The Pez Maya community work main objectives are to raise awareness on different key environmental issues as well as to build capacities among the community. As a part of this project, the staff and volunteers from Pez Maya were taken on four different eco-tours organized by the new women cooperative in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve “Las Orquídeas de Sian Ka’an”. This activity was very important not only to reinforce our relationship with the community but to contribute to women empowerment in Punta Allen fishing village.
The Sian Ka’an Orquids Cooperative (Orquídeas de Sian Ka’an) was created about two years ago by a group of outstanding women from Punta Allen that wanted to offer a different product in the Reserve, diversify the tourist options and support the family economy. They have been working and training very hard for two years to become an ecotourism cooperative in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and have faced - and overcome - many difficulties to achieve their dream. They have proved as unfounded the skepticism of other people from the same community and established the project at the same time as taking care of their homes, teaching or cooking, etc.
Their project has been supported by different institutions like the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), Amigos de Sian Ka’an, the Compact UN program and the WWF.
We had the privilege to participate, as tourists, in the hiking, history, kayaking and cycling tours, guided by the members of this cooperative. The objectives of this activity were to provide willing, interested bodies for the ladies to practice their performance on the different tours; to tell them our opinions and also to provide them with a guide of the English vocabulary and phrases they will need to learn to offer a better service to international customers.
All the tours generated different opinions and lots of feedback, but in general it was a beautiful experience and it was very rewarding to see these women happy, following their dreams and sharing their knowledge and experiences with us.
Thank you for continuing to support this community.
All the best