The Community Ecotourism Project

Ecotourism in rural EcuadorEcotourism Project Mission Statement

"To provide the community of Piedra Blanca with a non-destructive, economically beneficial and sustainable use for its rainforest"

Global Routes volunteers and members of the local community who helped construct the eco-lodge - Click to EnlargeIn 2003 the community of Piedra Blanca decided to address its economic situation by developing a community run ecotourism project. With the help of CRACYP (a local NGO), Global Routes (USA), Challenges Worldwide (UK), and Ayuda en Accion, amongst others, the community developed its tourism infrastructure in June 2004.

Reforestation Programme - Click to EnlargeThe ecotourism enterprise now provides the community with an alternative source of income and a direct economic incentive for local conservation and reforestation. The community manages the ecotourism enterprise to distribute the benefits of tourism as widely as possible. For example, local guide services operate on a rotation system – local guides (fully trained) take it in turns to accompany the tourists, thereby sharing the economic benefits of tourism. Tourism therefore provides a valuable injection of money for the community of Piedra Blanca.

Reforestation - balsa trees used in the future for building rafts Much of the money you will spend as a visitor (accommodation, food, guide services, eco-tours) is destined for a community fund, which the community manages to develop local services. The whole community benefits from the ecotourism project, that's why all of us are pleased to see visitors arriving. The community fund is also used to for local conservation and reforestation projects. Your visit is therefore important for the local community, the local economy and the local environment.

Video of reforestation projects nearby

You, the responsible traveller, make the difference - visit Piedra Blanca, or volunteer

  Challenges Worldwide (UK) regularly provides the eco-project with volunteers to fill local skills gaps     Global Routes (USA) provided funding and volunteers for the construction of our ecolodge     Ayuda en Accion

History of Piedra Blanca - Ecotourism definition - Environmental Assessment