Weekly meeting with the guides before their tours
For our conservation efforts to spread widely, we decided to involve more people from the village. After a few meetings with the President of the Cooperative ‘Punta Allen’, we agreed on having weekly meetings with the local tour guides to share information about the ecology and the state of conservation of the fauna and the ecosystems they interact with during the boat tours in the area.
One of the first steps was to join them on the tours in order to learn about the specifications of the tours they offer.
During the tours they encounter dolphins, manatees, turtles, mangrove birds, visit the lagoons, mangroves and go snorkeling on coral reefs around Punta Allen. We began our first meetings with the tour guides in April this year and since then we have covered different topics, including a couple of sessions on the ecology of coral reefs and fauna such as turtles, manatees, sharks.
We have developed a cooperative relationship with the guides, who are always willing to share their own knowledge and experience with us. We have been developing a curriculum that they can access at the cooperative office computer. We are also summarizing and selecting the most relevant information to create ‘Information Sheets’ for the tourist on the boats to read -these will include rules to follow in the Biosphere - such as the usage of biodegradable sunscreen and care for coral reefs. In addition, we are preparing ‘Cheat Sheets’ for the guides to have onboard so they can share the environmental information during the tour. These guides are in both English and Spanish.
We have also identified skillful and motivated individuals that will be able to share the knowledge with other guides joining this cooperative or from the other cooperatives in the village. We are spending extra time with them to develop their skills and arranging other activities, like beach cleans.
The extra activities we are incorporating in our Pez Maya community projects are to reinforce the relationship with the community; to teach and learn about the ecology of the ecosystems in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, to strengthen and promote good practices on current activities (e.g. fisheries and tourist cooperatives) in the village and to reinforce the environmental education. Our mission is to create environmental awareness and have a positive local and global impact.
It is our mission to create environmental awareness and have a positive local and global impact, therefore protecting and preserving the reef!
Thank you for your support!
On one of the tours to see what the guides see!
On a beach clean with the guides