Challenges of sustainable rural tourism

Wodden cabin Huamanpata Amazonas

 Challenges of sustainable tourism

Do you think hosting people and sustainable tourism is simple? Well, no, not so much. It is true Peruvians are hospitable, but to welcome you in their houses or eating with them is not always easy. Sustainable and rural tourism requires much preparation and workshops to better understand the needs of the western traveller.

For homestay and  restaurants

  1. Apart from any attempt at definition, we wish to draw your attention to the fact that the people who welcome you make great efforts to be at a good level. The fact that you are staying at their home, sharing a moment with them, fills them with pride. It also helps them to have a reason why maintaining their traditions, which unfortunately have been lost with the younger generation who leaves to study in the big city.

Chazuta, sustainable tourism

2) In direct relation to the first point is the fact that the majority of those homestay and restaurant owner are between 35 and 50 years. They have lived all their lives in their area, working their land and are hoping to find additional income in tourism. On the contrary, they did not learn foreign languages and their contact with foreigners was relatively scarce. But they are the first ones who want to learn how to communicate.

3) Installing a homestay is not evident. When you live 3 hours from the nearest city, you depend on the companionship and family network to install your bathroom, the hot water, and other “western” commodities. Unfortunately, this is sometimes synonymous with a poor installation. Maybe I tell you something new, saying that the villagers often still wash themselves with cold water. Of course, there is no heating in the houses, even at 3 000 m altitude. To really enter into the category “Sustainable Tourism”, we should also take into account water needs and sewage installation, but this is usually not the case.

douche froide, Chazuta, Amazonie

4) The food in the Andes is very different from the one we know. For a Peruvian every meal should have rice and potatoes, vegetables are more an accessory or they are absent. And the salads consist of onions and tomatoes. Of course, the villagers who welcome you were trained to diversify the dishes. But the conditions of remoteness mean that they cannot offer you other ingredients as those already mentioned above. Strawberries at the last minute are an option !

Pomacochas, sustainable tourism

5) Booking your room probably cannot be done through Internet. Or maybe you are going to send an email, but no one answers. Why? Because the connection is bad these days, because there is no connection at all or because there is a power outage? These are some of the reasons why they cannot respond without necessarily being the fault of your future host. Better still call (if you speak Spanish), but also knowing that often the numbers on the internet or guides are no longer valid…

Just in regards to point 5. So there is no Internet connection in the house of your host ?  But you do not need it !! You are welcome here to enjoy nature, to share and learn. Reconnect with life, Facebook can wait.

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