Cape Verde guest house on Santiago Island

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cape Verde guest house on Santiago Island

Environment

We are training young locals to be Nature Guides, teach them English and sustainable tourism. We are actively protecting the beach, the lagoons, the nearby reservoir, all of which are prime birding areas.
We have currently a little project to protect turtles which is funded by the Audoubon Society.
We protect nesting Leatherback turtles (Caretta caretta) which normally are killed and eaten here.
We rehabilitate the two lagoons which are IBA but are badly degraded through garbage disposal
We rehabilitate and regularily clean the biggest beach on Santiago Island.
We enable the local population to develop services which generate income from nature tourism (turtle watching in summer, bird watching and hiking in winter).
Birdlife around the house and on the islands is our asset and we try to protect it in every possible way.
Waste disposal in our house is high above the local standards. Some is burned, some taken home by guests, only little handed over to the inefficient local disposal system. Plastic bags are washed and reused.
Our cistern collects rainwater. Water consumption is reduced to a minimum.
Guests have about 30l per day at their disposal. In desert conditions this is adequate but still needs some getting used to!

Community

For 30 years our town Leibnitz in Austria has been connected with Pedra Badejo on Santiago island. Currently we are supporting the local Primary School with about € 1000.- per year.

We are buying all our food locally and bringing income to otherwise jobless teenagers.
The income from tourism is irregular but it is an important contribution to their families. One guide is financing his English studies with it.

Ecotec-House is connected with a development project. For almost 30 years here the usual mistakes were avoided: nobody ever gave sweets to the kids and thus induced begging, nobody ever took girls or boys into the rooms to pay for sex and thus induced prostitution. Irresponsible behaviour of our guests can quickly destroy the mutual trust and respect that protect us here.
Please do not see this as an attempt to mess around in your private affairs, but this is not a hotel, where your behaviour goes largely unnoticed.
If guests want to support the village or one family please talk to Fredy or Celeste, they
will contact the Village Development Committee.
We have set up the strict rule that every excursion must be accompanied by a guide. Thus you are safe, can’t commit any mistakes, see much more and come closer to the people. If guests go alone they can unknowingly destroy work of decades. Whoever wants to “discover Santiago on his own” must do so from a hotel.

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