Why We Started Cachi Life
Talking about the reason that we decide to start Cachi Life. Get into how we met David our manager in Peru.
We discovered a pretty cool site called Global Gaz and their podcast Counting Countries that you should check out. He has a great article on why the Sacred Valley is a must see and why you should spend extra time there. They are on a mission to interview people who are traveling to all 193 countries in the world and the author is currently well over halfway.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the latest including an awesome Machu Picchu guidebook in the coming months.
Below is a transcript which has been modified for your reading pleasure.
Kevin Groh: 00:44 Newperuvian.com. So there’s a guy down there by the name of Tony Dunnell. He’s got a website, a lot of different things about Peru. He’s got some good guides on it. Let’s say, you’re going to Lima, Lake Titicaca, Iquitos. So he’s got some good guides on there, but we actually did guest blog posts on there about what’s going on at Rainbow Mountain with the sustainability of the area and whether it can be maintained with the amount of traffic that’s coming into Rainbow Mountain.
David Kosloski: 01:17 Because it’s destroying the area right?
Kevin Groh: 01:19 Yeah. There’s a lot of degradation, erosion that’s happening around Rainbow Mountain because of the massive numbers of people. I mean, it’s now the second most toured place behind Machu Picchu.
David Kosloski: 01:32 Yeah. And it’s pretty rough. I mean when we went there, we saw a lot of problems already and then we had one of our guides when he went out there, we asked him to take some photos because we knew that there will be waves of people. Sure enough, there is. And it’s unfortunate because as this stuff kind of happens, as spots get more popular, there’s not a lot of control happening, right? The governments are not really always technically stepping in and make sure that these paths can take care of and it’s really up to us and people who work these tour companies, people to kind of bring out the unknown. Hey, this is going to be a problem soon and we need to be able to kind of step up and figure out a game plan. I mean my thoughts instantly are obviously like shutting it down for a little while or at least a week out of the year or a month out of the year just to be able to kind of clean it up, fix it up and just have constant maintaining.
Kevin Groh: 02:22 Yeah, I mean you could kind of do something similar what happens with the Inca trail. I mean they close that down in February every year just for maintenance and make sure it’s maintained for people in the future to be able to enjoy it and see it.
David Kosloski: 02:32 Right? Yeah. And that’s the big thing, right? It’s all about long lasting and enjoying it for everybody and that’s kind of the big kick I feel like a lot of people don’t really think about. “Well, I just want to go see it. I want to take my Instagram photo.” Yeah, well that’s great. Go do that. But we also think about the future of the other people that want to take those cool selfies. I want to take my selfie, but you might not be able to. All right.
Kevin Groh: 02:54 I mean, it’s a beautiful place, but it’s got to be maintained. I suppose as long as we’re on the topic of, some other websites
David Kosloski: 03:32 Man, that’s a feat right there.
Kevin Groh: 03:35 He’s got quite a few down. He’s currently at 138 out of 193.
David Kosloski: 03:39 Has he been to Peru?
Kevin Groh: 03:41 He has his man, we’ll have to talk to him sometime. That’d be cool to get him on the podcast.
David Kosloski: 03:47 But, he has a podcast?
Kevin Groh: 03:48 He has a podcast as well and that podcast is called Counting Countries and it’s pretty cool. It’s a pretty select group of people that have actually accomplished the feat. About 100 people or so, but he gets a lot of those people on the podcast and talks to them about their adventures and what they experienced. And there’s, one guy, his mission was to mail a postcard from each country. And then another guy that was trying to go to every country without actually taking a plane, going by boat or something.
David Kosloski: 04:20 Oh my Lord, no man.
Kevin Groh: 04:22 So yeah, check that podcast out. It’s pretty cool.
David Kosloski: 04:24 So that’s what he does, is he basically gets people on the podcast that have been to all the countries or in the process.
