Travel with Purpose

Va Expeditions wholeheartedly believes that by travelling in a sustainable and conscientious manner, we can transform the world and connect a myriad of cultures. For this reason, we are completely committed to preserving the magic of local communities, wildlife, and the environment. We want to share our local knowledge and the wisdom of the native people to contribute to a better world.

We use our inclusive and sustained economic growth to reward the daily contribution of our local experts through economic compensation and performance bonuses. The people that work with us are not nameless faces: They are who make Va Expeditions great.

Each person has a story to tell. Leaders are born who make it possible to think about tomorrow in a better way. People who come from the breathtaking heights of the Andes, or the depths of the rainforest are the people who have enabled us to build our agency and operate in over 14 destinations in Central and South America.

We rely on them, and that’s why we treat them as equals and with the respect that they deserve. This is reflected in the fair salaries that we share with our great family of local experts. Beyond on that, we have in place a range of incentives and programs to further show our thanks to our great team of local experts, including:

  • Constant training and knowledge of all areas.
  • Organizational culture - We seek to be a great place to work
  • Training our allies in local communities
  • Empowerment of female guides
  • Workshops and skills training in technological tools
  • Professional trainings in tourist destinations
  • Experts by areas of operation
  • Commission system
  • Fellowship meetings (lunches, walks and excursions)
  • Salary increases
  • Vouchers to use in restaurants and hotels
  • Travel experiences
  • Birthday celebrations and meetings for special occasions (Labor Day, company anniversary, Christmas etc.)
Fair wages

We promote the inclusion of women as leaders and experts in our various travel destinations and throughout our tourism operation, always seeking gender balance in our employment practices. We actively want to increase the number of employment opportunities for women in the travel industry, and we firmly believe that this will help us progress as a global community and a more inclusive society.

We promote the inclusion of women as leaders and experts in our various travel destinations and throughout our tourism operation, always seeking gender balance in our employment practices. We actively want to increase the number of employment opportunities for women in the travel industry, and we firmly believe that this will help us progress as a global community and a more inclusive society.

With this initiative, we also seek to reduce the gender pay gap, so that we can have more open conversations and set goals to address any issues. Starting in 2020, we began to have equal gender representation among our company spokespersons, to ensure that we better reflect the diversity of our society. We also continuously strive to empower every woman in the communities where we travel with the aim of improving their job opportunities and quality of life. We know it will be constant and hard work, but we are endlessly motivated to walk along this particular path towards a more just society.

Our objectives:
Increase employee and market sentiment regarding diversity and inclusion across all of our brands.

Means that those of all backgrounds, life experiences, preferences and beliefs are recognized and respected as individuals and valued for the different perspectives they bring.

Means that all are given equal opportunity to contribute to business success and be their true selves, regardless of background.

This is what the CIPD has to say: “there is a compelling moral case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond. Ensuring everyone is treated equally, with dignity and has their fair share of resources (whether that be access to work or equitable pay) is simply the right thing to do. People matter, and we all should have equal opportunity to develop, progress, and be rewarded and recognized at work. Organizations must ensure that their people management practices champion this fundamental principle.”

Ensure that the Va Expedition teams, partners and travelers are equally represented within the LGBTQ +, Indigenous and People of Color communities and we as a company will not work with companies that don’t support LGBT+, BLM, BAME, human rights, women´s rights, workers benefits.

Gender equality & diversity and inclusion.

The protection of wildlife and the habitats that animals depend on is of huge importance to us. All of the animal and bird species throughout Central and South America, enrich the landscapes that we explore when we set off on one of our adventures. These countries are home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna, which it is why these destinations are some of the most megadiverse places on the planet. From record numbers of marine and continental fish species, butterflies, bird species, amphibians and a number of endemic species of mammals, many of which are endangered and are protected throughout the many national parks.

Faced with the threats to wildlife, we have become very much engaged in protecting the flora and fauna of the region. We follow essential fundamentals for animal welfare, and along all of our routes we take great care to respect and preserve the animal world. This includes the welfare of domesticated animals such as llamas, horses, donkeys, alpacas, seals, penguins and sea life species along the coastal regions we visit.

At Va Expeditions, we follow the Five Freedoms of animal welfare:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Animal protection

At Va Expeditions, we comply with the following guidelines that we will implement in our operation:

Reduction of our impact on the operation

  1. Link each trip to a local conservation project that directly supports the environment
  2. Work with local partners to publish a transparent local economic impact score for each trip.
  3. Reduce the plastic trail on every trip

Our Goals:

  1. Eliminate single-use plastics from our offices and trips throughout LATIN AMERICA by 2022.

    • Continue looking for opportunities, identifying best practices, and addressing plastic pollution in the destinations we visit.

  2. Reduce printed brochures by 50% by 2025

    • Work with our travel partners to reduce printed brochures by 50% and take advantage of electronic brochures.
    • Move to providing travel documents in a fully electronic way.

  3. Implement sustainable offices

    • Considerable energy reduction.
    • Correct use of raw material.
    • Implementation of furniture and equipment with sustainable characteristics.
    • Reduce CO2 emissions in a good proportion.

Climate change.

