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tourist guide


El Punto, Ixtepeji, Oaxaca




detailed breakdown

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Section 1  How the ecotourism project began: “we started … following an invitation… to participate in a mountain bike workshop… it was there that we started to get to know about ecotourism… we started to receive some training in mammalogy, entomology, ornithology, environment awareness (interpretación ambiental), and some other short courses.” Funding.
Section 2  Community’s interest in the project linked to environmental concerns: “…there was a proposal thatthey could carry out an ecotourism project in order to continue conserving the area and to stop exploiting it. Disappearance of the seudotzuga pine. Youth involvement in ecotourism project: “the young were invited to participate as guides.” Training in ecotourism (learning the names of flora and fauna).
Section 3-4  Popularity of the project – attracting interest: there are a lot of people arriving here and they see the whole forest we have and they see the cabin. Then, many people stop to ask what is there… Then that is the way that this place gets known.” Publicising the project. Community-owned project – possibility of turning it into a business. Activities available for tourists.
Section 4  Sustainability of ecotourism: “we need to know the carrying capacity… because if we take a lot [of people] like that we cannot control them.” Preserving the forest: it is easy to chop down a tree, but to plant one and let it grow and reach a normal size - well this takes a lot of work and many years. For this reason I believe that the intention behind carrying out new projects for the community, not just this ecotourism project but also others, is to generate jobs without the need to continue destroying our forest, which we know is our life, and not just ours but also that of many more people, because water comes from here and there are also many animals. Therefore we don’t want all this to be destroyed.” Conservation management .
Section 5  Regulations made by the asamblea (community parliament) to protect the environment. Community required to abide by these. “Then people understood that in that area they can't touch or cut anything, in accordance with the agreement made by the asamblea.” Regulations for tourists: “about cutting plants, not scaring any animal - even though some people bring their dogs or their pets. But we tell them that this is not a place [for that], because this is an area that we need to protect, since a group can disturb the peace of a rabbit or a squirrel that is inside.” Problem of litter.
Section 6  The competition from other projects in area: “they cut down a lot of trees, exploited [the forest] a lot, and there are [only] a few trees left. In that respect we are better off, but regarding facilities, they are.” Emergency service—use radio for communication and truck available to transport accident victims. Financial assistance obtained - mostly from WWF and El Fondo Mexicano [Mexican Conservation Fund] for set-up costs (office, signs and other facilities).
Section 7  The role of the ecotourism committee. Community’s support for the project. The value of the project for Ixtepeji and the community: “due to our location and the diversity of plants, and the great quantity of mammal species that there are… Sometimes lots of people are surprised, coming here, so close [to the city], when you tell them that there are deer here From this area, from the city of Oaxaca, it is one of the main areas where the water that goes to the city comes from.”