Sunday, October 25, 2009

Community-based ecotourism, Salinas Aguada Blanca Reserve, Arequipa Peru

September 2009

This past month has been busy for Conatura. Several workshops were completed with participants in communities in the Salinas Aguada Blanca Reserve. Two main objectives of the project are working with interested people who want to serve as local tour guides as well as working with women who want to produce artesanias or souvenirs made from alpaca fiber and also, we hope, from legally shorn vicuña fiber that is not acceptable for international fiber textile factories. We are hoping that vicuña fiber can utilized more efficiently and produce greater returns.
The area we are working in has many tourists that pass through to travel to either Puno, or more commonly, the Colca Valley. Many of these tourists take pictures of vicuña, alpacas, and occassionally guanacos, as they travel through the reserve, but local residents currently perceive no income from tourism that occurs within their community. That is going to change very soon....