David Kosloski: 04:30 Got It. Well, am I in the process of it if I’ve been to like six? Does that put me in the running? I feel like I feel like I’m moving. I’ve been like 6 to 10. I don’t really know how many countries I’ve been to. Actually, it’s a handful. Okay. But still, I could count them on my hands and feet. Sweet man. Well, obviously great article on New Peruvian. This podcast, definitely
Kevin Groh: 04:56 Pretty incredible. Actually. He, according to his count. Just a little over 100 people. Wow. That
David Kosloski: 05:09 Sweet. Well, in case you guys didn’t know if you are listening to the podcast, we are a company called Cachi Life and Cachi Life is a Peru travel company and I’m going to plug this right out the gate. We have a book coming out that is about Machu Picchu and it’s all about Machu Picchu. So a lot of companies kind of do Peru as a whole. We felt that we couldn’t do that, an injustice if you will. We want it to be able to provide you with a guide on each topic. So all the other tours that we offer and one of them is obviously Machu Picchu. And when we took this feat on, we knew
David Kosloski: 05:58 And, we’re really excited about the book. Hopefully coming out in the next couple months, it takes a lot of time, believe it or not, and I’m not a designer. So, working on that part, it’s very difficult. And then restructuring all the blog content to be put into a book. Yeah, it’s really hard. We’re not, I mean maybe someday it will be, we’ll be authors of some sort. Definitely be on the lookout for it. Should be a good book. She encompasses everything and it’s going to be free. That’s the best part right there. So like free 99. You don’t
David Kosloski: 06:37 Check out the website, get in touch with us. cachilife.com. We’ve had some comments that people asking us like, what’s the name of the company I want to book? And it’, Cachi Life, C, a c h i, L I f e Dot Com had to like think about that in my head because I can’t spell or do math very well.
David Kosloski: 07:20 I think it kinda came to fruition after talking with Kevin I was dating somebody at the time and she was like, yeah, let’s go to Ecuador and let’s go to this place. And then all of a sudden it was like, Peru has got cheap flights, why don’t we go to Peru? And then we wanted to Kevin to come with us. So basically she would be the third wheel because, there’s a bromance going on between us. So, we ended up going and we’re going to go to Peru. And Kevin said to us, he’s like, the Inca trail is one of the most well known trails in the world. I never heard of it. Hell, I didn’t even know. I don’t think when Machu Picchu was. I mean like it was brought to me by Cayla at the time.
David Kosloski: 07:57 So we ended up going to Peru, booking the Inca Trail and as we’re on the hike of the Inca trail with another company, which will remain nameless, we ended up meeting David and he is our main guide. He’s our manager, if you will. He’s the guy with the plan of when you get to Peru, he sort of handles everything. The best part about David is that his, his empathy, his ability to care so much for the locals. So much to care for his own people, the history the nature, everything. I mean this guy. And, he’s just a genuine person that wants to make sure your experience is amazing. And when we caught that, we saw that he was that way. We instantly just connected. We vibed, there was a conversation that was had, it was like, hey, this is a really great guy.
David Kosloski: 08:45 We want to be friends with him. We want to get to know him. And, I’m a pretty blunt person if you can believe it or not. We were talking earlier today about this. Kevin kind of pulls the reins on me like a horse sometimes, he dials it back quite a bit for me, which is good. But in this situation, I sort of had adding up the numbers of like, of like how much we all paid and I’m thinking, man, hopefully, David’s like doing really well financially. And we asked him not so much like directly, like how much do you make? But it was kinda like conversation basically proceeded to that through, through dialogue and he ended up telling us and we were just like baffled and really honestly sad for him because here’s this guy who’s got two daughters, he’s got a wife.
David Kosloski: 09:28 He lives in a home that is definitely below the standard of living where we live. And, quite honestly a lot of people in Lima too really. I mean his living conditions weren’t that great and here’s this great guy who speaks English and it wasn’t that we looked to like fix or change David’s life. David is a very happy, happy man. It was more like, man, not only is he kinda getting paid poorly, but then all of a sudden the porters are getting paid poorly and they’re getting treated not so much the best. And so what we did is we set out to basically try to fix that. And it was started with that. And then my vision had sort of developed into like helping communities and things like that’s where my heart really originally lied. And Kevin kept me true and honest on a narrow path of like we need to make sure that we take care of David first.
