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ref. fam tour trip to the community-based ecotourism in th e Guapore´Valley in Brazil

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  • Aguapé-Ecoturismo
    Dear Member of Green Travel and Friend of Nature, We we would like to invite you to participate in the upcoming Fam Tour ecotour expedition, the fist to
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2002
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      Dear Member of Green Travel and Friend of Nature,
      We we would like to invite you to participate in the upcoming Fam Tour ecotour expedition, the fist to introduce the Pedras Negras Lodge to the international ecotour market. This ecotour provides visitors with a genuine cultural experience in a small community of rubber tappers in The Guaporé Valley of the western Amazon of Brazil.

      This ecotourism project aims to improve the quality of life for the local communities, together with the preservation of local culture and the conservation of the tropical forest in which these communities live.

      If you or your representative will be able to travel in October, please let us know about your intention and to know more details about the tirp.

      Please find below a brief description of the project and activities developed.

      We are awaiting your kind reply soon and look forward to create working relationship with you.

      Best regards,

      Rosilda Berker / Marketing Dept.

      ----------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Community-Based Ecotourism in the Pedras Negras and Curralinho Extractive Reserves, Rondônia, Brazilian Amazonia

      Since 1997 the local communities of the Pedras Negras and Curralinho extractive reserves, in Rondônia, Western Brazilian Amazônia, in collaboration with the Rondônia Organisation of Rubber Tappers (OSR), the Guaporé Valley Rubber Tappers Association (AGUAPÉ) and the Guaporé Ecological Action (ECOPORÉ), have sought to develop ecotourism as an income generating activity for traditional extractivist populations while guaranteeing the environmental sustainability of extractive reserves.

      During the last 2 years many efforts have been directed at putting together resources for the implementation of infrastructure and training; finding partners for the promotion and implementation of the project; building the capacity of the communities involved and facilitating their self-organisation; enabling the implementation of small community projects such as fruit orchards and vegetable gardens; and bringing together funding to undertake environmental assessments in the area.

      The Ecotourism project benefits directly and indirectly the 29 families that live in the Curralinho (7) and Pedras Negras (22) extractive reserves located in the Costa Marques Municipality, Rondônia.

      The involvement and commitment of the community is manifested by the group activities undertaken. In Pedras Negras last year these activities included, for example, the construction of accommodation for the tourists (the lodge) in their own traditional style using local materials, and establishing a fruit orchard and vegetable garden. Community members also participated in training activities supported by WWF in the Fazenda Rancho Grande, a tourism enterprise in Rondônia. The Curralinho community established scenic and cultural walking trails in their reserve and organised the Curralinho First Ecological Beach Camp and some community members participated in training in the Araguaia River beach camps and the Rancho Grande Lodge (also supported by WWF).

      The lodge was inaugurated in March 1999 and since has received 3 expeditions, or groups, formed by Brazilian and foreign visitors as well as representatives of partner travel agencies. In these activities 14 out of the 29 families were involved. Some families were able to earn 50 Brazilian Reais, a significant amount for poor families whose annual earnings average only 300 Brazilian Reais.

      Among the visitors there was a German group brought by the Sinnan Travel Agency and accompanied by its director Mr Klaus Friese.

      A tailor made programme was decided with this group which included a 2 day visit to a village of the Surui Indians in Cacoal, and a 2 day visit to the Curralinho and Pedras Negras Reserves, where the visitors could have a greater contact with the rubber tappers' community.

      Besides these highlights, this group also visited the nearby Príncepe da Beira fortress constructed by the Portuguese in the Seventeenth Century; the Quelônios da Amazônia river turtle reproduction project; the Guaporé Biological Reserve; and the famous Madeira-Mamoré Railway. The background for this trip was the magnificent Guaporé River Valley, which offered pleasant places to swim and moments of rare scenic and wildlife beauty.

      However, the highlight of the trip was the contact and socialising with the rubber tappers' communities, especially in Pedras Negras. There the visitors could experience the daily life of the community, walk in the forest, fish, manufacture manioc flour, make pottery, watch birds and other wildlife, as well as listening to the oral traditions and tales of the rubber tappers about the forest and its mysteries.

      Upon returning to Germany Claus Friese submitted an article featuring the trip to the Geo Saison Magazine which won a Golden Palme prize in the Explorer-Travel category for the best travel idea and theme: 'Travelling to the last lost paradise: a search of tales about the tropical forest'. This prize was awarded on the 12th of March at the ITB-Berlin 2000.

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