Chuncho Lodge is 100% local owned lodge; in Madre de Dios there are over 20 different lodges, all of them offering tour programmers and services to any visitor to in our region.
Of all the lodges, only 3 are local owned, the other lodges belong to foreigner people from other countries and cities. So, you may say, why is that? How can a local people whom own the land cannot start a tourism business in their own land?
This is something that happen very often, if you check other countries where tourism is develop like Costa Rica or Belize, this happens same as in here, in Puerto Maldonado.
Chuncho lodge is owned by a local tour guide who worked in tourism for the last 16 years, our lodge is new, it was founded on April 2nd of 2014, but it was not easy. Here our story.
Our first year of operation the entrepeneur Jorge got a bank lone for to buy the land were the lodge is located , the original idea was to do camping tours to be competitive with other tour companies and to have prices lower than the lodges, but the rainy season was not a very good friend of the tents, after a couple of hours of rain the tents were not holding the water outside any more, it was very wild, but the jungle around was always worth the sacrifice. So, we decided to build a roof and upper floor for to have the tents dry and more comfortability, so we did it, but then decide to build some rooms in the place and share bathrooms, it was better and much nice for our customers. But we did not know our first big test was going to come.
January 2015 when we had our small house with basic services for our customers the tambopata river had a lot of rain in uppers and the level of the river increassed so much that it started to flood places where it never used to flood, including our new house, luckily there was not guests there. Our guest house from 9 p.m was cover up to 3 meters over at 3 a.m. We had a person staff at the house and in the night there was no possibility to safe anything just his life, the next day we found out that we didn’t have house any more neither the tools for to keep working, I mean, beds , kitchen tools, nothing was leave behind. It was like this for 3 days or so. Our test was there, Jorge should had to start everything again, was it posible? The bank lone was never going to wait.
From the flooding we learn that the trees grow again, even much more beautifull, so we did the same, obviously we ask to our local friend if this was happening often, but it was not , at list the last 30 years , so , we thought it was not going to happen again and re-started to build everything again, this time we got some help from my brother, someone I will always be proud to be his brother. We re-started everything again, but nature has one more test to come, and so it happened again in march 2016, luckily this time during the day and we had more staff at the lodge so they safe most of our new belongings, this is when we decided to move to a highest place, it demanded a lot of time and money but taught us to be persistent , never to give up no matter how dificult it is, we are here and we are the new CHUNCHO LODGE. Thanks for reading our short story………………Jorge.