Guatemala, January 18, 2017. Caribe Maya, a sustainable tourism initiative in Central America received the “Spirit of Excellence” award presented by Grupo Excelencias during the International Tourism Fair in Madrid. This is an initiative from WWF with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) as the administrator of the Multilateral Investments Fund (FOMIN).
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.
Since 2012, BID supports financially the sustainable work that WWF is implementing in this region, with a Project to promote community based tourism in the Mesoamerican Reef, specifically in Izabal, Guatemala and the northern coast of Honduras.
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.
Caribe Maya received the “Spirit of Excellence” award, after a jury integrated by 7 personalities of different countries, from the tourism, art and gastronomy worlds, led by the Grupo Excelencias president, chose this initiative among a various candidates selection from around the world. Also, in this edition, the audience had the chance to vote for those projects that deserved to be awarded, through the group’s website.
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.
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 ventures; 6 of them in Guatemala and 6 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 Cochinos