Patagonia Guides School (Escuela de guías de la Patagonia)

Patagonia Guides School (Escuela de guías de la Patagonia)

Chile
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Patagonian School for Guides has developed an educational model that supports the growth of tourism through the on-site training of outdoor guides in a private, non-profit organization. The Mission of the Patagonian School for Guides To be a model in the educative management of professionals who work in natural spaces. Our mission is to prepare people to educate, to guide and to orientate others with informed entertainment, safe in the form of nature, as well as to be managers of local development for an egalitarian, sustainable and communitarian growth

Your idea
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Street Address

Coyhaique

City

Aysen

State/Province

-

Postal/Zip Code

Casilla 73

Country
Year innovation began

2003

Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of benefit to the people of the desitination

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Indicate sector in which you principally work

Community Organization

Geographic location

Multiple locations.

Plot your innovation within the Mosaic of Solutions
Main barrier addressed

Lack of local input

Main insight addressed

Develop community assets

Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation?

We promote the development of the skills and capacity to build sustainable livelihoods related to the nature and tourism.

How does your approach support or embody geotourism?

We promote the handling of business in an environmental and socially responsible way. We foster and educate about the sustainable development of business that we are helping to create. We support local networks that favor fair trade. We believe in the culture of entrepreneurs as transformers of local change. We facilitate the ties among people from different places and with similar concerns. We promote the formation of communities that positively contribute to and influence in local development through tourism in nature. We stand by the need for the conservation and protection of our natural resources. We believe in interactive education as well as environmental training that can make Natural Forest Areas beneficial for local development. We are an institution linked with local organizations in favor of the conservation and maintenance of our natural resources. We are active defenders of Aysén, Reserva de Vida We strengthen the leadership capabilities of the people and institutions with whom we work.”

Describe your approach in detail. How is it innovative?

The Patagonian School for Guides has developed an educational model that supports the growth of tourism through the on-site training of outdoor guides in a private, non-profit organization. The Mission of the Patagonian School for GuidesTo be a model in the educative management of professionals who work in natural spaces. Our mission is to prepare people to educate, to guide and to orientate others with informed entertainment, safe in the form of nature, as well as to be managers of local development for an egalitarian, sustainable and communitarian growth

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

The School helps participants to develop livelihood process inputs through the development of “social capital”; related to the formal and informal social relationships that could provide opportunity or benefit for a person through investment in interactions, memberships, development of trust. Provideding access to information, to influence or power, and to support, which often came in the form of opportunity; heavy emphasis on relationships, networks, and partnerships; both private and public. It encouraged the participants to develop formal and informal networks, through team-based projects within the setting of the school, and through out-of-class assignments.

Impact
In one sentence describe what kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

The contributions impact livelihoods of participants in: livelihood process inputs, livelihood strategies, identifying risk, managing vulnerability, and understanding scale

Describe the degree of success of your approach to date. Clearly define how you measure quantitative and qualitative impact in terms of how your approach contributes to the sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How does your approach minimize negative impacts? 200 words or less

First significant emphasis on assisting participants with the identification and development of tourism-related assets that could be used as inputs to the livelihood process. Second, the Guide’s School approach coached participants on how to sustainably integrate nature-based tourism into their individual and family livelihood strategies. Third, the Guide’s School help participants identify, understand, and evaluate many of the risks, or vulnerabilities, they faced in their livelihood pursuits related to nature-based tourism. Fourth, the approach of the school have introduced participants to the strategies, processes and tools they could access to influence, mitigate, and change aspects of the external environment that contributed to their vulnerability context. Finally, the Guide’s School approach helped to introduce participants to an industry that is, by nature, global in context. By exposing participants to the different scales of this industry and providing opportunities for them to interact within and across these scales, the school opened a portal through which participants could begin to effectively reach into the outside world in a manner which supported local customs, heritage, and culture.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

This initiative is the materialization of a focus on development that promotes local organizations to work together and collaborate with local services in strategic tasks of long-term tourism development in natural domains.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your innovation, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Jose Gorgozo, value of the Guide’s School curriculum for him:
I live among the mountains, but I had never climb a mountain, I was learning new things that I had seen, only on the television, in movies…for me this was super good because it was all new, it was unique; the only thing that I didn’t have to learn was how to get from one place to another.

Describe how your innovation helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area’s cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues. How do you motivate them to act responsibly in their future travel decisions?

