Guatemala - Ecotourism for sustainable community development

Objective: Create ecotourism around El Mirador for the benefit of the Uaxactun and Carmelita communities.

In the Guatemalan province of Petén, just a few kilometres from the Mexican border, the Alstom Foundation is helping two isolated communities develop a sustainable means of promoting the El Mirador archaeological site while protecting the surrounding ancient forests of this Central American region. The area has great potential as a tourist attraction but is only accessible by foot.

In partnership with the NGO Foudation for Eco-development and Conservation, or FUNDAECO, the project seeks to create an ecotourism industry around the site for the Uaxactun and Carmelita communities living just 60 km offsite.

The initiative seeks to provide:

  • environmental education
  • a woodshop to create accommodation for locals and visitors
  • trails to improve access to the site and training to guides
  • an alternative source of income to discourage the current practice of illegal logging

Key Figures

Beneficiaries: Uaxactun population: 3000

Carmelita population: 700

Duration: 2 years

Location: Petén province, Guatemala

FUNDAECO, the Foundation for eco-development and conservation, seeks to promote and build sustainable land management for the conservation, welfare and empowerment of local communities, income and environmental recovery. It has been fighting since 1990 to preserve Guatemala’s Caribbean forests between the borders of Belize and Hondurasm vital to the ecological connectivity of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

FUNDAECO is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is a founding member of the National Association of Environmental Organizations (ASOREMA) and the Tri-National Alliance for the Conservation of the Gulf of Honduras (TRIGOH). 

Visit the FUNDAECO website

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