Jay Byrd (Founder)

Jay previously volunteered with a conservation project in Malaysia, & a school & an animal refuge in Bolivia. She grew up in Shropshire, England (although she was actually born in Lima, Peru) & dreamed of doing something like this for years but never thought it would really happen. She was very happy when it did!


Jay now works on Traveller Not Tourist from the UK, and has set up a registered charity called “Pachawawas – Children of the Earth“, which raises funds and recruits volunteers for the projects in Peru. 

Sofia (In-Country Manager & Volunteer Co-ordinator) 


Sofia has 15 years experience of providing services to, and supporting, International Travellers in her Spanish school. She is committed to helping her fellow Peruvians and has been involved with various social projects.





Our VISION is for Traveller Not Tourist to continue to be a self-sustaining organisation, which makes a real difference to the lives of both the benefactors and the volunteers we work with.

Our MISSION is to give foreigners visiting Peru the opportunity to be involved in the true peruvian reality and Peruvians the chance to lift themselves out of poverty and believe in the chance of a better world, and then create it.

Within this mission we also have certain criteria by which we run our organisation, these are:

  • Our primary concern is the needs of the children we work with
  • We work hard to ensure that volunteers who work with us can have a rewarding experience, using the skills and passions they bring with them to enrich the lives of children living in poverty (without having to pay large sums of money).
  • 100% of donations are given directly in projects. The minimal administration fee we charge is used to employ the staff we need to run the organisation efficiently (on reasonable wages).
  • We take volunteer complaints/comments/suggestions seriously and work with our volunteers to ensure that we are continuously improving the organisation.
  • We provide a safe, supportive environment for our volunteers whilst simultaneously allowing them to experience the reality of poverty in Peru and help to relieve it.


We take our name from the premise that there is a distinction between the terms “Traveller” and “Tourist”. It has become a wildly held belief within travelling communities that a Traveller is someone who considers the environmental and human impact of their journeys and actively strives to reduce the negative and increase the positive influence their presence has on the place they are visiting. In contrast to this a Tourist is someone who does not consider or care about their impact, does not engage with the locals in a meaningful way and may cause a lot of harm through their thoughtlessness. Please note: We don’t mean any offence by applying the above labels, we just needed a reasonable way of explaining the differences between the two groups. Obviously, terms such as Eco-tourism and Responsible Tourism kind of confuse the issue. We apologise if anyone does feel offended.


We believe that we have developed a methodology that works for our staff on the ground, our volunteers and the beneficiaries of our projects. We also have a considerable internet presence and supporter base. This has taken a long time, and a lot of trial and error, to achieve and we would like to shorten this journey for others who want to work with international volunteers on worthwhile projects anywhere in the world. If you are just starting out, or things just aren’t working, please contact us to find out how we can help.


Of course, we could never have got to this stage without the help and support of a lot of people so we would like to say “Thank You!” to everyone who has helped, be it with kind words, ideas, time, services or donations. Special thanks go to everyone who has volunteered with us. You have really made a difference!

Thank you for your interest. If you like what you see, please spread the word, if not, please let us know what we could do better. Un abrazo (a hug), Jay Byrd

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