Throughout the front and back-country components of the programs we do, clients will have ongoing opportunities to immerse themselves in another culture. They will be exposed to a variety of sites and activities that will provide them with opportunities to experience the local cultural meaning and history of this region. clients will also have the opportunity to hear from community members through lectures and discussion forums that are part of the academic experience. clients are expected to actively engage in the intercultural immersion aspects of this trip through dialogue, observation, and preparation of questions and reflections.

Sustainability
Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Yes, I believe it is sustainable. The work on providing funding to be prepare for a growth that we are facing, support on the administration of the program and the future growth in different ways

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Buy running programs locally with government or other supports or by selling programs to others institutions like universities, tourist, and others.
Annual budget: US$ 100.000
Annual revenue generated US$ 10.000
Size of part-time 15 person
Volunteer staff 2 Person Volunteer
Full Time 1 Person

What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

We are growing slowly, we are working to be sustainable, we are running different programs. The Travel and Learn program is a year old adventure the Patagonia School of Guides has created and is currently working with, in order to keep the school in operation during the summer. The program serves as a laboratory for guide instructors and graduates as a means to try new practices with clients that may be integrated in the main guiding curriculum. The Travel and Learn program offers a collection of adventure activities to facilitate travelers going through Patagonia, who wish to do a trip and learn a skill in 5 days.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Having the funding, to support more people working full time, on the school development to other areas of Chile and South America.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell your story.

Between September and November 2003, the Guide’s School of Patagonia (GSP) recruited local farmers, fisherman, craftsman, and residents of the region to participate in a two-year training program in nature-based tourism guiding and career development. In total, sixty applications were received. All sixty of the individuals who applied were interviewed for placements in the school, over a three day period. They were evaluated based on the quality of their applications, face-to-face interviews, and prior experience. Thirty-eight of these applicants were invited to participate. They represented a wide range of communities, backgrounds, levels of education, and socio-economic conditions. Orientation took place in Murta, a tiny village of the region, during December 11-13, 2003. Coursework took place in Puerto Ibanez, beginning in March of 2004. Course modules included short periods of group instruction, where students came together in Puerto Ibanez, and homework assignments, which students completed individually, or in small groups, during interim times in their home communities. This allowed students to maintain their regular livelihood pursuits and family connections during their experience at the school.
During the following two years, twenty-two course modules were offered, addressing a variety of topics, including minimal impact wilderness practices, backcountry camping and hiking techniques, wilderness first aid, safety and risk management, leadership and teamwork, communication skills, tourist psychology, legal and regulatory aspects of nature-based tourism, management of wild protected areas, history and local culture, use of maps and orientation, biodiversity and nature conservation, geomorphology of the landscape, environmental interpretation, general project administration, tourism-related business organization and administration, and business planning. Also, several areas of technical specialty were offered: trekking, climbing, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, mountaineering, skiing, kayaking, horse trekking, and rational, or gentle, methods of horse-training. Students were required to complete two “capstone” experiences at the culmination of the program. First, they were asked to take part in a professional internship with a company or organization in the region. Secondly, they were asked to develop a final project, in which they prepared a business or project plan for a nature-based tourism enterprise. For these projects, students had the option of working individually, or in small groups.
In July of 2005, a total of twenty-three residents of the Aysén region successfully completed the Guide’s School of Patagonia program. Fourteen persons graduated as Regional Guides of the Guide’s School of Patagonia.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Francisco Vio Giacaman, 39 years old, outdoor educator for 20 years of experience teaching, climbing, kayaking and others. He has become an educator from his degree in physical education, and is an instructor for the Chilean Mountaineering School. His teachings have been extended throughout the Chilean Education system, in both university’s and high schools. Francisco’s background includes consulting with the Chilean Forest Service, CONAF, several years working with National Outdoor Leadership School gave him substantial insights into the guiding industry as well as a look at the financial and marketing skills required to successfully maintain a viable guide school himself.

Please write an overview of your project. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the Google map located on the competition homepage.

The Patagonian School for Guides has developed an educational model that supports the growth of tourism through the on-site training of outdoor guides in a private, non-profit organization. The Mission of the Patagonian School for Guides To be a model in the educative management of professionals who work in natural spaces. Our mission is to prepare people to educate, to guide and to orientate others with informed entertainment, safe in the form of nature, as well as to be managers of local development for an egalitarian, sustainable and communitarian growth

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