Panama bird watching holiday

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Panama bird watching holiday

Environment

Discover Panama´s flora and fauna. At the airport, Roberto will come and pick you up. You will spend 13 days visiting Panama’s landscapes. Walking through the rainforest of Gamboa, you will see the diversity between the east and the west. Magnificent birds, luxuriant forests, you will discover a new part of the world, being close to nature.

The programs we organize are for small groups, in order to have minimal environmental impacts on the diverse areas we visit. These groups are attended by Panamanian naturalist guides, who are able to interpret not only the information about the area, but the role of the visitors and how they may get involved to the local communities and environment. We offer quality service, cultural sensitivity, local knowledge, innovation and social and environmental responsibility. Furthermore, we prefer to work with small hotels and ecolodges that are conscious of their environmental impacts on the area they are situated in and inform their guests of how they can minimize their impacts on the area such as use of water and electricity.

We work with National Parks and other private reserves by donating a fee for maintenance. This donation is used for trail maintenance, gear for volunteer firefighters, environmental education, workshops for the public to lean about the area and other needs. We have also have donated equipment such as a small boat to an indigenous community, who now uses the boat as a form of transportation. We ensure that the environmental, social, cultural, economic and aesthetic needs and expectations of the community and our customers are included in our policies, plans and decisions and result in the provision of quality goods and services. We encourage the participation of rural communities in the services that we provide by organizing programs in which they take part.

Our guides are very conscious of not only the areas of visitation but also the involvement of the visitors. They explain the importance of protecting a natural area to our clients, why it is important to stay on a trail to protect the fragile ecosystems and prevent damaging the flora and fauna of the area. They pick up trash on the trails and encourage visitors to do the same, also the importance of leaving the natural area as we found it is enforced. We do not allow collection of plants, corals or other natural objects. The guides enlighten clients on why we do not bother the animals or make obscene sounds to attract their attention or feed them. Each tour is like a classroom where everybody is involved and understanding each others impacts on the area.

Community

We work closely with local communities and projects that promote sustainability. Two examples are with the Embera Drua indigenous community and women group in Santa Fe Darien. The Embera Drua community lives at the Chagres River and consists of slightly more than 100 people. They live off the land and construct their houses from selective logging. They also work with tourism; they have a board of directors that makes health decisions for the community. Each family sells arts and crafts to visitors. The whole community participates in teaching the visitors about their lifestyle, dances, and how they do their artwork. Community members take turns teaching the visitors about their community. Also everybody in the community participates in communal projects.

We work directly and indirectly with many different communities throughout the republic. We have for example a satellite office in the small town of Boquete in the Chiriqui Highlands, we work with local guides from the area and we bring guides from Panama to give workshops and training to local guides, boats and cooks. Another example is in the area of Coiba, where we hire local guides from the area to run our tours. Visitors stay at the lodging provided by the National Park. This is the way we work with all of our tours and programs.

Examples of rural communities that we work with are the Wekso Project, Embera communities located in the Chagres National Park and in the Darien, Santa Fe, Vaquilla for agrotourism (what just named as Panama´s first completely organic community), different communities in the San Blas Archipelago.

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