Guaruma -Jóvenes hondureños para el desarrollo educativo

Guaruma -Jóvenes hondureños para el desarrollo educativo

Honduras
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Guaruma engages local youth through its education programs that promote environmental awareness and conservation in the Rio Cangrejal watershed on the eastern edge of Pico Bonito National Park along the north coast of Honduras. Apart from a multi-dimensional after-school program providing free classes in English, photography, computer skills and environmental education, we promote community development through ecotourism by training youth as local guides and providing informative tours to locals and tourists alike. The proceeds of these tours are shared between the guides and the organization and are used by Guaruma to cover running costs at its operational base.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Guaruma's guide services provide the opportunity to put knowledge into practice. Guaruma students who are trained as guides are aware of the importance of protecting the region's forests and animals and, thus, influence local perceptions through their actions. In addition, Guaruma services provides additional income to households in active communities. Guides earn the most part of tour profits, profits which go towards personal or household expenses. Finally, Guaruma students gain confidence by improving their public speaking skills and by creating interactive and dynamic experiences for visiting groups.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Guaruma's guide services are the only ones of their kind available along the entire Río Cangrejal. Students from Guaruma's education program apply much of their classroom material to the development and interpretation of their trails. While the region's ecotourism activities are predominantly commercial, Guaruma's services are centered on community development and, rather than relying on skills from outside sources, the skills are developed and applied locally.
About You
Organization:
Organización Guaruma
Section 1: About You
First Name

GUARUMA

Last Name

Honduran Youth

Website
Organization
Country

, AT

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Organización Guaruma

Organization Phone

(504) 2427-6782

Organization Address

Plaza Comercial Calix-Meza , Local #9, Barrio Independencia, La Ceiba, Atlántida

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

Our clients experience the region's biodiversity directly from those that live there. They are informed about the significance of conservation from youth who pride in their community's natural wealth. As a result, our clients leave with a greater understanding of the importance of conservation as well as greater appreciation for what Guaruma is doing, both through its education program and through its tourism services.
The guided tours have led to an increased interest in the Cangrejal watershed as a tourist destination both for locals living in La Ceiba, the nearest city, and for international visitors. Apart from regular workshops to train new guides, Guaruma is active in promoting the area through other Guaruma activities such as the students' work in photography and design.

Actions

Since the creation of Guaruma services, the organization has held various workshops in order to train interested guides and refine their skills and knowledge.
To improve the aesthetic appeal of the trails, Guaruma has developed interpretative signposts at each stop. In addition, it has also expanded its main trail to include other areas and species.
In order to promote these activities, Guaruma works with hotels and ecolodges in the area as well as organizations in La Ceiba.

Results

Efforts to promote the region as a destination are expected to provide more tours, thus helping to generate more income for guides and the eduction program (indirectly through tours).
The increase in work will appeal to other interested students and possibly expand to communities where Guaruma also plays a role.
The overall result will be increased awareness of the benefits of nurturing the watershed's forests and river.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

In the first year efforts should be focused on promotional activities as well as the development of trail signposts and news trails.
Between the first and second year, additional workshops should be organized to improve skills, develop new ideas and recruit new guides to the project.
As the project gains momentum, and on the condition that there are regular visitors in the area, Guaruma services can expand to other communities of the region. Other services can be added to the existing ones, catering to the interests of visitors. For example, long excursions and horseback riding.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Without proper promotion of the region as a destination, there will not be enough visitors to maintain the project. Guides will have no incentive to maintain their trails or refine their guide skills.
Without sufficient funding, trails cannot be developed nor can guides be properly trained. In addition, trails are situated on private property. While Guaruma maintains agreements with property owners, there is always the risk that property is made unavailable.

How many people will your project serve annually?

101‐1000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?

, AT

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Organización Guaruma

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

No

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Through partnerships with non-government organizations which work in the field of creative education, Guaruma receives guideline and mentoring for our own program. Together with other organizations, Guaruma provides workshops to students and guides, such as First Aid etc.
Establishing partnerships with local tourism businesses was crucial for Guaruma in order to promote our guided tours and receive interest into and support for our projects. The tours given by Guaruma guides are included in the packages of comercial tour operators. Guaruma guides also receive training from experienced professionals from the field of ecotourism.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Assuring necessary human resources to manage and develop guides, trails and tour services.
2. Securing the funds necessary to promote services as well as develop new trails and provide guide training.
3. Improve guide services framework to serve as model in nearby communities.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The guide services project originated from the desire to develop sustainable development projects that would consistently contribute to the community's improvement without creating further dependence on procuring funds from grants. Guaruma sought a program that would allow local residents to realize benefits in a manner that embraced and utilized the region's environmental biodiversity. The guide services project developed out of the idea that the students be given the opportunity to earn incomes while putting into practice their knowledge of the surrounding environment gained through their classes with Guaruma.

Two additional aims were to foster local residents' pride in their community setting while at the same time allowing tourists to enjoy the beauty and serenity offered by the nature of the Cuenca. The project also gave the community an incentive to maintain a clean environment to attract more visitors, thus earning the guides a steadier income and contributing both to the sustainability of the ecosystem and the guide services project. In both the local resident and foreign tourist, the guide services program would instill a heightened appreciation for nature and a greater understanding of the problems facing the environment.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

400 words or fewer

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer

randomness