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Training project for nature guides (Certification of NOM 09), Co’ox Mayab alliance – Mexico

What is the project about?

 

This project is about the sponsorship of a training program for certified guides through the alliance of a local cooperative in Mexico. Co’ox Mayab, is a second level organization that unites a dozen cooperatives and ejidos dedicated to community-based tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula. Through a participatory analysis to detect risks in the organization, the need for social enterprises was to have at least one member certified with NOM-09. The NOM-09; is a mandatory technical regulation that establish specifications and procedures to ensure that products, processes and services comply with minimum information, safety and quality requirements, among other aspects. With the aim of reaching international standards of tourism quality and improving the competitiveness of their social enterprises, our goal was set and just wanted to make it happen!

How is VSocial involved in the project?

 

The ViSozial foundation enabled the costs for the trainers’ fees, the transport of participants and the management expenses of Co’ox Mayab. Along with this, we had the opportunity to travel to San Crisanto, where the NOM -09 took place and meet 16 youngsters anxiously willing to participate.

What impact does the commitment have?

 

Over all, our compromise has the intention to promote tourism as a powerful tool to promote development and the consequent reduction of poverty, as one of the possible keys for the economic, social, environmental, patrimonial and cultural development of the rural and indigenous communities. Since then, we have received great news about the new guides and their efforts are now palpable as some or them are working as tourism guides in their communities.

 

Gastronomic Tourism Development Project for Women, Cenote Yaal Utzil, Mucuyche – Mexico.

What is the project about?

 

This project consists in supporting local women in developing the necessary skills to benefit from tourism and at the same time, offer a unique experience by sharing their culture through the traditional Mayan cuisine. The privileged community is Mucuyche, located one hour south from Merida, Yucatan Peninsula. Through this project, we aim to improve the quality of life and generate new opportunities, and at the same time make improvements in touristic and natural attractions like cenotes. A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. The beauty is stunning, and the opportunity to generate local wealth and empower women through tourism is a solid way to contribute to community-based tourism.  

How is VSocial involved in the project?

 

It is a grassroots effort from VSocial Foundation, supporting indirectly more than 150 people and directly 15 families and relatives; plus, the local people and tourists who visit the cenote. We work hard to promote an inclusive development of tourism, fostering capacity building, developing new products, and above all; stimulate confidence, hope and enthusiasm to start their own business.

What impact does the commitment have?

 

At the moment there are 6 empowered women starting their own family project. New opportunities have started to become a reality in the town of Mucuyche, and hopefully this will facilitate better access to health, food, education and opportunities for the young to stay in the village and work in tourism. After all, the project provides a better experience for tourists visiting the cenote (facilities, security, quality of service), and will eventually attract more tourists that by consuming locally, will crop in economic inclusion. Of course, we can’t forget that community-based tourism fosters authentic interactions between tourism and the local community, and we just love being part of this.