other guides. I saw the respect he gave to our head porter who at one point was Wilson's boss. I saw him interact with both firmness and dignity as he dealt with the other porters.He explained to us the difficult circumstances of their lives.

And along the trail, he was treated with so much respect from the other guides and porters. I would tease him that because people liked him so much he should run for political office. I have travelled a lot in my life. During that time, I have met a lot of interesting people. A lot of the people are employees and it is their job to interact with me. It is rare though that you meet someone who transcends those boundaries. Wilson is that rare person. I respect Wilson. I believe the world is a better place because there are people like Wilson in it. I think you are very lucky to have him as part of your team.

Thank you, Raymond Jones

info@andeantreks.com
118 Waltham Street, Watertown, MA 02472
t 800.683.8148
p 617.924.1974
f 617.924.2158