Ecotourism in the Mayan World
EcoColors is a sustainable tour operator located in Cancun, Mexico and was founded in January 1997. The company gets its name from the array of colors nature displays in the forests, meadows, lagoons, and seas of tropical America. EcoColors designs and delivers ecotours in the “Mayan World”, both biologically and culturally one of the richest regions of the world. We offer a wide variety of itineraries of 1, 3, 7 or even more days which incorporate outstanding natural, cultural and adventure in the Riviera Maya and other parts of Mexico. Further, some tours are also operated in other parts of Central America such as Belize, Guatemala and even in Cuba. Our special strength is providing responsible travel in which you are able to see turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, flamingos, and much other great wildlife in their natural environment, along with artifacts from the ancient cultures and traditions of Mexico.
In order to protect the ecosystems, EcoColors works together with multiple research organizations such as the WWF, Ecotourism Society, SEMARNAT, the Smithsonian School, Environmental Studies in Minnesota and the Adventure Travel Association to optimize our knowledge and provide the best protection.
Offer innovative and exclusive products in Ecotourism, Adventure tourism, and Environmental training through quality, warmth, and education; overcome the expectations of our clients, contributing to the environmental preservation and growth of human value (March 2012).
We raise awareness of the importance of the ecosystems in Mexico by educating its traveler’s about the nature and the history of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.
In order to not exceed the biological carrying capacity on the ecosystems EcoColors only takes small groups of people into the natural areas.
Responsible Travel Policy
Policy aims – overall aims of your policy and the company’s ethos/mission statement.
Offer innovative and exclusive products in Ecotourism, Adventure tourism, and Environmental training through quality, warmth, and education; overcome the expectations of our clients, contributing to the environmental preservation and growth of human value
Economic responsibility – e.g. details of donations to charities, employing local people, etc
The economic impacts of tourism are usually broken up into three categories: direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts. Direct impacts include monetary transactions from operations during tourist visitation. This involves impacts on tourism businesses themselves. For example, if more tourists overnight in hotels, then the hotels where they stay will receive a direct monetary benefit. This category also includes any amount paid out including wages, taxes, supplies, and services. Indirect impacts are changes in sales, income, or employment within the region of industries that supply products and services to the tourism industry. For example, increased sales in linen supply firms resulting from more hotel sales are an indirect impact of visitor spending. Induced impacts are changes in economic activity resulting from household spending of income earned directly or indirectly from the tourism industry. For example, hotel and linen supply employees spend their income in the local region for housing, food, transportation, and household products and needs. The sales, income, and jobs that result from household spending of increased wage or salary are included in this category.
Leakage is another economic impact to be concerned about. It is an entirely negative impact. When a tourism business buys supplies or services from outside the region, the money spent is providing no indirect impact to the region, and thus that money is leaking out of the local economy. To be economically sustainable, a tourism business must minimize its leakage as much as possible. EcoColors specifically destinates part of the money to benefit conservation with local NGO´s such as Amigos de Siankaan, Centro Ecologico Akumal, the Coral Reef restoration program in Puerto Morelos and the Plant for the planet project in Campeche.
EcoColors takes pride in employing mostly 96 % of local people so we do help and contribute to the local economy this way. Also, most of our suppliers employ locals and actually I would even go a bit further not only locals ( Mexicans ) but in some cases local (Mayans from sometimes remote villages )
EcoColors hires mostly Mexican guides and buys also Mexican merchandise oppose to Chinese merchandise which is obviously cheaper but not helping our local economy. We also buy local wáter and consume actually exotic local fruits and food like Maracuya for example.
Environmental responsibility – e.g. details of recycling, protecting wildlife / national parks, etc
This category encompasses a large portion of our sustainability efforts. It relates to operational impacts on land, air, water, and other organisms. Recycling waste, controlling water usage, minimizing greenhouse gases, and protecting natural ecosystems are all measures that play a role in global environmental processes. Indeed, loss of biodiversity, global warming, and climate change, as well as water quality and scarcity are all problems that have a worldwide scope. Just to mention a couple of specific activities EcoColors separates and recycles the garbage in our office and trips. We reuse rainwater from our roofs for gardening and we treat wastewater in an artificial wetland. We also contribute actively in research projects with whale sharks, coral reefs in Puerto Morelos, we also participate with Marine recreation providers on the adoption of voluntary standards that help the reef. Finally, we just started to participate in a very ambitious project to plant 1,000 million trees in the Yucatan peninsula trou donation of money to the Project plant for the planet.
EcoColors is actively working to ensure the preservation of our destination and culture for future generations. This equates to more attractive environments and better products. We are currently working with different NGO´s such as the Mexican Association of Adventure travel and ecotourism, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Travel Foundation, Amigos de Sian Kaan, The Coral Reef Alliance and many more in unique training programs on ecotourism, development of best practices, code of ethics and many important actions to achieve or get closer to a sustainable tourism practice.
Our guides provide a good briefing on environmental topics including how we can help the planet and how we can help with water issues, we provide 1 litter plastic reusable bottle and this way saving tons of one use plastic bottles, we take in our vans usually 20 litters water reusable container so people can refill the plastic bottle we provided.
Our guide explains very well how we should behave and the rules of each wildlife encounter like no touching, certain distance, no pictures sometimes, etc
We are very proud of provide suggestions for destination visits to appropriate local projects with direct or indirect environmental benefits, since have been able to help some local remote Mayan villages on developing productive projects that literally change their lives and tourists have contributed many times on helping communities, not only with money but with contacts, support, etc.
For us, is so important our planet, animals, and nature, for this reason, we are an eco-company!, that’s mean we do not use plastic bottles (PET), we only use thermo, metal or glass bottle, and we invite you to use that’s ecology and recycle bottle for the good of everyone.
Social responsibility – e.g. details of preserving local culture, visits to local projects, etc.
Socio-cultural impacts are those affect local communities’ social structures and culture. One of the benefits of tourism is the promotion of tolerance and acceptance of different cultures through education and direct experience. This can support a diverse “global community” and not a world of monoculture. As a tourism provider, it is important to help local and indigenous people maintain their cultural integrity in the face of vast economic promises. In the long run, this benefits both the business and the community. Maintaining the cultural integrity of local community will also minimize resentment from people who are negatively affected by tourism. This resentment can be directed at your clients, thus earning the destination a bad reputation, and threatening the chances of further economic development for the region. EcoColors specifically works with many Mayan communities establishing business relationships with fair deals where both groups achieve win-win situations. Some examples are the community of Siankaan, a community of Ek Balam, a community of Jose Maria Morelos, a community of Nuevo Durango, a community of Kantemoh, and many more communities. In recent years we have connected incentive groups wanting to benefit local communities to develop productive projects that have benefit Mayan communities quality of life and economic income. A recent example allowed us to help a Maya community to produce from 10 liters of honey a year to 1000liters.
We send a package of information on what travelers need to know but do not usually talk about politics or social issues.
Our travelers are provided with suggestions of ways to minimize negative impacts on local cultures, explain by our guides, issues like taking pictures, giving away money to children, etc
Our guide accompanies all group visits to local communities all times.
We only use biodegradable sunscreen and that is the only we permit to use because we care about your health, skin and marine life.