Christmas Chocolatada 2015 – Apus brings a bit of Christmas spirit to those living in the remote region around Lares, Peru.
Apus Peru’s Lares Valley to Machu Picchu Trek is the signature trek we offer to this gorgeous mountainous region located approximately three hours by car from Cusco. High mountain lakes, thatched roof houses, graceful llama herds, and the sight of authentically dressed villagers going about their daily tasks are a few highlights of this beautiful scenic trek.
Apus Peru loves to give back to the communities around the region by offering the communities a Christmas Chocolatada every year: we bring Christmas treats and gifts and serve them up to the delight of the village children and their parents. This year, although he weather wasn’t perfect, our hot chocolate, festive panetón bread, presents, and clothes were well received by the communities of Chupani and Chaullacocha.
The day began at 5am, when we loaded everything we had bought in the previous days into the van, and then travelled 3.5 hours from Cusco to Chaullacocha. Our first job was to unpack all the goodies, including 100 cans of milk, in order to prepare hot chocolate for the entire community.
One of Apus Peru’s main guides, Urbano spoke to everyone in Quechua and coaxed the kids into singing for their presents, which were the traditional Peruvian mini-Christmas fruit-breads, known as Panetones- one was gifted to each child. It was quite a festive sight to see children all ages gathered together wearing the brilliant red-fringed ponchos and fancy top hats that are a mark of this region.
Lourdes Hancco from Threads of Peru played soccer with the women along with our operations assistant, Ruth Gutierrez. Lots of fun was had by all, even though everyone involved got pretty wet and muddy.
Our guide Urbano Huayna got the kids to sing for their prizes (mini panetones- a traditional Christmas cake in Peru. Some of the kids were a bit shy, but took it all in good humor.
The community members lined up for their Christmas treats. It was great fun pouring out the chocolate and giving everyone some bread to eat. Since the day was cold and wet, the community was happy to get a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a piece of bread to accompany it.
Our Threads of Peru team, Arturo (Guide), Ruth (Ops team) and Adrian (Inventory and stock room caretaker)) gave out donations of warm coats and jackets, so the kids in the community will be able to wrap up extra warm for the cold, wet season ahead.
You can see the recent Chocolatada promotion on Threads Instagram here: