How Are we Doing our Part to Be an Ecolodge and Practice Ecotourism?
First, the words must be defined. The Ecotourism Society defines Ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people”. The definition also includes the concepts of conserving and improving the place you visit. Often “adventure travel” is included in the definition and this includes the idea of some risk and uncertainty included in the experience. An Ecolodge is one that operates by these principals.
The Mango Tree Spa is located on a pristine hillside loaded with jungle trees. We have done everything to minimize the impact of our SMALL eco-lodge and have enhanced the same hillside with numerous jungle trees and gardens. We continually employ the habitats of the little barrio of Tres Rios, giving them jobs and improving their lives. We hold in high respect our small community, respecting their values, the local dress code, understanding the local labor laws, paying our taxes and respecting the social norms. Because of our small size, we do not upset the local economy and instead do our part to foster it in humane ways.
We are open to and encourage our guests to bring ideas of composting, water recycling, water and wind energy, recycling, picking up wastes on the roads, and any other ideas to further improve and maintain this very pristine area. A recent visitor said that one of the most effective ways to maintain and enlighten peoples was to do it through the children in the schools and groups. A child coming home and asking their parents, “Why don’t we compost, recycle, etc.” Children often come home with absolutes and facts. Apparently, this is one of the most effective methods of raising awareness.
We encourage low impact outdoor adventures for our clients. Visits to the local beaches are available and walks up the surrounding rivers with natural pools and cascades are unique and have no impact on the surrounding jungle. We do not hack out trails in the jungle for our clients. Rivers and unpaved roads are of no impact on the environment. We subscribe to walks and adventures that employ “Leave no Trace” ethics. Other adventures include snorkeling, diving, rafting, fishing, horse-back trips, gardens, swimming in our pools, zip-lining, kayaking and nature or garden walks.
Visits are available to Indian sites, local artisans, archeological mysteries, mangrove trips, and a reptile local.
Tags: adventure travel, ecolodge, ecotourism, leave no trace ethics