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The trip was an amazing experience. As expected it was physically tough but worth every drop of sweat and mud (no blood fortunately). For me personally, I found the heat hard to adjust to. I expected us to benefit from the shade of the rainforest more than we did and I guess going from a Scottish winter to an equatorial country didn't help. Having said that it didn't detract from my enjoyment, just made it harder work. We were also lucky because all 13 of us got on very well and it was a good mix of people. A special mention has to go to the guides and Danny in particular. I remember when we did the Cycling in the Andes that the guides were good but Danny was excellent. As well as being extraordinarily fit and knowledgeable about adventure stuff he was passionate about Costa Rica, it's environment and future. He had a great sense of humour and as if all that weren't enough he and his team were superb cooks. Although this wasn't everyone's idea of a relaxing holiday I came home envigorated and motivated with stacks of energy - apart from having to negotiate Terminal 5 on it's second day of chaos! I've already been on your website looking for the next potential challenge, if only work didn't get in the way.
Porters are an integral part of the World Expeditions philosophy and style of travel. We take our travellers off-the-beaten track, avoiding the congested trails, to experience remote tent-based adventures … this style of trekking is enabled by porters.
Porters are as important to us as our travellers. Without them, we would not be able to run our quality programs. When we trek, the entire group - travellers, guides and porters alike - are a team who share the same needs for safety in the mountain environment.
In NEPAL ~ our porters receive the following work conditions
- A good working wage that is regulated by the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal and the Labour Union of Nepal. We pay per their guidelines, which are unionised.
- We are one of the only trekking companies in Nepal to provide porters with three meals a day, prepared by our cooks.
- We are one of the only trekking companies in Nepal to provide porters with lodging or tents, sleeping mats and blankets.
- Porters also receive life insurance and income protection insurance.
- Access to same first aid care that our travellers receive including emergency helicopter evacuation if required.
- Porters are provided with wind and waterproof jacket and over-trousers, 2 pairs of woollen socks, 2 pair of leather shoes on long treks and 2 pairs of canvas shoes while on short treks, woollen gloves, warm cap, sunglasses, mattress and blanket and tent / lodge.
- Porters are not to carry more then 30kgs.
- The minimum age for a Porter is 16 and the maximum age is 50 years old.
In PERU ~ our porters receive the following work conditions
- All porters receive the same access to medical service as clients.
- We provide all food (3 meals per day based on a menu requested specifically by the porters), gas stoves for all cooking.
- We are one of the 5 companies (among almost 200 companies) that pay the highest wages to their porters.
- All porters can access interest free long-term loans from us as long as they can clearly indicate how those funds will be used.
- We provide all porters with basic life and accident insurance. In addition we provide any porter (or any member of their family) full coverage of any medical costs that they incur whether it be work related or not e.g. if they have an accident in their fields or if they get any kind of illness we fund their treatment until they are well again. We are one of the only companies in Peru to care for their staff to this extent
- We provide transport (private buses and train) to and from the trek start and finish.
- We provide sleeping tents, sleeping pads, (plus sleeping bags if requested), footwear (shoes or boots), warm jackets and raingear.
- We also have yearly meetings in which we discuss any other needs they may have and improvements that they feel are needed.
In TANZANIA & KENYA on Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Kenya ~ our porters receive the following work conditions
- Since 2012, World Expeditions has sponsored a guide every year to complete a scholarship course through the Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation, which will train them in Tour Operations, Tourism Geography, Wildlife Knowledge and Basic Computer Applications
- Porters are paid a rate in excess of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistant Project (KPAP) recommended minimum wage for porters.
- Porters receive at least two meals a day; the third meal is sometimes a snack/tea as this can work best with the itinerary and water supplies etc. We make sure there are more than adequate amounts of food and have a system to check on the mountain that all porters get well fed.
- Porters are not to carry more then 20kgs.
- The minimum age for a Porter is 18 and there is no maximum age, we assess based on health and willingness to work.
- Porters access the same medical kit and evacuation processes as the travellers.
- Off the mountain any costs for treatment to injuries that are sustained during work are also covered
- Porters are expected to come to a climb with the correct personal equipment. We regularly provide them with equipment such as sleeping bags and mats, waterproof jackets, gloves, warm hats and walking boots.
- We are at the forefront of the process of changing local perceptions of sexual inequality by employing female crew on Mount Kilimanjaro. We have 2 highly successful female guides, a female cook and around 40 female porters.
In PAPUA NEW GUINEA on the Kokoda Track ~ our porters receive the following work conditions
- Porters are from the Owers Corner, up to Ioribaiwa, and Buna. They have been hand selected to ensure the safety of trekkers and to provide the best service possible.
- All porters are paid above award wages and are either paid to return home or have the flight home covered (this depends on where they live and their personal preference). The wage rates vary and prominant roles such a head cook and guide are paid more along with lead/point man and assistant cook to ensure we have the best staff working for us. These guys work hard and love what the do for a job.
- WE cover porters' camp site fees and they are given their budgeted (ample) money to buy their own food they like for the trek, along with a uniform and their own first aid kit.
World Expeditions will stand by its commitments and abide by its porter protection policies because it is the responsible thing to do. We will continue to campaign to ensure that all trekking companies adopt similar policies because we strongly believe the welfare of the entire trek crew, from porters to the most senior guide, is the responsibility of the company that sends them out there.
World Expeditions supports the good work of two international organisations that operate to ensure the health and well being of porters, they are: International Porter Protection Group and the International Mountain Explorers Connection