Central and South America is composed of a number of diverse countries that represent an endless number of unique traditions and legacies that are passed from one generation to the next, up to the present day. This includes arts, gastronomy, medicinal remedies, spirituality, personal values, landmarks, monuments and more. We love to connect our travelers with the local heritage and culture, and we consider every trip an educational and enriching experience. This, in turn, helps to preserve the local traditions.

We ensure that every cultural exchange is carried out in an ethical and sustainable way, while not interfering with or altering the local traditions. As a company, we:

Promote sustainable cultural preservation through tourism that benefits communities, including through the production and sale of goods and services. With this we seek to connect people with opportunities that promotes and enhances the local heritage to guarantee sustainable tourism models.

  1. Our actions

    • We promote the direct purchase in the place of origin of the products produced by the artisans of each locality. (Looms, vessels, embroidery, pottery etc.)
    • We encourage local gastronomy and native crops through a wonderful cooking class, starting your experience with the sowing and harvesting of some products, depending on the season.
    • We promote the expression of art through native music, typical dances and songs from each native community
    • We connect travelers with new ways of understanding and seeing the world, through volunteering and coexistence with local communities with their customs, traditions and lifestyle.
      • Finca Huayopata (production of coffee or cocoa) Peru
      • Women’s Cultural Group and Maya Experience in Guatemala
      • Potato Park (Preservation of ancestral varieties) Peru
      • Milpa Eco lodge and research centre, Belize
      • Community projects at Señor and Tihosuco in Quinta Roo, Mexico
      • Florida Ice and farm, Costa Rica.

  2. Support community-based resource management. For example, by creating new opportunities that enable people living around historic sites to prosper and build ecosystems for long-term sustainability.
Cultural preservation.

Our programs seek to create new jobs and support local development through cultural preservation and the development of alternative local tourist routes that ensure that investment from travelers truly benefits everyone.

As tour operators we help encourage people to stay longer at sites and contribute resources to local economies, emphasizing quality over quantity, fundamental principles in our new sustainable travel programs.

We employ local guides and community leaders so that we can learn about each culture and way of life directly from those who live it. In particular, we can learn from rural indigenous communities about their relationship to the land and how they have practiced sustainable agriculture for centuries.

We promote purchasing from local suppliers and ethically-sourced fair trade goods. This helps guarantee that farmers and workers receive fair and competitive wages and safe working conditions, prevents forced or abusive child labor practices, and promotes environmentally sustainable farming methods.

We seek work with 100% local companies, our platform model ensures that the profits from our operation go to the local economy. This is incredibly important for conservation as it creates viable local economic alternatives in rural areas, and increases the inherent value of conserving natural landscapes.

Our objectives:

  1. Increase the use of local and organic food products in our supply chain by 2022.
  • Create a baseline in 2021 of suppliers that provide local and organic food on our trips and set a realistic goal to increase these suppliers.
  • • To be considered local or organic, our vendors must source at least 25% of their menu, either locally (any food obtained within 30-50 miles of where it is prepared) or organic (any product or meat obtained without the use of pesticides or GMOs of sustainable origin).

Empowering local communities.

A great example of community philanthropy is in Peru where we can visit the Waca Punku community, located about three hours from Cusco. Here are a number of small villages located on the side of a steep mountain. Every year it is a great pleasure for us to bring a little Christmas cheer into the lives of the locals. We dress up in our best Santa Claus costumes and make sure that Christmas in this community is celebrated well.

Va Expeditions allocates 5% of the total tourist packages to help this community. We know this won't solve all of the difficulties this community faces on a day-to-day basis, but we think it's a good start and a great way to promote more smiles during the holiday season and make daily life a little easier.

    • We deliver essential groceries such as rice, beans, bread and cookies for families.
    • Articles without the presence of plastic such as craft toys, notebooks, pencils and healthy snacks for children. Each gift is age appropriate.

We encourage our guests to save some space in their luggage to bring something small to help these communities, as long as the material does not contaminate or contain plastic.

These treasured items can be as simple as a T-shirt, a pair of socks, a baseball cap, or a pair of shoes. It's okay if these items are second-hand, as long as they're clean and in good condition. Educational materials are also appreciated! Items like notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, and glue are local favorites. If you really want to be a rock star, bring a calculator!

For the last three years we have been carrying out social support, where we share basic food and coats with the families of Inca trailporters, all of them from the communities with wich we have worked the Inca Trail route for the past 9 years

Community philanthropy.

We want EVERYONE to be able to enjoy Central and South America. That is why we always try to include facilities for those with disabilities, low finance resources or other disadvantaged groups with the aim to integrate people through unique travel experiences.

We want everyone to be a part of our journey regardless of their place in the world. This is a huge part of our philosophy. It is for tis reason that we always try to accessibility for people with special needs in our travel itineraries.

There are also so many people who live in the countries where we travel, who simply do not have access to the incredible wonders of their countries. It is heart breaking to think that people do no have access to their land, history and heritage which is why we try to help local people, wherever possible to have extraordinary experiences that will change their lives for the better. The time is now! for everyone to get to know each other and become part of a global community!

Inclusive travel.

More About Us