Highlights of Mexico and Cuba holiday
Description of Highlights of Mexico and Cuba holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetIn Mexico we visit various UNESCO heritage sites including Chichen Itza, Palenque and Uxmal; some of the Maya civilization's most important sites. Entrance fees go directly back to their maintenance and ongoing preservation for future generations. In addition, our Tour Leaders and local guides always brief customers carefully on how to act in the sites - our packed lunches are carefully taken out with us and recycled.
We encourage customers not to buy single use water bottles. Our local Tour Leader will advise you where to refill water bottles with clean, safe drinking water, therefore reducing the necessity to buy plastic water bottles throughout your trip.
In Cuba, although wages in Cuba are set and strictly controlled by the government we look to provide our local staff with other, non-monetary incentives instead (although of course tips from groups are always welcomed!) – we recently invited one of our more long-standing local leaders over to the UK for a visit and training. Overseas travel for Cubans is almost unheard of and a trip abroad really is the opportunity of a lifetime for a Cuban. We have also conducted training courses locally for our leaders and provided them with everything from first aid kits and walking boots to mobile phones – consumer goods are very hard to obtain in Cuba so these items are necessary but also gratefully received.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleWherever possible we like to meet the people themselves and get to learn a bit more of their lifestyle, but only when we can be sure that we are not imposing on them. This is particularly important in the indigenous Tzotil villages of Zinacantan and San Juan, Mexico, where the Tzotil people share their customs with our groups.
In Mexico, there are innumerable opportunities to interact with local people, particularly through the important place that home-cooked food has within each community. Our Tour Leaders recommend authentic cantinas, restaurants, bakeries and markets where vendors sell their produce, ensuring our visit benefits a wide range of people and allowing us to connect with the local communities.
In Cuba, we only stay in casas particulares, which are locally-owned homestays, with usually between 4-8 beds. The money from our visits goes directly to the owner of the house, and they also cook up some hearty meals for their guests!
We believe that learning about and respecting local people is an integral part of the travel experience. Why not brush up on your Spanish before you travel? Being able to chat with local people, even just a few phrases, shows great respect and will really enhance your experience!
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.
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