community members indirectly benefitting
Puesta del Sol
Job opportunities are scarce on the island of Ometepe, which forces many people to emigrate to find work. Women are often left alone for many years with their children because men have left to support their family. Puesta del Sol and Pueblo Hotel community associations had both received funding from foundations previously in order to develop homestay programs in their villages. However, there were never enough customers to sustain the businesses. Community homestays almost always suffer because they are in remote areas and they lack the ability to market their services. They usually wait empty without earning much money.
Planeterra and G Adventures worked with the community of La Paloma on Ometepe Island to develop a homestay program and visitor center for groups. This provides a stable income to a small village that has traditionally lacked the opportunity to benefit from tourism. In 2014, we also expanded into another neighbouring community, to work with a group of women who run a homestay program under the name of Pueblo Hotel. This homestay program provides eight additional families with the opportunity to benefit from tourism. The Puesta del Sol community association currently receives G Adventures groups at least twice a week, and Pueblo Hotel has guests once per month, therefore over 30 families are now benefiting.
Karla is a single mother with one son. When he was born, she worked as a waitress and as a cleaner. At the time, Karla and her son didn’t have water or electricity, or even a bed in their small house. When the community received the first group of tourists in 2007, she borrowed some chairs, a table, and a bed, in order to host visitors in her home. After that first experience she asked for a loan to build a proper bathroom, even though they were receiving just one group a year. Now Karla has a tiny grocery store, has finished her house, and built a couple of extra rooms for visitors.
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