INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM MONTHLY
Year 5-Issue 60, May 2004
We invited our Ecolodge Members to submit projects for the first annual ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award. Seven proposals, all very interesting, were submitted and are hereby presented to the Supporter Members & Expert Members of ECOCLUB, so that they can decide by email vote, which project will win the Award. The winner will be publicly announced on the 1st of July 2004, the 5th anniversary from the foundation of ECOCLUB. The Award will be accompanied by the monetary sum of Euros 500, raised by our Members and the ECOCLUB.com Shop. Half of the amount will be awarded immediately, and half on completion of the project.
We asked our Ecolodge Members to submit practical, concrete projects that could be completed within 6 months, using the monetary sum provided (Euros 500) so that they would be comparable. Voters are invited to choose based on these criteria.
The ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award rational is that a lot of grandiose, over-ambitious tourism projects fail, and a lot of funding is wasted, so ECOCLUB is focusing on concise, practical, verifiable projects by existing, small, ecotourism businesses, and constitutes in effect small-scale financing in a transparent, democratic manner.
If you are a Member, please submit your vote until Monday the 28th of June.
The project proposals are listed in the order that they were received, edited in some cases down to 300 words, with minimal wording and grammar editing.
Villas Ecotucan proposes to build a small butterfly learning center.
It would be designed by local university students, built by local high school students and visited by local primary school groups with high school students acting as guides. This centre will benefit the local students who visit it not only in what they learn on butterflies however also in the learning of respect for their surrounding environment. Using older students as guides and university students as designers we hope to give them experience in a useful project as well as respect for the environment which they will pass on to family members as well as peers. The center would include: Some good resource books on butterflies of the area. Continually growing, properly conserved butterfly collection. Small sheltered area where one could see the different stages of butterfly growth from larvae to cocoon to butterfly. Free half day tours to local primary class groups, tours would include guided walk through butterfly center , educational worksheets, short talk on respect for environment, leisure games.
Hire two local university students ( U. Q. Roo , Carrera de
Turismo Alternativo ) to research and design a proper structure for a
butterfly shelter as well as oversee the construction.
Hire 3 local high school students to construct shelter as well as
learn how to make a butterfly collection . Same students would act as
guides to primary school groups
Material to build shelter
Purchase two or three good books on butterflies of the area
Photocopying of educational worksheets to give to primary groups
coming to visit
Note: Additional funding necessary to keep program running would be supplied by Villas Ecotucan or by donations raised through guest visits.
Yacutinga propose to purchase and install 2 Solar Panels.
Our need is based on the purchase of 2 Solar Panels. This technology will be installed at our Biological Research Station, allowing researchers to use computers due the consequent clean energy supply. Today, our Biological Research Centre does not have electricity because of the need to reduce pollution in the heart of the Yacutinga Natural Reserve, where it is located.
The possibility of installing 2 solar panels in this facility by winning the ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award 2004 will be very important for us and will help our Biological Research Station to become an example of what Sustainable Tourism generates by implementing responsible ecotourism in protected areas under private administration.
The transformation and destruction capacity of our ecosystems is being checked on a scale never been seen previously in our Country. The irresponsible use of land allows environmental modifications of large territorial extensions in short time lapses. This enormous transformation capacity is only comparable to the non existing knowledge of the functions of mechanism from the affected ecosystems, basic information at times where conservational strategies have to be established.
The development of investigations is an initial condition of different groups present in the affected areas in order to obtain valuable information which allows us to comprehend the functioning of the eco-systems, predict and take measures for the future. And, in this way maintain a conservationist perspective and sustainable development of human activities in these fragile areas. These facts and realities are the foundations for the creation and implementation of the Biological Research Station Yacutinga, administered by Yacutinga Lodge.
Our Research Station pretends to be an area for development of investigation projects in situ from the most varied biological specialties with the objective to conserve the biodiversity of the Interior Atlantic Rain Forest.
Laguna del Lagarto propose to offer a scholarship to a youngster.
Should our Lodge win the Award we will use the money to give a scholarship to a youngster to attend the secondary school (Collegio Secundario). In the area of Boca Tapada there are four elementary schools (Escuela Primaria) with over 100 students. Elementary School is 7 years. However the majority of the students can not go to secondary school (5 years) for economic reasons. The nearest formal secondary school is in Pital, 31km from Boca Tapada and 50Km from Boca San Carlos. It takes by bus about 2 hours from Boca Tapada to Pital and very few students take the burden to travel daily to and from Pital and even if they wanted to do it, parents do not have the money to pay for the bus fare and the school supply, not to think of paying for room and board in Pital.
Recently a Tele-Secundaria was opened in Boca Tapada where the Secundaria courses are given via Television under the supervision of a teacher. This this is a great step forward but there are still many students who are unable to attend because parents can not afford paying the school supply and the family is dependent on the work of the child especially if there are several children in the family. Only Col. 10,000. (around USD 23) a month will be sufficient to enable a child to attend the Tele Secundaria and with the award a 2 year scholarship can be given to attend the Secondary School (10 months per year). If we win the award, Laguna del Lagarto Lodge will commit itself to obtain the funds to continue with the scholarship for the remaining 3 years so that the child can complete the secondary school.
The Boat Landing propose to buy equipment for a Community Lodge.
If the Boat Landing Guest House were selected for the Ecolodge Award, we would use the award to help a cash poor Khmu village buy bedding, cooking equipments, guiding equipment and some building materials for a community lodge.
We are presently working with the district government and the villages of Ban Khone Kham and Ban Goop to provide more activities, which generate income for the villagers, for the tourist who are already passing through the area.
Ban Khone Kham is a wealthy village not needing financial assistance. But Ban Goop is rich in natural resources and wonders but cash-poor. They would find it difficult to come up the cash to buy bedding and cooking equipment. We will help these villages with the following:
1. Tourism planning
Ranweli Holiday Village propose the creation of an organic vegetable plot and green house in school premises close to the Lodge.
Introduction: There is increasing public awareness of the dangers from chemical contamination from use of chemicals in agriculture largely due to people suffering from numerous diseases. Consequently, a programme of public/school based education to create awareness is necessary.
Object: To establish an organic vegetable plot and a green house in school premises with the participation of staff and children of a school close to Ranweli ecolodge. Experience gained to initiate home gardens to achieve self sufficiency in organic / pesticide free vegetables.
Strategy: Ranweli has established a link with the school to form a nature club. Discussion with the staff and school children demonstrated their enthusiasm to the project
Steps: Conduct a workshop on organic farming, with resource persons to motivate and sensitise young persons to sustainable farming practices.
1. Our ecolodge horticulturist has visited the school and identified 8x8 mtrs. plot for vegetable beds. The beds will be prepared by the children with the assistance of the Horticulturist by introducing top soil and compost from a pit to be established.
2. Seedlings will be provided from the nursery in the ecolodge pending the establishment of a nursery in the school.
3. The existing green house will be upgraded to grow salads.
4. We expect to harvest the first crop within three to four months. A mini ‘harvest festival’ will be held with participation of the staff, children and parents of the school which has around 2000 children.
5. The produce will be sold immediately after harvesting in a carnival atmosphere with music and dance by the children.
6. The sale proceeds will be used for expansion of the project to make it a continuing profit center of the school while propagating organic farming.
The Pimenta propose to produce wormi compost for use in their organic farm.
The wormi compost would be created from the slurry waste of the Bio gas plant and farm waste.
This is to make good quality wormi compost to be applied on the farm using the slurry produced after the bio gas production and farm wastes combined. The wormi compost is a good quality farm input which is free of chemicals. Lot of Bio Mass is also produced in the monsoon time. This can be gathered in 3 cement tanks of 1M width and 1m height of 6M length. And all of them requires cover and Slury has to be transported through a pile line of nearly 70 Mtrs.
This project can create approximately 7-10 tons of good quality wormi composting to the garden. Moreover this is located at the entrance of the farm it has demonstrative value and village farm sector can also be changed.
Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlán propose to buy material to be used in a new "painting academy for children" project.
Guatemala has a long tradition of popular painting, and so does San Juan La Laguna on the borders of the Lake of Atitlán, where we are located. At the moment there are nine painters in San Juan, of which two are women.
Objective: To establish a children's painting academy that allows to discover future talents in San Juan La Laguna.
Location: The academy will use the facilities of the Eco hotel Uxlabil Atitlán.
Participants: Up to 100 schoolchildren between 10 and 15 years old, will be selected by their teachers.
Three levels of study: First level will work between July and September for all 100 children. The 20 or 30 most outstanding pupils will proceed to the second level, between October to December. The third, advanced level will be for 10 outstanding children and will last from January through June.
Instructors: The instructors will be mostly painters of San Juan. Each one will attend a minimum of 20 children in first stage, 10 in second and in third level. The instructors will receive a small reward.
Financing: The academy will have a basic subsidy that guarantees its initial operation on the part of the Eco hotel Uxlabil Atitlán. Uxlabil will also seek financial support in national and international organisations.
Evaluation: The project will be evaluated continuously. Once per year there will be a formal day of evaluation of the project in its different components. Local authorities and teachers will participate in such process.
Budget: The 500 Euros can cover Materials for the first level of study.
• Materials for all Levels: (papers, watercolors, etc.) US$1,250.00
Copyright © 1999-2004 ECOCLUB S.A. All Rights Reserved.