Mamirauá Institute brings new tourism initiatives from across the Amazon to learn more about Uakari Lodge’s experience in promoting change
People from different parts of Brazil came to Tefé and Mamirauá Reserve to learn more about Uakari Lodge’s work with local communities.
This past week representatives from different community-based ecotourism initiatives visited Tefé and Mamirauá Reserve to learn more about the Uakari Lodge’s experience on connecting conservation strategies and sustainable development to locals. 16 professionals belonging to other Amazon communities and State governments, NGO’s, universities and tour operators were united for 5 days and learned more about the results and challenges that led Uakari Lodge to be considered one of the most successful initiatives of its kind in the country.
Visits included Tefé and its historical City Hall – now home to the town’s memorial. Tefé (and the City Memorial) is now part of Uakari Lodge’s new experience ‘In the Footsteps of Henry Bates‘ , when the traveller will have the chance to re-visit the adventures of Henry Bates (a 19th-century British naturalist) who explored the region some 120 years ago.
At Mamirauá Institute HQ, it was time for some real classes – the tourism team at the organisation prepared detailed presentations, bringing information on the planning and operation of the lodge of the past 20 years. After Tefé, it was time to (finally!) visit Uakari Lodge and watch it’s day-by-day operation from the perspective of a rare insider. While at the lodge participants interacted with the staff – nearly 100% from local communities who take every position, from guides and cooks and housekeepers to coordinators and managers.
Among the different activities, our visitors had the chance to interact with locals at Vila Alencar, one of the partner and co-manager communities of Uakari Lodge. Together for lunch, representatives introduced their very own tourism project – that adds to Mamirauá Reserve other experiences and makes it a unique destination for community-based initiatives in the Amazon. Vila Alencar wants to share with future visitors its indigenous roots – an encounter of the Kayxana and Mayuruna ethnicities. At the end, participants worked on plans to support Vila Alencar’s plans to host guests at the village – their suggestions are now being debated among locals to put plans into actions.
Mrs. Benta and Mr. Afonso, community leaders at Vila Alencar, hosted visitors and shares their expectations for future projects related to tourism.
The project is part of Mamirauá Institute’s objectives in promoting sustainable development across the Amazon, sharing its long-term experience in tourism – this has been the 6th edition of the course, this year with the support of the Moore Foundation. Part of the shared experience can be found at Uakari Journal – a scientific online publication where Mamirauá Institute shares the results of their projects.
(Image credits: Gustavo Pinto, Natália Teichmann, Lucas Batalha)