Ecuador: Ecotourism helping create employment in Indigenous communities

Posted on February 10, 2016 • Filed under: Business, Ecuador, Ecuador Travel reported a successful relationship with ecotourism has created economic opportunities within the reserve and the indigenous communities, helping to keep young people from seeking employment outside of the reserve. Several of the nature guides at other ecolodges are from indigenous communities, as are all of the canoe motorists.

The school teacher in the Siona community in the reserve is from the local community. This allows her to offer bilingual education in Spanish and the tribal language, Paicoca, one of the four indigenous languages spoken by the people of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

Jairo Alvarez, nature guide for Guacamayo Ecolodge, however, believes that the educational opportunities of the indigenous people is quite limited and is an area ripe for improvement. He says the Ecuadorian government has helped successfully educate them in using ecotourism as a source of income, but he sees lack of awareness around waste disposal and recycling in particular as an issue. There is also an effort among some of the ecolodges to incorporate indigenous people in more staff positions. Read Article

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