David Kosloski: 10:12 That’s our first and foremost goal. And so when we started Cachi Life, we basically bridged the gap, if you will, between, hey, you’re working with us to be able to help them. And so David sort of formulated like an idea of what he dreamed or what he dreamt up. He had tried to start a business before and kept failing because other businesses, were shutting him out because he didn’t know how to do marketing. And, these companies, I mean, they’re, from Canada, from the US, they’re similar to us. Yeah, they’re similar to us and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think there’s this big bad taste in your mouth about like, I need to book local. Well, here’s where I challenged the whole book local concept is that if you’re booking through us, you’re still booking locally. And I know that’s weird here, but hear me out.
David Kosloski: 10:56 If I go down to Peru and I’m able to book a trip to Machu Picchu, you really don’t know what you’re getting, so at least on our end, it’s regulated through somebody who cares and I can’t stress that enough. The idea here was that David wanted to be able to have something that was sustainable, offer a product that was beautiful and great and could continue being offered continuously. Time and time again. David doesn’t want to go on hikes, right? He’s getting older. He’s got two daughters who wants to be at home with. He’s got a wife who wants to be at home with. Hikes are kind of like for the younger people, AKA his brother Frank. So when we think about that though, the goal here was to be able to offer him something that was a little bit longer of sustainability and a little bit paid better, proper pay is what they call it.
David Kosloski: 11:42 And a lot of the. A lot of the competition when you go down there, it’s like, If I’m at a stand in a farmer’s market and I’m selling apples and Kevin is next to me selling apples as well, and there is an ability to purchase this online. You’re gonna be like, I want to buy locally directly from the farmer. Great. So you go, well, Kevin’s got the same apple’s as I do and you come to me and you’re like, I tell you my apple is worth $10. I’m simplifying it and I’m not preaching here. Promise you guys this is gonna make sense. But I basically say, yeah, it’s 10 bucks. Well, Kevin’s going to say it’s five and meanwhile he’s diminishing his product because he needs to make money. He needs to be able to support his family and so we’re in this battle.
David Kosloski: 12:18 All of a sudden were then I come back and forth and we barter. Bartering may seem like it’s this great adventure and it’s this idea that like, hey, I’m just gonna find the cheapest bang for my buck. Not only are you not going to get the quality that you expect to get, but on top of that, you’re also taking advantage of somebody in the local economy that really in theory could be taken of better. And that’s the problem that I have, I guess is, yes, you can go down there and you can book these trips by herself. That’s the game you want to do. Go ahead and do it. And I’m not going to judge you for it. Not like my judgment even matters. But you can go do that. At the end of the day though, there comes a point in terms of responsibility and that’s why we started Cachi because we wanted to be responsible for making sure that people like David, were taking care of.
David Kosloski: 12:59 We’ve had Lindsay Carver on the show. She was on one of our trips and she had said that she tried to tip our guide and they refused the tip, which is like, no, don’t do that. Still, take the tip or still tip. But the idea that she’s being paid well enough now where she’s not frightened for money. She’s not freaking out about where the next paycheck is going to get.
Kevin Groh: 13:20 She didn’t want the tip because she’s paid so well. She’s doing good.
David Kosloski: 13:23 And that’s great. And there’s still so much growth opportunity. So we go ahead. Do you have
Kevin Groh: 13:30 Yeah. So, basically what David’s describing is, if you think about the coffee industry for a long time, it was a free trade coffee. But then, fair trade started to get more popular. Because people want to be paid well. The workers in the area. There’s a lot of work that goes into that cup of coffee. Just throwing that out there. That’s what we’re trying to do. Just make sure that basically Fairtrade tourism, making sure the
David Kosloski: 14:18 Yeah, there’s no, there’s this concept too that we have that is very much like even when we give back and we’ll get into that in a minute. It’s always purchased locally. I think we sent a jacket one time to David. Yep. That’s the only thing. The only thing we sent one jacket and I think it was a hat and that’s about it. And the only reason we did it is to make sure that the writing and the logo were done
Kevin Groh: 14:39 But as time has gone on, we’ve found out that we can do it there. Yeah, they do a great job. Amazing job.
