Here’s a photo I snapped at Machu Picchu when I visited. For most of the porters carrying tourists’ belongings, tents, and food on the Inca Trail, this is as close as they ever see to their great wonder that is so close. It’s expensive to get into Machu Picchu, far beyond the income of what these guys make. Plus there’s the transportation issue, including the shuttle bus ride up to the ruins from Aguas Calientes at the bottom.
I found out about a program to rectify this, at least a little, through an organization called Karikuy. They’re trying to drum up donations to help these hard-working men get into the great citadel. See details here at the Karikuy-Haugen Fund.
If you were touched by your trip to Machu Picchu and the thrill of seeing it with your own eyes, any donation you make could help some key locals experience it as well.