St Lucia self catering apartment, La Borne

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: St Lucia self catering apartment, La Borne

Environment

Green economy is in its infancy in Saint Lucia, but we are at the forefront of development. The property was renovated and equipped using timber from the family farm. Our domestic water is rain water collected on-site; in fact, we are not connected to the public water company. Solar heating provides warm water and our European washing machine is certified eco-friendly (energy- & water- saving). Since late 2013, we are supporting an incipient national recycling programme: we collect metals, glass, paper, plastic, and batteries.

In early 2014, we were discovered by Caribbean Bird Trail, who now promote this eco-accommodation for bird watchers and as excursion base for those who seek an authentic experience.

The owners of this single studio apartment work in organic agriculture (although no formal certification scheme is available on Saint Lucia yet), promotion of diversified agroforestry and the conservation of native biodiversity through habitat conservation and the management of invasive alien species. Our small business follows the guidelines of the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Saint Lucia’s Tourism Sector (TS VCoC) with Species Reference to Invasive Alien Species (IAS). This TS VCoC provides guidelines for ecologically sound business practices for stakeholders involved in out-door tourism (hoteliers, tour operators, guides, wardens, dive instructors, drivers, watersports, beach and grounds personnel, etc.), with particular emphasis on invasive alien species (IAS).

Community

Maison du Soleil is 100% locally owned and managed. We are a family business and an integral part of the community. As such, refer our guests to other local businesses. For example, we assist in arranging local jeep rental and connect our guests to local dive & tour operators who share our values. About half of our guests use local public transport. Taxi drivers from the neighbourhood can provide airport transfers at better rates than airport-based companies. So this is another offer we flag.

We recommend restaurants that serve typical Creole cuisine and use locally-grown ingredients. Very special treats, which we have arranged for our interested guests were:
(1) a private tours, led by a village guide, to the Amerindian petroglyphs and natural pool, both within an hour's walk from the apartment;
(2) experiencing a performance of the local Creole drummers "Secret Band" in La Borne village
(3) arrange a bat watching tour for a German bat enthusiast, led by two local guides of the Saint Lucia Forestry Department
(4) joint visit to sites of natural and cultural interest managed by the Saint Lucia National Trust, in which we hold a family membership
(5) Walking the along the NE coast - the proposed Iyanola National Park

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