The Women Of The Inca Trail


The Inca Trail was built about 600 years ago during the Inca Empire. It was used mostly by messengers, priests and armies, and today it is part of a trekking journey many tourists wish to experience in Peru.

Mis Adventures tells about the gender divide for travelers on the Inca Trail, which is made up of about 49% women, and 51% men. Nevertheless, it is not the same for the workers in this industry, which is almost 100% male.

“98% of guides and 99.8% of porters were male, meaning 2% of guides and a mere 0.02% of porters were female”, the magazine said.

What is the reason for this? According to Amelia Ruth Huaraya Palomino, interviewed by Mis Adventures, women are considered inferior and weak. Also, the law determines that women porters can only carry up to 15 kilograms of weight, whereas men can carry up to 20, so it is more convenient to hire men than women in the tourist industry.

In order to make a difference, Evolution Treks Peru was founded in November 2016 in Cusco with the goal of creating a healthy working environment for the area’s tourism industry. They also decided that they would employ women, and today 40% of their workers are from this gender.

“For most, working as a woman in the male-dominated trekking industry is a two-fold challenge. The trails they’re traversing are not for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned”, Mis Adventures wrote.

Despite feeling sometimes belittled, Evolution Treks Peru’s women have come to prove the male workers wrong. On a recent training event, which had never been attended by women, “there were 140 porters, and then there was us”, said Miguel Angel Gongora, director of this company.

Gongora wishes to change how the tourist industry works, and he believes he is beginning to do so by allowing more women to work on the Inca Trail.

(Cover Photo Pexels)

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Ermelinda is a journalist from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and a technical degree in Veterinary Assistance she pursued because of her love for animals. She likes to do sports, but especially ballet, which she has practiced for almost 20 years. Her passion is to read, write, and blog about different topics, as well as travel whenever she can.