David Kosloski: 14:44 Exactly. So the point being is that we’re trying to do it the right way. We’re still learning as we go, still progressing. A lot of that comes from our travelers being able to tell us about their experience and what they’ve got going on and what they see. So David obviously was an initial part of why we started it. David and his family. Then we grew to love his family, his wife, and his kids, and it became this bigger, bigger mission. So the first time we went there, we came up with the plan. We’re starting this business. We’re going to start with David, we’re going to partner with him, he’s going to start a company in Cusco. We’re going to start a company here and we’re going to partner together. Boom. Great. All right. So the second part comes into play. My vision was to be able to originally help communities that didn’t benefit from tourism. Because I went on a trip to Sierra Leone got to have a great experience and it was like how can we find a way to impact communities?
David Kosloski: 15:30 Then there’s a second part to that that is about sustainable tourism. And what we talked about Rainbow Mountain and keeping places clean, keeping them long lasting for the next generation and really how that’s our responsibility. Again, everything we’re talking about really drills down to us just trying to be responsible, right? It’s taking care of people. It’s making sure that they are getting the pay that they need to get. It’s making sure that we’re keeping places clean, pack in and pack it out mentality. And it’s also making sure that
David Kosloski: 16:18 I need you to go to a village and I need you to tell them that we’re going to buy them a goat. And he was like, what? And I was like, find a community that’s less fortunate and buy them a goat. He thought it was the weirdest thing ever. And I was like, just trust me on this, as I promise you, I want them to see my offer is that we’re going to buy them a goat, buy them protein and they’re gonna cook a meal for us. And so David was like, all right, fine. He finds this community, Rayan community. And, he thinks I’m crazy as all get out. We get there and not only is this an amazing hike that’s so beautiful and it is a hike that people do take. We didn’t see anyone, but I mean still, we know it’s a hike that can be taken.
David Kosloski: 17:00 We get up there, they cook this meal for us. They almost killed a sheep in front of me. Which
Kevin Groh: 17:26 First of all, they didn’t really think that we’re going to show up.
David Kosloski: 17:29 He didn’t. Yeah, he thought that like he was like, yeah, of course, they want to like give back quote-unquote, but they’re not going to make the hike up.
David Kosloski: 17:33 Right. And I was like, no we’re making the hike. Like we’re going to get up there. And so we hiked up this beautiful hike, there’s a video on Facebook. You can check it out. It’s the Rayan Community video that you kind of see some of the shots of the hike and how amazing it is. We get up there and we get to eat lunch with the locals, which mind you if you ever do the Rayan Community Tour we bring an alternate lunch because it is very, very, very raw, a very raw experience. And it’s not necessarily for everybody, sometimes there could be things in your food, obviously, they don’t have water that’s running to clean a lot of their vegetables. So just keep this all in mind bring some Pepto tablets and kill anything that goes in your stomach right away. So we get up there, we get to meet the locals, we get to see their children and we get to see how they’re interacting living and they’re like confused as all get out.
David Kosloski: 18:16 Like why are these guys here, why do they want to eat our food, what are they doing right now? And we tell them, we’re not in the business of telling you what you need. We’re in the business of asking you what you believe you need and seeing if we can help. And the conversation ended up developing. We ended up bringing school supplies up there for the kids originally. So there were about 40 kids ended up getting school supplies and lo and behold, all of a sudden the next conversation was what we really would love to get Christmas gifts. And that was something that I was
David Kosloski: 18:53 And so what we did is we kind of went 50-50, right? Like we were like, all right, we’re going to give them Christmas gifts here in 2018 and then we’re also gonna bring in more school supplies and we’re going to bring clothes. The fact that it was actually not even 40 kids, it’s probably like maybe 15 to 20 the first time. So we have this video that’s on Facebook, check it out. It’s beautiful. It is so well done by our friends, Geronimo. I mean he killed it, flew out from Lima for us. And Daniella obviously came and joined them. But so we had them come out and film it and their experiences, what they told us was just incredible. These kids… it’s so romantically beautiful because like you watch the video and you’re like, wow, like we’re doing it, we’re making a difference.
