and natural heritage
In a broad sense, the cultural and natural Heritage belongs to every
village and city. Each of us has the right and the responsibility
to understand, evaluate and conserve the universal values.
The concept of Heritage is big. It concerns the natural environment
as well as the cultural one. It includes landscapes, historic places,
buildings as well as the biodiversity, the groups of different objects,
past and present traditions and vital knowledge and experiences.
It is a dynamic point of reference and a positive tool for exchanges.
The collective memory and the own cultural heritage of each community
The cultural heritage of every country has to be respected by EVERYONE.
It is unique and irreplaceable.
The most important sites are open every day and the others are closed
on Monday. The National Institute
of Anthropology and History (INAH)
is in charge of them. The
objects of Mesoamerica are part of the Mexican Heritage. You are
liable to a penalty if you try to get some of these objects out
of the country.
The pollution, the elements and the impact of tourism are among
the main causes of degradation of this extremely vulnerable heritage.
Simple movements like patting a marble statue or a fresco result
in a disaster when repeated thousands of times by visitors. These
movements erase all the technical, financial and human efforts used
for the conservation of objects of art or monuments.
Because of fatal accidents, climbing to the top of the
pyramids is not allowed anymore !
While enjoying this heritage, avoid :
damaging the works
of art, the sites and monuments, especially with writing,
moving stones and
taking pictures with
a tripod or with flash,
knocking the walls
with painting in fresco with your backpack,
leaving trash (don’t
leave anything behind you),
respect the measures
taken by the governmental authorities to control the tourist flow
or the entrances on the sites.
For more information, consult the sites of the
institutions working for the preservation of the cultural heritage
ICCR0M (International Center for the Study of the Preservation and
Restoration of Cultural Property), www.iccrom.org
IC0M0S (International Council on Monuments and Sites), www.international.icomos.org
IC0M (International Council of Museums), www.icom.museum
Natural and cultural heritage, diversity and living cultures are
the attractions of tourism. Excessive tourism could endanger the
physical nature of the natural and cultural heritage, its integrity
and its characteristics. With the cooperation of the local governments
and/or the indigenous communities, the tour operators, the owners,
and the politicians, we can have an acceptable Industry of Tourism
and protect even more of the heritage for future generations.
Excessive tourism could (as well as a non-existent tourism or a
mismanaged tourism), harm the physical integrity and real meaning
of a heritage. Too many tourists could also lead to damage of the
natural spaces as well as to the cultures and the way of life of
the welcoming communities. So, be careful !
Mexican tours-operators, with their broad experience,
have organized efficiently many ecological tours. These natural
sites are wonderful places for contemplating nature and hiking.
There are numerous, diverse areas and everyone should be able to
find one to his liking.
Maya : French travel agency offering customized tourism in
(999) 944 53 59 - cellular (999) 156 81 58, Calle 38 # 104 between
21 & 23 – Colonia Buenavista - 97127 - Mérida
- Ask for Axelle or Olivier.
travel agency Terra Maya is intent on offering responsible tourism.
Since 2006, they have been working in collaboration with a partner
turned towards the adventurous ecotourism, close to Merida.
They offer activities such as snorkeling in cenote (fresh
water sinkhole; there are about 2,500 cenotes in
and contribute to the conservation of the Mexican heritage. To top
it off, the customers have lunch at Doña Adelaida’s,
a modest Mayan family, where they can immerse themselves in Yucatán
culture and gastronomy. Terra Maya also favor the discovery of villages
: the pueblos mancomunados
de la Sierra Norte. There are eight remote Zapotec villages
in the state of Oaxaca. Terra Maya
offers several day trekking or sport activities such as mountain
biking, canopy and horse rides. The visitors stay in totally eco-friendly
huts built with regional materials. You can also go grey whale watching
with Kuyima, a tourist agency dedicated to the development of ecotourism
in the San Ignacio area of Baja California. They guarantee you the
contact with nature and population : .
Natourismo : Project of environmental education. With many
years of professional experience in the socio-cultural field inside
rural communities in the Mexican country heart, they were able to
create a network of rural tourism in collaboration with populations
compliant and ready to welcome visitors in their own houses and
communities. Ceiba Natourismo offers, off the beaten tracks, circuits
with experimented guides. Discovery of the ancestral traditions
and customs, direct contact with the rural and indigenous communities
and authentic local gastronomy are a few examples of their unseen
Their address : Rural and cultural Tourism, San
Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato,
(52) 415 120 0939 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact : rosario + claude prud´homme.
for sustainable development
What is eco-tourism ? It is the responsible travel
of a tourist to natural areas, contributing to the conservation
of the environment and improving the standard of living of local
Tourism is an important field in different countries in the world.
This industry provides jobs and brings more foreign currency into
the country. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of the countries in favor
of tourism often protest against the recipient or the State because
of the deterioration of their natural resources. And so the concept
of « nature tourism » has been developed. The «
nature tourism » includes all the tourist outdoor activities,
including the ones that don’t bring anything to the local
populations, even the ones that can seriously damage the environment
such as the ATV... Because of this, eco-tourism is sometimes wrongly
discredited compare to «nature tourism».
The ones specialized in field tourism consider very important the
labels in order to distance themselves from the charlatans and the
ones offering « cannibalism tourism ». There are three
known « labels » : « agritourism », «
ecological tourism » and « eco-tourism », each
one with a specific meaning. The label is awarded by a national
or international official institution such as WWF, Green Globe,
The International Ecotourism Society …
The label « agritourism », only used
in Europe, means that the main activity is the practice of attracting
visitors in areas used primarily for agricultural purposes (culture
or breeding). The institutions such as « Naturelodging »
look for the following criteria : privileged natural environment,
enhancer of the local products, development of the rural heritage
and protection of the traditional activities of the area. The agricultural
practices are thought. The biological agriculture is shown by a
specific mention : « bio agritourism ». The label «ecological
tourism» has an added value. On top of the development of
a natural environment, the operator continuously embarks on an ecological
project : protection of indigenous people, waste recycling, saving
energy, sustainable management, development of new laws...
The label « eco-tourism » is used when the reception
facilities (hotel, lodge, incoming agencies...) and the practices
of the operator meet the criteria such as respect of nature, support
principles and moral values, respect of some ethic by the traveler,
a strong concern for minimize the impact on the natural environment.
The goal is to protect the environment and nature, to help the local
economy and to contribute to the well being of the local population
by providing financial benefits for local people.
If the label is shown between parenthesis, it means that the operator
is not or not yet officially approved.
Eco-tourism recommends a kind of sustainable tourism : it tends
to protect the natural environment in the long run. It is not a
passive ecological approach (energy saving, use of renewable energy,
refuse disposal...). This also involves local people and tourists
in actions of education and maintenance of biodiversity (reforestation,
protection of fauna and flora, reintroduction of endangered species...).
Commitment for sustainable tourism : individual initiatives :
American biologist and committed man, Amos Bien is one
of the inventors of the concept eco-tourism. He has been campaigning
since 1977 to save the tropical forest in Costa Rica. In order to
find funds to protect the forest, Amos Bien developed a
very simple and daring idea : hosting tourists in the middle of
the jungle and use the money collected during their stay to protect
the forest ! And the first Ecolodge, Rara Avis, was build. The word
« eco-tourism » was used for the first time with measures
tending to protect the environment without restraining the expansion
of the tourist field as part of the sustainable development.
Twenty years later, Amos Bien is happy with the results
and keeps going as the Director of «International Ecotourism
Society». In Costa Rica, there are about 110 private reserves
whose maintenance is often financed by the benefits of an «
ecolodge ». Moreover, with 40 national parks, 25 % of the
territory surface is protected (the world average is about 3%).
Costa Rica holds the statute of world leader for its species diversity,
its long tradition of nature protection and its willingness to favor
Expansion of sustainable tourism : grouping in associations
Over the years, the associations grow in number to encourage the
eco-tourism. The members are the inhabitants of the targeted area,
the tourist promoters, ecologists and scientists. As part of the
participative democracy, these associations work in collaboration
with the governmental institutions. For example, in Latin America,
the associations are fighting to protect important sites such as
Machu Pichu, Inka Trail and the Lake Titicaca.
Grouping in associations helps to maintain the openness in the management
of natural parks, the respect of the ecological balance in eco-tourist
projects and the information about the fauna and flora of the fragile
ecological sites. For example, in Mexico, several websites give
a lot of information about the natural reserves (acreage, fauna
and flora). So, before coming to the place, the tourists have
easy access, via internet, to information about the protected species
and the culture or history of the area. Eco-tourism is foremost
the education of every citizen in the world !
Protection of our planet : the commitment of the citizens of the
Greenpeace International is a non-governmental organization, founded
in Vancouver in 1971. Greenpeace is one of the main actors in favor
of conservation of the nature [ensemble of the natural environment
of the Earth, the human beings, the air, the seas, the mineral,
vegetal ( forests…) and animal world] and the endangered species
in the world. This association has been active in 160 countries.
There are « International supporters » in the whole
world helping it to reach its following goals :
Protecting of ancient
forests and fight against the Amazonian destruction.
Preserving the seas
and the marine environment.
Ending the arms race,
necessary condition to peace.
Abandonment of the
culture of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).
Immersion of radioactive
Promoting a model
of sustainable development.
Many young people all over the world go by the cause of this organization
to have every country more understanding, more responsible, more
levelheaded and wiser, with a sense of ethic and integrity in order
to conserve the knowledge for the next generations…
|No comment has been yet posted on this page.|