RP project coordinators Norma and Eusebio have worked with the communities of San Antonio and Calabaza to create associations of community members who are interested and dedicated to the ecotourism project. These community members will invest their time and efforts to work together in the continued success of the project. They are very concerned about the risk of their cloud forest being cut down for pasturelands or other commercial purposes.
Several meetings took place where members were informed on the requirements in forming the associations, as well as examples and models of other established associations and their goals. In latter meetings, members had opportunities to share their ideas for what they though the association should do to develop the community and tourism. Goals and objectives were agreed on, and each member signed the final agreement to form an association in each community.
The objectives, which the members agreed on, are: 1) To better the quality of life for the population, which includes the construction of public bathrooms, better drinking water service, and better stoves. 2) To better agricultural practices, including finding alternatives to coffee 3) To protect and conserve their natural resources 4) To obtain a concession or reserve for the community of San Antonio 5) To formalize tourism as an economic activity for the community with the construction of lodging and restaurants 6) To look for financial support for conservation projects, reforestation efforts, tourism, and a butterfly house 7) To continue with obtaining titles to their lands
There are also talks with the Reserva Piu Piu, a national reserve located within the district, to work together to promote the district as a conservation tourism area. The Peruvian RP staff has met with the director of the reserve to discuss ways in which they can partner together. The director has discussed the possibility of training and employing community members as park rangers for the reserve. This training and employment would be very useful for the community members, not only as a more stable flow of income but also as a way to bring back more knowledge about the forest and its protection to the communities.
In other news, once Architects Without Borders consult the structural engineers, the translated plans for the hostel in San Antonio will be ready to be sent to the RP project coordinator, the construction foreman and community construction team in Peru. Construction will begin once the rainy season has stopped to allow for such activity, which should be in early February. The hostel should be ready for visitors by this summer (June).
Thank you for your continued support of the Colibri Ecotourism project. The communities of San Antonio and Calabaza truly appreciate your help and generosity. For more recent updates on each of our projects, please visit our website for more information on the project!
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