People - Supporting Communities & Cultures

TreadRight is committed to encouraging the cultures, traditions, and arts of the communities we visit to thrive. They seek to enable these communities to see the true benefit from tourism through economic empowerment. TreadRight does this through the support of micro-enterprises, and community-based tourism initiatives that build positive futures for community members and their families.

The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art

The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art is a private, non-profit entity, created in 1993 in Seville by Cristina Heeren, Hispanist, and American patron. Its aims are the promotion, the teaching, and the conservation of flamenco both in Andalusia and Spain, as well as internationally. Since 1996, this prestigious international school of flamenco has trained more than 6,000 youths from around the world in singing, dance, and guitar, many of whom have benefitted from the scholarship program, especially new Andalusian talents. The foundation has been recognized with the Flamenco in the Classroom Prize from the Andalusian Government, the Order of Alfonso X from the Ministry of Culture, the National Teaching Prize from the Chair of Flamencology in Jerez, and the distinction Flamenco Thursdays from the Cajasol Foundation, amongst other honors. 

The TreadRight Foundation sponsors the Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art in order to offer four TreadRight scholarships for advanced students of guitar, singing, and dance at the foundation. The scholarships are dedicated to advanced students who require financial assistance in order to complete their third or fourth year of training at the foundation. These higher-level students display great skill and competence in their disciplines though often struggle to find the funds to continue and, in some cases, complete their training. The four TreadRight scholarships will allow them to finish their studies and achieve their dreams of becoming flamenco artists. The 2019 TreadRight Scholarship recipients were dancer Makeda Benitez from Canada, dancer Juan Tomas Dominguez from Spain, guitarrista Martín Fayos from Spain, and singer Marian Fernandez from Spain.

Since the school's opening, more than six thousand students have studied with the foundation, specializing either in singing, dancing, or guitar, the three branches of teaching.

When you travel with Insight on their Best of Spain & Portugal vacation, you'll have the opportunity to participate in a flamenco class at the Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art. Not only will you learn the skills and dedication it takes to be a flamenco artist, but you'll also have a chance to see a performance of ex-students of the school, students that are now important and recognized flamenco artists.

Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative

The Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative, which was founded by the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation in 1993, aims to make the women in the area financially independent and to raise their standard of living by increasing their income and preserving local heritage. The cooperative, which is managed and run by local women, has provided training projects for more than 150 women from all villages of Wadi Seer on a variety of handicrafts.

Unemployment in Jordan for women is around 33% in urban areas and is even higher in rural areas. As the cooperative is managed and run by members of the community, it has created a number of job opportunities for women of all ages. The cooperative teaches the local women how to make a variety of different heritage products, which are also sold in the gift shop, as well as online.

The TreadRight grant, delivered in partnership with Tourism Cares, will allow the organization to consistently have the necessary materials on hand as well as help to complete a build-out of their gift shop, as well as provide merchandising expertise, and allow the group to expand their food services, creating more income opportunities for the cooperative's members.

Experience this cultural insight on our Jordan Experience 6-day tour.

Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti

Fascinated and inspired by the textiles, Brozzetti founded a workshop/school dedicated to the production of high-quality artistic textiles for the home. Since that time, a passion for the art of hand-weaving textiles on antique wooden looms has been passed down through the generations of the Brozzetti family. 

From mother to daughter, each generation personalizing the production according to her own inspiration. Four generations later, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti is one of the few remaining traditional frame hand weaving workshops in Italy. 

The fabrics are woven using the original antique looms and following the same traditional techniques Giuditta Brozzetti helped to ensure were carried on nearly a century ago. The patterns they produce are reminiscent of great medieval and renaissance textile traditions in Italy, and particularly in the Umbria region.

Today, the workshop is located inside the Church of San Francesco delle Donne in the medieval city of Perugia, Italy.

Experience this cultural insight on our Italy Bellissimo 11-day tour.

Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco

Officially established in 1996, the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) employs more than 500 individuals from the Cusco, Peru region. Encouraging the continuation of the 10,000-year-old Andean textile tradition, and to provide support to those working in this heritage industry, the CTTC began as a collective group of weavers in the 1980s. The CTTC aims to maintain this longstanding Peruvian tradition of weaving in the face of changing times.

For some time, the younger generation of Peruvians has been shifting away from traditional weaving. Due in large part to globalization, the town of Chinchero, Peru has undergone a number of drastic changes in recent years and many of the traditional ways of life were being lost with each new generation. Knowledge and practice of cultural touchstones such as language, land management traditions and ritual practices have been severely affected by the progress of time and disconnection with traditional culture.

This prompted CTTC founder Nilda Callanaupa to take proactive steps in order to maintain her cultural heritage while also providing employment to people in her region. Nilda’s dream is to reinvigorate her community through the traditional weaving organization with the income generated for community members to be used for education, to improve housing and to provide medical care.

Experience this cultural insight on either our Highlights of Peru 8-day tour or our Treasures of the Incas 12-day tour.