Colombia is using community-based tourism in an alternative way, considering destructive economic sources such as mining, and also as a local development tool in new peaceful times. Teenagers that used to deal with guns are stimulated today to provide services for example.
It is in this context that Raízes partners, Mariana Madureira and Jussara Rocha, went to Colombia to participate in the 1° Latin-American Meeting of Community-based Tourism. Besides us, more than 30 community organizations of Latin America – representing more than 20 countries – Caribbean, France and Germany participated in the event, among others projects and tourism agencies interested by the subject. Altogether almost 400 people.
It has been four days focusing on exchanging experiences, aiming to consolidate and promote the collective construction of community-based tourism in this region. The round-table panel were diferent between the two days to facilitate networking and to give opportunity for all to talk.
So we carried our ideas about local development, social innovation and entrepreneuriat to our continent brothers. And it was beautiful to see Colombia commitment ! The country is starting to organise itself in a Network with a lot of knowledges and active voice. Many participants, both public power and private power with communities.
Colombia x Brasil: immersion in the community-based tourism
We had the opportunity to be hosted in local family houses, to have walks and experiences offered by locals. We enjoyed the local gastronomy, craftwork production, cultural manifestations, music, poetry and dance in Boyacá – region were stand Gachantivá.
To deepen in this Brasilian experience, 10 participants from Minas Gerais, Pará, São Paulo and Roraima were also present. Gabriela Fontoura, from Estação Gabiraba, and Adriana Lima, the Movimento de Mulheres das Ilhas de Belém (MMIB) representative, presented us one of the six international lectures choosen between 70 offers proposed by the organization. They represented very well our country, the Amazon and the women forces in the community-based tourism. Check out this short video
To quote Gabi: “ The event was an amazing opportunity to share experiences and learnings among a lot of others latine american initiatives that, just like us, are investing in communinty-based tourism as a tool for local development and innovation in commercial relations […]. This meeting was the opportunity to celebrate 10 years of our action with community-based tourism in the Brasilian Amazon, to strengthen our bonds with old partners and to set up new alliances in order to extend our work to Pan-Amazon.”
Plans (for now on) and for the futur
Every representatives took as a “home duty” the obligation to share knowledges in their own country and to strengthen their national network. And right now! The biggest challenge for Colombia will be the commercial trade of their destinations and initiatives as well as the formulation of efficient public politics that will hold community-based tourism in the line of the local development.
We are already interested in realizing the 2° Meeting for 2019, probably in Guatemala. Until then, we hope we will be more advanced in terms of national and regional network and that we will receive even more representatives.
In the meanwhile, we use Facebook, e-mail and others technology tools to communicate. The important is to keep in touch and to value this sharing and cooperativism. The ideal would be to have our own platform, but it will rely on articulations and resources to happen.
Talking about platform, the event has been shared on live. You can check the entirety here
Soon we will also share the next Cafezim with Raízes. Our first international edition, directly recorded from the colombian ground. Follow and wait !