David Kosloski: 19:39 These kids got clothes. Over 70 children showed up and that wasn’t even everybody. Because again, they still didn’t believe we were going to make it up the mountain. We have donkeys, we’ve got
Kevin Groh: 20:01 Yeah. I mean when we, the first time we went up there, as David was saying, they didn’t, they didn’t think we’re going to show up. You thought the second side that they would have believed it. Right. And, like I just remember them saying that usually what happens is they just drop the Christmas gifts off.
David Kosloski: 20:21 They drop them off at by the base of the, of the hike.
David Kosloski: 20:24 And so then everybody has to kind of fend for themselves and go down there and grab them, which is not good. That’s not our style. So, we’re guests in their community. We want to be able to be. So the point being is that they were able to film this amazing video. Again, please just watch it because it is, it’s so heartwarming to know that you’re, you’re making a difference. And anyone that’s traveled with us, if they still listen to the podcast or if you’re thinking about traveling with us or you have, you are on your way to, this is where your money’s going. Truthfully, hands down. Like there’s not like this is where it’s going. It’s going back to help people. It’s going to, again, I can’t stress that enough. How important that is to our foundation. That’s one of the pillars of our company and we’re pushing to help people, help grow communities, help educate them. I mean the future we’re opened up a lot of different things hopefully for female guides.
Kevin Groh: 21:14 I remember when we were leaving Rayan Community that first time just coming down and just being super touched. And, until then it was just, we were just running a company. I remember looking at David and saying, “I don’t want to let these guys down” It’s real. Let’s make this thing work so we can do something for these people.
David Kosloski: 21:36 Yeah, it’s incredible. It’s an incredible feeling. And I think that if you ever do travel with us and you’re able to do the Rayan Community, obviously I highly recommend it because it’s a gateway drug. We’re going to try to get a trip here that it’s basically voluntourism. But this is the gateway drug into you being able to see how you can make such an impact. It’s not necessarily about giving money as much as it is interacting with these people. And so you’re able to go to Rayan Community and you’re able to see these kids out. We have photos of Lindsay, braiding someone’s hair. I mean a little girl’s hair. It is just so impactful. And these little girls had never… They don’t get to hang out with tourists and travelers. It’s not really a thing. And so you’re able to bridge that gap all of a sudden see something that’s real. People to connect with the community that you otherwise could never ever dreamed to connect with. Now granted, you don’t speak their language because you won’t even if you speak Spanish, they don’t speak Spanish, they speak Quechua. But you have the ability to be a part of something that you realize, I’m making an impact here. Right?
Kevin Groh: 22:45 And you totally get to touch their lives. The reason I say that, as we met some girls that were in like sixth grade and she’s like, I want to be a tour guide now.
David Kosloski: 22:55 And instantly it opens up an idea or a concept of being able to do internships and allow them to learn better English with David and our guides. And there’s a lot of opportunities that can be developed from this. And every time that you’re booking through a company that’s like Cachi that is really trying to set up these good morals. Not going to say we’re the only ones out there that do this, but the second, that you’re able to open up that dialogue of, “hey, how can we make life better?” That’s when things get real. That’s when things get really emotional and really beautiful. I’m talking about my feelings. I’ve been told to not talk about my feelings too much. I got to tone it down a notch. But I mean no, it becomes a beautiful, beautiful experience. And I really hope that everyone listening does get to experience that.
