Project to Develop Volunteer Tourism in Nuquí, Colombia Camilo Duque George Washington University School of Business Volunteer Tourism August, 2010
Contents Colombia Nuqui Nuqui’s main Problems How to solve some of these problems Volunteer Tourism Possible partners Important considerations
Colombia, General information
Official name: Republic of Colombia
Population : 44 Million
Capital: Bogota, 7 Million
Weather: No Seasons. Varies from region to region
No visa required for U.S citizens
No Departure tax
More than 210 weekly frequencies between the U.S and 5 Colombian cities.
NUQUI Nuquí is located in the Colombian Pacific Coast, in the Department of Chocó, west of Colombia. A region of great cultural and ecosystem diversity. The temperature is generally 30 degrees Celsius. It has great abundance of water as it is located in the coast and in one of the most humid regions on the planet. The main Economic activities are: Mining, Agriculture, fishing, and recently tourism which has developed handcrafting. Its population of 7,366 inhabitants is formed by Afro- Colombia communities, Indigenous tribes, and a large population of mestizos (mix between Spanish and Native American).
NUQUI NUQUI NUQUI
NUQUI - Main Problems The region has several problems, it is one of the poorest and less developed in the country. According to Jaime Bonet* this is due to: Weak institutions, due to a colonial legacy ( exploitation of slaves) Geographic and climatic conditions that affect productivity, increase costs of transportation and isolate the department from the rest of the country Low preparation of the human resource. High illiteracy rate Economic structure specialized only in gold mining Disintegration from the national economy *Bonet, J. Central Bank of Colombia. Center of regional economic studies. “Porqueespobre el Choco” (Why is Choco poor). April 2007.
NUQUI - Main Problems Water and Sewage coverage: 22,5% and 15.9% respectively. Basic Needs not met (NBI Indicator)*: 79% of the households do not have the basic needs covered which is 3 times higher than the national average. Illiteracy has improved but it is still double the national median Displacement due to violence Corruption *Social indicator called NBI, Stands for Basic Needs not Met. It measures Access to household, to education, to basic services, and economic capabilities. Source: Census 2005
NUQUI - Main Problems Percentage of Households that have public services in Choco and Colombia Percentage Electricity Sewage Water Natural Gas Telephone Source: Census 2005
How to solve some of these problems The state must invest in Education, Health and Services. Investment has to be done as well for Infrastructure: mainly roads and ports. so that the economy can be integrated with the rest of the country and other industries can flourish such as tourism. Tourism and Volunteer Tourism
Volunteer Tourism Volunteer tourism, also known as Volunteerism is when people travel and stay in foreign places with the purpose of working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services. Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be considered self-serving.
Nuqui can benefit from Volunteerism and offer a great leisure experience as well for visitors. The region has several attractions that can be combined with a volunteer experience such as: Sun and beach, surfing, whale-watching, bird-watching, Diving, Fishing, Ecotourism activities, Hiking, Indigenous culture. Volunteer Tourism
According to the problems the main areas where volunteers could help are: Education – basic and for business Primary and secondary Business – Develop business such as Handcrafts, tourism services: restaurants, guides, transportation. Develop eco-tourism and sustainable tourism products. Health: Doctors with all specialties to aid the community Volunteer Tourism
Possible Partners - Locally El CantilEcolodge ( www.elcantil.com) El Cantil has seven rooms with capacity for up to six persons per room They work closely with locals to help develop their business skills. They encourage Handcrafts as a way to develop households. They also promote and practice sustainable tourism.
Possible Partners - Locally El AlmejalEcolodge ( www.elalmejal.com.co ) El Almejal rainforest beach lodge, offers an ecotourism and sustainable experience. It has 12 cabanas with capacity for 50 people. It was included in a UNWTO publication about success stories of development of sustainable tourism They encourage Handcrafts and local culture such as dancing as a way to develop the economy of locals They offer a program for turtle conservation They also promote and practice sustainable tourism. And are very education-oriented.
Volunteers Colombia (http://www.volunteerscolombia.org/) NGO that designs and executes programs for volunteers that contribute to the socio-economic development in Colombia. They have partners in the country and could help develop and market the programs and serve as the volunteer receiving organization (VRO) along with the local partners such as El Cantil or El Almejal. Possible Partners - VRO
Possible Partners - VSO Volunteerabroad.com shows 13 verified organizations that offer opportunities for volunteering in Colombia, all of them could serve as the Volunteer Sending Organizations ( VSO) as they already have established programs; they are: International Volunter HQ, Lets go Volunteer, United Planet, Volunteers for Peace, The Humanity Exchange, Cultural Homestay International, CADIP, The Amazon Spanish College, Amerispan, Globalteer, SCI, and Peace Brigades International. Complete list: http://www.volunteerabroad.com/search/colombia
Important considerations Good local contacts and relations with the community are very important to develop the programs and diminish negative impacts. VSO’s, VRO’s, local partners, and communities have to work closely. Having in mind the needs of the locals in order to work on what they need the most first. Include elements of education so that it is a growth experience for the volunteer Follow a Process: Selection, preparation, orientation, debriefing.