Sierra Gorda wins International Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism
The regional development project of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda in the Biosphere Reserve in Querétaro, Mexico, the Chambok Community Based Ecotourism Project in Cambodia at the Kirirom National Park, and the Boomkolbeh – Turkmen Ecolodge at the rim of the Golestan National Park in Iran are the winners of the TO DO! 2013.
The trophies of the international Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism were awarded at this year’s ITB on 5th March, 2014, at 2.30 pm.
All three TO DO! winners provide successful examples of sustainable achievements of socially responsible concepts, especially through the intensive involvement of the local population in the development of tourism. Therefore, they are examples of best practice for other tourism destinations. The three winners are given one TO DO! trophy each. The Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism supports the projects with an additional 5,000 Swiss Francs each, meaning to support the further development of the projects.
Launching the Sierra Gorda Tasting Route
It’s one of the most popular attractions of the Sierra Gorda, and a culinary highlight of the state of Queretaro. We’re talking about the Sierra Gorda’s Tasting Route (Ruta Del Sabor), a community-driven initiative that sees a return to authentic cooking and traditional crafts, and a celebration of Mexican flavors.
This initiative was presented on 19th February this year and during the official launch, we were honored to receive the state governor’s wife, Sandra Albarrán de Calzada, who, through the state social service (DIF), has been the godmother of this movement. During the launch meeting, Mrs Calzada offered continuing support for the new community eco-sites – support which will be needed to continue to achieve high quality standards.
Earth Festivals 2014
Fostering a love of nature, respect for local traditions, and a sense of community, the Sierra Gorda Earth Festivals are a celebration of the region’s rich cultural and environmental heritage. For the last 25 years, students and parents from various communities have come together at a host school to share regional culinary dishes, perform songs, poems, or traditional native dances called “huapango”.
Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda, has its environmental education team present a puppet show to raise awareness about nature, identifying some of the challenges facing the region, and encouraging families to participate in the solution.
Ecoclub Strategic Planning
At the end of February, we hosted a Strategic Planning workshop for the Ecoclubs. The objective was to write-up the strategic plan for the National Ecoclub movement, including, the mission, vision, objectives and people responsible for each objective. In addition, they carried out SWOT analysis to obtain better results.
At the end of the workshop, all participants made a commitment to replicate the actions discussed and to empower young leaders, as well as maintain constant communication on social media platforms.
This last month, Bosque Sustentable organized a “Biodynamic Nutrition Workshop” with the objective of facilitating and transmitting knowledge about organic agriculture, soil regeneration and plant and animal nutrition. With our example and experience of developing a soil culture, in this workshop we wanted to re-train farmers and change paradigms, so that they observe and administer their soil and resources sustainably; thinking about the long term.
Photo of the month
The first echoes of spring can be seen in the Sweetgum forests in the Sierra Gorda. The new leaves are sprouting; reflecting the change of seasons. In the past, there were extensive Sweetgum forests, whereas today they only survive in certain points of the Sierra. We are proud to safeguard one in this private nature reserve.