Guatemala, october 25th 2017 – The Latin American organization “Fondo Verde” and the Iniciativa Latinoamericana del Paisaje (LALI) awarded the Caribe Maya initiative, which promotes sustainable tourism ventures in the Guatemalan and Honduran Atlantic Coast. This recognition was presented in Colombia, as part of the second call of the LALI’s Best Practices node for 2017, “Tourism Sustainability and Social Responsibility for Landscapes and Cultural Heritage in Latin America".
Caribe Maya obtained a special mention in the landscapes and rural community tourism projects category. In the call, the judges evaluated each project according to sustainability, social responsibility and fair trade, adapted to the criteria from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which appreciate positive and tangible benefits of nature and landscapes, protection of the cultural heritage, local communities’ economic development and the delivery of authentic experiences to tourists.
Considering the natural and cultural vulnerability of the Mesoamerican Reef System, 10 years ago, WWF Guatemala / Mesoamerica started a program to conserve this system. Besides covering the protection of natural resources and environmental sustainability practices, WWF-Guatemala / Mesoamerica also worked with sustainable tourism ventures in this region. These ventures are managed by the communities and are located in protected areas, as a strategy for conservation and added value to the natural and cultural resources they possess.
Within the Project activities, the Caribe Maya Unplugged initiative was developed. One of its priority objectives is to position the Caribe Maya destination as the tourism region were the Caribbean Sea and the Maya and Garifuna cultures join under an authentic sustainable environment.
In Guatemala and in Honduras, Caribe Maya is already being supported by the Guatemalan Tourism Institute and in Honduras, from the Honduran Tourism institute. Both entities will see over the adequate promotion of these sites under the sustainable tourism and Community management model, and through the reservations centrals that are located in Izabal, Guatemala and La Ceiba, Honduras.
This initiative also has support from the Asociación de Representantes de Comunidades Turísticas de Honduras (LARECOTURH) and the Asociación de Programas de Gestión Ambiental Local (ASOPROGAL) who are also involved in the promotion of these tourism destinations. This promotion is being offered specifically to 12 sustainable tourism in Guatemala and in Honduras.
In Guatemala, these ventures are Río Tatín - Ak’Tenamit, Parque Nacional Río Dulce and Cueva del Tigre en Plan Grande Tatín, Restaurante Buga Mama, Livingston, Centro Ecoturístico y Spa Natural, Agua Caliente en Parque Nacional Río Dulce, Restaurante El Manglar, Cayo Quemado en Parque Nacional Río Dulce, Laru Beya, Livingston and Hotel Flor de Montaña, Plan Grande Quehueche.
In Honduras, the supported ventures are Cuero y Salado Tours, Refugio de Vida Silvestre barras de Cuero y Salado; Fábrica de Casabe Ereba Chips, Refugio de Vida Silvestre barras de Cuero y Salado; Cotinga Arts, Parque Nacional Pico Bonito; Cabañas del Bosque, Parque Nacional Nombre de Dios; Cangrejal Tours, Parque Nacional Nombre de Dios; Cabañas Laru Beya y Monumento Natural Marino Archipiélago Cayos Cochino