Our rainforest accommodation in Dominica was first registered in 2004, and we have been developing our strategy since then. The skills of local craftsmen and women, the use of local materials and suppliers will be incorporated in the development of the company, which, importantly, will also provide employment. We have always designed and arranged trips throughout the Island by local guides for guests and enabled them to interact in local community events, encouraged them to patronize the local restaurants, bars, churches, farms and gardens. The boutique sells only local craft and art; guest rooms are furnished with local furniture, art and craft. The gardens sustains and promotes important indigenous plant collections. Guided walks educate visitors (including school groups) in identifying local produce and medicinal herbs and their uses. The restaurant serves only local food bought in the local market and cooked in a Creole style. Our restaurant caters to both the local community and our guests and two of our hot pools cater to local as well as international travelers.
Since its inception, we have offered employment and training to a high standard for young members of the nearby village of Trafalgar. Currently, we employ 16 full-time staff, all from Trafalgar. From furniture and candle making (in the wake of Hurricane David in 1979 which totally destroyed the social fabric of the community as well as all buildings and livelihoods) to the whole range of construction, plumbing and electrical, erosion control systems, trail building, craft development, hotel and guiding skills, we have striven to work with the community in developing its skills and resources. Subsequent to the hurricane, we formed a Skills Training Workshop called the Pumpkin Workshop, (the first in Dominica) to engage the local youth since there was no school available.
We are committed to minimizing any adverse impact on the natural environment and its rich diversity and have set up the gardens accordingly. We have always ensured that the use of energy and chemicals are minimised in order to reduce the generation of solid and hazardous waste and stress on the environment.
We have always believed utilising renewable energy resources that are available on the property. Hydro-electricity is our power source while the earth, in the shape of hot water from volcanic geological features, provides us with a supply of hot water. No wood is burned on the premises. Low-energy light bulbs and solar lighting are used in certain parts of the property. Laundry is washed in cold spring water and biodegradable soap is used. We are not complacent and we continue to monitor our practices.