New Era: Nature Tourism Mexico - Guatemala

new era nature tourism mexico guatemala
viviana vasque duque
Viviana Vasquez

In Mexico and Guatemala, interest in nature tourism is on the rise, providing a unique experience of the region's natural beauty while promoting sustainable development and environmental conservation. This progress is crystallized in the third phase of the project. "Consolidation of community-based nature tourism as a sustainable and resilient way of life for communities in Mexico and Guatemala", thanks to the power of alliances formed by a diverse network of strategic actors, such as SECTUR, AMEXCID, SEGEPLAN, INGUAT, GIZ Mexico and Guatemala, as well as public organizations, community enterprises, managers, local networks and technical specialists.

"Our goal is to strengthen connectivity with different business partners and improve sustainability capabilities and practices in the territory, knowing that it has a direct impact on livelihoods."

Mauricio Miramontes, Alliances Coordinator of La Mano del Mono, shares his vision of this transformational journey

Communities and Sustainable Tourism in Mexico and Guatemala

Karla Rivera and Ethel Arias, members of the Program Leaders team "Market Ready Cultivation". in La Mano del Mono, they highlighted the significant progress achieved in the 23 participating entrepreneurs and destination managers in Guatemala and Mexico during the second phase of the project. They recognize the importance of strengthening both personal and professional connections between the actors involved, as well as establishing specialized capabilities in companies and managers to access and respond professionally to markets.

The project was developed during the period from 2021 y 2023 and included various activities, such as the Market Readiness diagnosis to identify the business profile, market readiness and communication needs, the provision of equipment to 10 organizations in Petén, Guatemala, and the implementation of sustainable entrepreneurship and Market Ready crops. In addition, key resources were provided to social enterprises and managers.

This process culminated in the creation of 48 prototypes of transformative tourism experiences, which were used as a tool during business meetings to negotiate with potential allies. Commercial alliances and learning communities connected to specialized markets were established with the objective of offering quality, safe and environmentally responsible experiences that could be replicated in future processes.

Thanks to the results of this previous experience, we are now preparing to initiate the third phase of the project, which will mark important milestones not only in tourism, but also in the well-being of local communities and the regeneration of natural areas.

Clear Objectives and Shared Commitment

The project "Consolidation of community-based nature tourism as a sustainable and resilient way of life for communities in Mexico and Guatemala" has a clear objective: to strengthen the capacities of community-based nature tourism enterprises in Mexico and Guatemala. This translates into the creation of an offer of regional community-based tourism routes that meet sustainability and safety criteria, especially relevant in the post-pandemic context.

Targeting a wide range of community networks and associations in both countries, the project ranges from the Union of Communities of the Sierra Juarez in Mexico to the Association of Forest Communities in Guatemala. In addition, it will work closely with various service groups, such as gastronomy, transportation and handicrafts, to ensure a comprehensive and authentic experience for visitors.

Azucena del Carmen Luna, consultant for GIZ Guatemala, emphasizes the importance of collaborative work: "Without the collaboration of the communities and institutions, we would not have achieved the success we enjoy now.

Lines of action for sustainability

The project has four main lines of action: consolidation of the tourism offer, exchange of experiences, capacity building and support in the implementation of strategies. These lines of action are aimed at promoting the sustainable development of communities, fostering collaboration and raising the quality of the tourism experience offered. Our partners are also expected to provide complementary skills and specific experiences to strengthen community capacities in the provision of responsible tourism services, ensuring both the health of visitors and the well-being of the communities themselves. We seek to foster greater cooperation among community enterprises and increase their capacity to overcome barriers that may hinder their business development.

Improvement of tourism capacities

As the project moves into the future, it is expected to contribute to the enhancement of community capacities for responsible and sustainable tourism activities. In addition, it is expected to foster greater cooperation among community enterprises, as well as economic and social growth in local communities.

Ultimately, the community-based nature tourism consolidation project represents not only a journey towards sustainable development, but also towards a brighter and more equitable future for everyone involved. It is a reminder that, through collaborative work and shared commitment, we can build a world where tourism is a positive force for the well-being of people and the planet.

Venture on this exciting journey into the evolution of community-based nature tourism in Mexico and Guatemala!