Welcome Elizabeth (aka "Mama Sherpa") to our WHOA Peru Crew! We are so stoked to announce that Elizabeth will be our lead mountain guide for both of our 2017 Salkantay Treks to the lost city of Machu Picchu. After falling in love with this gal on our last visit to Peru, we knew we had to make her a permanent part of our team. She's a local Peruvian who's been hiking through the Andes her whole life, and her wild, wondrous spirit and extensive knowledge of the region will bring so much to each of our adventures. Get to know Mama Sherpa...
Where are you from and how does your home inspire you?
I am from Pucamarca, Peru. I was born in the District of Chincheros, located about 30 km from Cusco. Since I was a little girl I liked nature because I was born in a place full of mountains, vegetation, and glaciers, surrounded by many archeological remains. I wondered why so many foreign people came to visit these sites, and the more I read about the Incas, as well as other past cultures who lived here, the more proud I felt. That is why I would like to share with tourists not only my knowledge, but also my feelings about this place. I try to do the best I can to give my passengers a very nice and unforgettable experience.
Why did you become a guide?
In highschool I always asked my teachers how I could meet people from all over the world, and my English teacher was the one who gave me a clear answer - I should become a tour guide. Once I finished high school I moved to Cusco to study tourism, and learned everything about the industry. I have been working as a guide for about seven years now. I feel so happy as a guide, I think I obtained one of the main goals in my life!
Three pieces of advice for future trekkers!
1) Always be eager to visit far away places and communities
2) Be prepared to changes in climates, food and altitude
3) Have the will to learn about different cultures and customs