Celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2017

August 9th marks the United Nation’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Planeterra works closely with indigenous groups across the globe to create meaningful employment and training opportunities in tourism. These programs work to conserve culture while promoting sustainable development. From Tully, Australia to Santiago de Agencha, Bolivia, take a closer look at our unique partners across the globe that are celebrating their heritage through tourism programs. Each of these initiatives has been effectively integrated into G Adventures itineraries, creating livelihood opportunities for indigenous communities. 

Cafe Chole

The Jirrbal people are descendants of a true rainforest Aboriginal culture.  As a means to preserve the Jirrbal heritage, Planeterra worked closely with Ingan Tours, an Jirrbal-owned and managed organization, to bring to life their dream of transforming an old rail station into a learning centre for youth.  This Cafe and Cultural Centre serves as a place to teach about the Jirrbal traditions, as well as a museum to celebrate and preserve artefacts of their history. With the help of a $20,000 catalyst grant from Planeterra, the old Tully railway station has been repurposed into a vocational training café, offering lunches and training workshops in painting and Aboriginal arts to travellers. 

Jukil Community Lodge

The Bolivian salt lodge in Santiago de Agencha was renovated and expanded through a major project in 2016 funded by Planeterra, with a generous donation from Live Out There. With many of the village’s younger residents migrating to nearby towns in search of economic opportunities, this lodge is seen by the community as a way to rescue their indigenous culture and provide opportunities for younger generations. Visitors learn about the local agricultural practices, eat ethically-sourced meals from local farmers , and take a guided walk with a community member to the sacred Jukil mountaintop.

Barauli Community Homestay

The Tharu are a group of indigenous people living near to Chitwan National Park. The park is a popular tourism attraction that is well known for its wildlife (such as the Bengal tiger) but less known for the cultural value that it has to offer 
travellers. Baurali is a small community in the surrounding area, home to many of the Tharu people.  Due to its distance from the typical tourism hotspots in the park, the Tharu residents have never been able to access the economic benefits of tourism. The community guesthouse program was developed by our partners, Royal Mountain Travel, to connect travellers coming for park’s wildlife with the rich culture of the Tharu people. The community guesthouse project is completely run by women with the intention to provide women with diversified income in the region. 

Wiwa Tours

In 2015, Planeterra began working in Colombia with the Wiwa of the Sierra Nevada. The Wiwa are descendants of the ancient Tayrona people, who, up until recently, remained in relative isolation. Of late, the Wiwa have had increased contact with the outside world, as they struggle to avoid conflict in the high mountainous region. Planeterra is working with community leaders directly to identify opportunities in communities along the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) trekking route. Establishing micro-enterprises along the trek will provide opportunities for women to sell traditional bags and other handicrafts to customers from tour groups that visit the area as well as to provide meals to trekkers.

Mae Hong Son Hilltribe Trek

Planeterra worked with Community Based Tourism-Institute (CBT-I), to develop and deliver an 8-month training program that would build the capacity of the villages of Pha Mon (Red Lahu), Meung Pam (Red Karen), and Jabo (Black Lahu) in Northern Thailand to develop a tourism trekking program. Within each village, a community association was created to manage the various products and services included in this community trek -- the entire trek is owned and operated by each of the hill-tribe associations. These communities had never before benefitted from a global tourism market before.

Ngadas Community Homestay

Home to 1,898 people in central Java, Indonesia, Ngadas is a small community inhabited by the Tennger tribe in the foothills of the mountains. The Tennger are the protectors of the mountain, Mount Bromo Volcano, one of the most sacred sites in the country. By working with the Tengger people, Planeterra created a homestay and community tour program owned and managed by the Tengger for G Adventures travellers. The homestay program is inside Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and will allow for the older generation to diversify their income; as well as create opportunities to provide employment for the next generation of Tenngerese to stay in their local community to work. 

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Historical events such as the flu smallpox epidemics as well as the implementation of residential schools and the fracturing of families led to the alteration or loss of much of the oral history important to the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations of the Whistler region of Canada. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre affords youth from reserves in the region transport for classes, and the opportunity to train in the hospitality industry through on-site museum and cultural tours. Through their partnership with Planeterra and G Adventures, the centre is able to increase their visitor numbers, giving them more opportunities to expand their training base and available visitor activities.

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