Mexico: Cancun, A ‘Green Door’ to Family Vacation Activities – Camping, Butterflies, and Whale Sharks.
Seven Mayan communities offer vacationers a sea and jungle circuit showcasing both environmental and cultural awareness and providing the potential for marvelous memories.
Cancun’s commitment to sustainable tourism resulted in a community-based alternative tourism network called ‘Puerta Verde ’ (‘Green Door’) that provides visitors, through the NGO Kanché, a sea and jungle route operated by 14 cooperatives from seven different Mayan communities in the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas. Going to ‘Puerta Verde’ with Kanché means that cooperatives get directly paid for the services they provide while a percentage of the proceeds is reinvested in environmental an cultural improving projects in the region.
This new circuit allows visitors to enjoy experiences such as exploring caves, kayaking on lagoons, visiting a colorful butterflies’ house, camping in the jungle, tasting traditional gastronomy, and swimming with harmless whale sharks.
Activities are combinable in many ways: from one day getaways to the whole four-day and three-night route. ‘Puerta Verde’ was born with the aim of being an adventure where visitors and hosts share a magical world of traditions and nature. One of the local guides of Solferino community explains it: “We are making lots of friends. Because they are not just customers, they become friends.”
There are organized tours to ‘Puerta Verde’ from Cancun with the NGO Kanché, a nonprofit organization that brings about sustainable development in rural communities of Quintana Roo and Yucatan states. For example:
Sleep in cabins in the Nuevo Durango community. Each “green” unit contains comfortable beds covered with mosquito nets “mosquitero” and a ceiling fan, a chair and reading table inside the cabin and electric energy. Bathroom in the cabin; they have water flowing but they still don’t have hot water: the sun naturally heats it for bathing purposes. There’s the option of also sleeping in a hammock the Mayan way.
‘Puerta Verde’ community-based alternative tourism network has taken 10 years to become a reality. With their effort, Mayan communities have built little enterprises with ideal conditions of infrastructure and knowledge to provide the visitor a quality service. Thanks to these new activity options for tourists, environmental and economic development shake hands in a common path where one supports the other for success.
‘Puerta Verde’ is an opportunity for those tourists who wish to have real experiences to enjoy a binding with indigenous communities and the environment. The unique excursions offer adventure, nature and culture. Participants get the inside track experiencing firsthand the nuances of Mayan culture through a privileged insider view; sharing experiences with local guides and inhabitants and taking home stories of a world that is much closer than can be imagined.
Now, Cancun is the gateway to the ‘Puerta Verde’ adventure, where visitor plays the leading roll of a life-changing journey. Discovery:
In the Mayan houses of the Yucatan Peninsula, a kanché is a germinator where seeds are planted so that their buds grow safe from animals or insects that might eat them. Note:
Both websites present information in Spanish, although it’s possible to use Google Translate on the first., and the second provides English translations of tours and activities (just click Itenario Completo or Escapades). Get the details at www.kanche.org
Content and images provided by ‘Puerta Verde’ from Cancun with the NGO Kanché, a nonprofit organization. Copyright 2010.