Picture of the place

Initiative OCEN

Parque La Amistad, PANAMA

The already (Naso community organization for ecotourism) is an initiative created by Raul Quintero in his community. Its purpose is to develop tourism in the community, in order to a hand, to create a new source of income and on the other hand, to create awareness of the importance of the traditions and the protection of Nature. Located on the edge of the Park International La Amistad, the project offers visitors a unique experience in the heart of a little visited nature, while discovering a way of life far removed from our.

The already first proposes a traditional housing families in the community, either in traditional homes made of wood and leaves of banana trees. The toilets are about ten meters from the House and very clean and we wash in the River, but it is one of the best memories of my stay. The kitchen is made by the mother of Raul in the typical way. We eat in dried fruits whose name is unknown, and we drink into glasses or bananas, morning, noon and night fresh cocoa-based drinks bamboo.

Hiking is easy access, allows access to a waterfall, but requires good physical health and a certain sense of adventure. For people in good shape and wants to walk a lot, many other routes can be opened by the voluntary guides of the community. Furthermore, the organization offers visit other communities Nasos and including the King. Finally, it offers activities to discover traditions: cooking classes, how to make bamboo glasses, how to make plates, traditional dance performance, tournament sports with youth in the community, etc.

Responsible stance

They're all good down the line!

Regarding the impacts of the project on the environment, even if the arrival of tourists can create disturbances, for now their number is still too small to make it meaningful. Project minimizes the impacts of itself because it is asking tourists to follow the same way of life than the community. There is little electricity in the community, and this one is solar. The plates used for tourists are made from gourds and so biodegradable once worn. Whatever it is Raul aware of these issues, looking for what are the alternatives if a greater attendance for waste management. He thinks that it will take up a recycling plan, because more people means more garbage, more plastic, more glass...

No running water, no electricity in the reserved accommodation to travellers (are there in some homes in the community, most often water from the river and solar electricity), use of water from the river for bathing and the toilets, use of torches and candles to light lamps.

Travellers are encouraged to leave with their waste because in the community waste management is done by landfill.

The community does not allow visitors to walk alone in the Park, which limits the risk of negative impacts. Thanks to their culture linked to nature and its protection because they are addicted, ANAM voluntary guide communicates easily on the subject during hikes, allowing a better understanding of the issues. It cannot be denied that there is always an impact when the man broke into the nature, but the low number of traveler suggests that impact tourism is low (this is not the case of the impact of human - dam construction).

The community life directly in nature and their homes are also well integrated as possible (some building are concrete, but not those of travellers), accommodation houses made of local material (wood and leaves of banana).

Creating the project promotes a return to a traditional culture as she is valued by travellers. It's as well as traditional dances are again taught at the school, and that one learns some techniques to craft.

The project created by Raul (active member of the community) is run entirely by members of the community. The only interventions from people outside the community are in the field of assistance with the control. Moreover this project allows to maintain, or even expand, trades such as craftsmen, guide, Cook, taxi... There are very few jobs directly in the community. Although they are often forced to work for companies who build projects that destroy their environment.

The project economically benefiting the whole community provides funds for the creation of other projects such as the purchase of a computer for school... The creation of the project, allows you to talk about the community and its initiatives, bringing organizations or travelers directly to participate in the purchase of equipment (for example football T-shirt) or creation of services (learning English).

All of the profits back to the community with the exception of the purchase water grocer El Silencio. All of the benefits of the project benefits the community, it is there any outside intermediary. A portion is kept for the development of the project itself, another paid as wages to the participants and the rest and given to the community.


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