What better way to explore a country than on two wheels with a saddlebag packed to last for 2 – 3 weeks. It’s all about local travel – taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a destination. The satisfaction of exploring the nook and cranny of a road less travelled and forging friendships with local people - that’s exactly what PEPY Tours offer to their travelers.
PEPY ("Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself") Tours was established in 2005 by Daniela Papi and her friends, who traveled to Cambodia and realized the sheer education deprivation in the country. Moved and inspired by the experience, they set out to raise funds to build the first-ever secondary school in Chanleas Dai Commune, about 45 minutes from Siem Reap. At the same time, they planned subsequent bicycle tours around Cambodia as a means of raising funds. Since then, PEPY has evolved from being a small informal group to a legal organization with over 30 Cambodian staff working in the rural parts of Cambodia to reach children and youth through education and leadership programmes.
The unique characteristic of PEPY’s tours lie not only in the authenticity of its travel but also in the educational aspect. PEPY seeks to create sustainable changes within an individual, resulting in long term effects even after the traveler leaves. They do so by engaging travelers in insightful and thought stimulating activities to help travellers learn and understand social and environmental issues surrounding tourism. Their goal is for travellers to leave Cambodia with a transformed view and attitude of how they live, travel and give.
During our 4-day visit to PEPY, we heard numerous stories of lives being empowered and changed because of the PEPY’s efforts. Youth from the rural parts of Cambodia are given the opportunity to study, fulfil their dreams and reach their highest potential. PEPY is in the business of empowering individuals in hope that they will change the hue of the future in their country. "If we can help our employees reach their full potential, then naturally the organization will inevitably reach its best," Daniela shares.
*PEPY organizes bicycle tours and education & experiential non-biking tours.
Written by: Deborah Chan (Siem Reap, Cambodia: 14 – 17 August, 2010)
Special Note: Pepy Tours is one of the finalists for the 2010 Responsible Tourism Awards(Category: Tour Operator). For more v-blogs on Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards, please visit the Wild Asia Channel.