From day one, G Adventures has been about bringing people together to learn from each other.

Back in the 1990s, when we were still a small team with a big vision, I was lucky enough to meet a man named Delfin Pauchi. And this meeting changed both of our lives.

If you’ve read my book Looptail you’ll of heard of Delfin, G Adventures’ first local partner. He started welcoming groups of G travellers into his home in the middle of the Amazon in Ecuador. And nearly thirty years later, he’s still doing this today!

Seeing the world from Delfin’s perspective helps us highlight the harsh realities of life for Ecuador’s Indigenous communities and the incredible rainforest they call home. Most communities don’t benefit at all from the scores of travellers who pass through every year. And the deforestation caused by logging, oil or industrial agriculture is decimating the forests, with less than half remaining and 3,000 square kilometres lost each year.

Seeing how this beautiful community was being eroded broke my heart when I first saw it. And today, more than ever, I am committed to doing something about it. The local economy needs money, but pillaging natural resources is not the only way to provide it.

For the first time this year, there were more G travellers visiting Delfin’s community than could stay at his home, so he introduced us to Shandia Lodge, a community-owned hostel in another village just down the river. Shandia had room for our travellers, but Gerson, the community leader, had an idea — and it was just brilliant. He wanted to give travellers the chance to bike to Shandia from Delfin’s village, and by doing so, create 15 new jobs for young people in his village of 400 residents, all of whom will positively benefit from the additional 1,000 annual visitors to their community.

We loved the idea and so our non-profit partner, Planeterra, has been working with Gerson and Delfin and other local organisations to develop an exciting mountain bike tour that will double as transport from one community to the other.

To get the Shandia bike tour business off the ground requires both training and capital — and so Planeterra has launched a fundraising campaign to raise the $30,000 needed.

So, as you’re looking forward to Christmas, consider making a donation to Planeterra to give Gerson and his community the best Christmas present of all — a job and a future for 400 people.

And to show how committed I am and we are all here at G, we will match every donation received before Christmas. As always, 100% of your donation goes directly to projects as all Planeterra administrative costs are covered by G Adventures.

Give now by clicking here.

Thank you in advance for sharing my vision of helping preserve the rainforests and empowering the communities that live in them.

Together we can make sure that this unique part of the Ecuadorian rainforest stays beautiful forever. That’s something worth putting on all of our letters to Santa!