La Gomera self catering cottage, Canary Islands

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: La Gomera self catering cottage, Canary Islands

Environment

We are members of ASETUR (Spanish Association of Rural Tourism) and we also colaborate with the Instituto de Turismo Responsable (Responsible Tourism Institute). Both institution certified the house and our activity. But we specially work for the European Charter Sustainable Tourism, an european protected areas program. Some our commitments are with these programs are: saving electric energy, optimize garden watering, give appropiate information about natural and cultural activities in the island, obtain visitors point of view.

Consecuently, rubbish are selected so that organics are used for compost, cooking oil for making soap, plastics and cartoon is taken to the green point in capital of the island. Visitors have to place the waste in the appropiate place. For water saving in plants watering we use an automatic not drinkable water irrigation system. Solar pannels are used for boiling water and all bulbs save energy.

El Cabezo cottage is a renoved old house. Because it is a cultural heritage we kept the traditional way of building and also old materials were used: stones, local mud, wood pieces, traditional tiles etc. The house still has a traditional oven, seats and some cupboards are also old. House decoration is made with local handrafts, objects and paintings, and most of the forniture follows traditional models. Transport is not sustainable in La Gomera because renting a car is very cheap, and because conections with public bus lines are not good enough.

Community

El Cabezo cottage has direct contact with most of responsible activities in Gomera Island trough a net called C.E.T.S.(European Charter Sustainable Tourism), so we know and recommend the most valued tipps and visits.The most important cultural traditions in La Gomera are El Silbo (whistling) and the way we produce palm honey. Whistling has been awarded as Word Heritage by the UNESCO.

Vallehermoso is for instance the right place for eating. In the traditional center different kind of restaurants offer local meals prepared with natural ingredients and with old recipes. On the restaurants one gets the right value for money.

We are members of the most important island΄s associations involved in rural development (AIDER), environmental protection, and in local culture (Tagaragunche). From the beginning the house was rebuilt by my own family but with the help of local carpenters and other workers. The house cleaning is made by a neighbour lady and local products are used as much as possible and recommended to be bought by the visitors.

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