David Kosloski: 23:31 And if you haven’t do it somewhere else, it’s amazing. I’m going to digress here and move on to the next part. But the other thing that I want to touch on besides like helping these local communities that don’t benefit from tourism and outside of helping David and his family and making sure that our guides and porters or
Kevin Groh: 24:09 So you’ve got three of the top 50 restaurants in the world and their best meal is on the Inca Trail.
David Kosloski: 24:15
David Kosloski: 24:57 You get this private experience, this ability to be able to get connected with people that are outside of your normal scope. It’s just, it makes me frustrated that this had already isn’t offered by everybody at the price that it is. But it is what it is. And in the future, things are gonna change anyway. We got some really big news coming out soon, but you’re going to be even more flattered as to what we’re able to offer. I’ll keep going here. So outside of that, the next thing is sustainable tourism, which we, we’ve kind of touched on that a little bit with the proper pay. But it comes down to making sure that places stay clean, stay functional, and respecting the environment that we go to. David, every time he takes a drink of anything water, Coca-Cola, Inca Cola. What’s he do?
Kevin Groh: 25:38 He pours some out for Pachamama.
David Kosloski: 25:55 That’s right. Yeah. He loves the earth. He loves where he is. He wants it to last forever and I think that’s what makes David really the key ingredient here as to what we’re doing. Because of all of a sudden, we as backpackers… Kevin way more backpacker than I am… Have always had this mentality that you pack it out. Or excuse me, you pack it in you pack it out. No trace left behind. Right? David wants that as well for his community, which that’s a beautiful thing because believe it or not, there are a lot of places in Cusco outside of the main square where there’s a lot of trash everywhere and you’ve got to think about in a lot of developing countries, there’s not a lot of places to put trash.
David Kosloski: 26:22 And I may get flack for saying that, but it’s true. I’ve been necessarily Sierra Leone. There’s garbage everywhere and the reason there’s garbage everywhere is that
Kevin Groh: 26:29 And I mean, I’ve seen some pictures of Salkantay Trek where there’s just garbage on the side. And whenever I see stuff like that, consistently when I’m talking to David, I’m always asking him two big questions for him. One, are porters being treated right? Is everything okay there? Because we want to treat them really well. Two make sure we’re not trashing places, make sure all the garbage is going out because you want to maintain these places.
David Kosloski: 26:56 No, that’s a very, very valid point. And then, and with that comes a responsibility that the more that we get clout, the more that we get developed into the Peruvian culture and get more established.
David Kosloski: 27:06 Then we also have this responsibility to be able to communicate and step up to say, “hey, we gotta shut down Rainbow Mountain for at least a week. Or we could at least go do volunteer work to clean it up to make it better. I mean, I don’t care if we got to build better trails and whatever we need to do, we need to find time to do that and that takes
David Kosloski: 27:42 It’s going to be too late sometimes. We know how the government moves, moves very slow. Well, since we’re a tight small business, we’re able to get our feet wet right away and say, nope. We’re making a change right now. So yeah, I think that kinda sums up really the whole reason of why we started Cachi Life and it’s exciting stuff. It’s an exciting time for us. We’ve been doing really, really good things. We’re going to continue to keep pushing those really good things. We’ve got a trip coming up here if you’re interested. We don’t have a set date. We’re assuming in August potentially, to be able to do a voluntourism trip. We’re going to go to Rayan Community, spend a couple days there. There’s actually it’s a community outside of Rayan Community, a little bit further down the road. And the idea is to help fix up a school, we’re going to be able to kind of replace some of the toilets that are kind of busted, paint the rooms possibly. Going to spend the night over there and the community and then wake up and keep working and then head out the next day.
David Kosloski: 28:30 So it’s only two days in Rayan Community. Then we’re also going to take you out to do some fun stuff like obviously do Machu Picchu, things of that nature. Well, thank you guys so much for listening. We appreciate it. Again, I’m David Kosloski, my man, Kevin Groh, the bearded genius and we hope to hear from you guys soon and see you on the website. Hit us up on social media, etc. Happy travels. Take care.