Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?
Our success is measured by the amount of local people we see showing initiative in the areas of personal growth and awareness.
To date we have experienced a positive impact socially, educationally and in aspects of health and environmental sustainability and conservation.
We are seeing the dramatic changes in the communities’ cultural pride and restored importance of heritage. The killing of animals and cutting of trees has decreased immensely in the area and a new enthusiastic approach to conserving these things has taken hold.
We have been successful in teaching the community the importance of giving and have created volunteer programs within the community as well as externally, implementing teaching programs in English and work skills.
In 2007 we built a health and nutrition centre in the neighboring community of Xcalacoop and began a nutrition program to help the hundreds of sick and mal-nutritioned children. To date we have returned over 120 children to health and have continued the daily meals to teach the parents the importance of good nutrition. We have also donated new bathrooms to the primary school in Xcalacoop to execute the importance of good hygiene.
Our program is growing and through our work we sparked the interest of a hospitality school, Getaway, in Europe who has now incorporated the Hacienda into their College curriculum, bringing groups of students to the Hacienda for three day field trips to illustrate a different approach in hotel management and geo-tourism.