More Local - Responsible Travel Colombia
Embracing Responsible Tourism initiatives in Colombia...
At More Local we strive to respect the local people, their culture and the environment. Additionally, we encourage enterprising young talent and support small, independent businesses, especially those using natural materials to make eco-friendly products.
A guiding principle for More Local is recognizing the need to ensure the sustainability of its business and its impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate. A percentage of each travel experience sold is automatically allocated to a reforestation project and a social project in San Juan de Soco, Colombian Amazon.
Location & Background
San Juan de Soco is a small indigenous community on the Loretoyacu River, north-west of Puerto Nariño. It belongs to the Department of Amazonas, located in the southeastern edge of Colombia. As San Juan de Soco is located in the Amazon Basin, its climate is characterized by 3000-4000 mm rain per year, high humidity, and a yearly average temperature of 27 - 30°C.
San Juan de Soco is a Ticuna indigenous community of approximately 250 people. The living standards are rural and basic, meaning; simple houses with limited electricity, lack of basic sanitation, non-potable water and limited phone coverage. Most families live off small-scale agriculture (subsistence farming) and traditional fishing. The community has a small primary school with limited resources and a deteriorated sports ground.
Achievements so far…
More Local, with the help of expert friends, is developing a meaningful travel program (MTP), to support sustainable social projects in San Juan de Soco. So far, More Local has helped to improve the conditions of the local school and its more than 80 children. We made our first official donation, which consisted of 80 school-kits and sports equipment in December 2011.
We have identified the following components as priorities for the development of this social project:
- Construction of chairs, benches and tables for its eco-community facilities.
* Materials will be sourced locally and construction will be done by community members.
- Purchase of school materials (paper, pencils, notebooks, chalk, scissors etc.), academic
materials (textbooks, dictionaries etc.) and sports equipment (footballs, basketballs etc.).
- Collaboration from a specialized psychologist.
- Volunteer Program.
- Environmental workshops.
- Teaching support.
In the long run, we are studying the possibility to implement a Sustainable Water Management program in San Juan de Soco. So far, we have gathered the initial information required with the collaboration of a local NGO and the National Learning Service (SENA). We are currently establishing the budget and other requirements for this project. As we advance in this process we will keep you informed.
*Any further updates will be shared on our website.