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“Responsible tourism” is a close relative of "ecotourism", defined by The International Ecotourism Society as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.  The Lodge at Big Falls aims to offer an unforgettable vacation experience which does both of these.

How Guests Can Help

 

Read our submission for the Ecoclub.com rating. Click on the image.

 

Our Goal

To build a profitable and sustainable tourism enterprise by offering an unforgettable adventure based on mutual respect for cultures and the individual and offer tours and activities which allow our guests to develop their appreciation, understanding and knowledge of the reef and rainforest ecology and local history and culture of Belize.

Community Involvement:

Our local involvement has focused on two community-based organizations (NGOs), a local high school and the local primary school.  Visitors wanting to make contributions to the local primary school may visit Pack for a Purpose. Click on the picture to to see a list of useful materials you could bring with you.

Pack for a Purpose

Julian Cho Technical High School

Julian Cho Technical High School Donation of tools from the Lodge at Big Falls
Julian Cho Technical High School, Toledo
Oliver Garay accepts the Rotary tool donation
Rotary tools donation Rotary tool donation
Students admiring their new equipment
Boys get the feel of the new tools

This high school is situated just three miles from the Lodge and specializes in business, agriculture and construction education.  The Lodge has, through the generosity of the Rotary Club of Fleet in Hampshire, UK, been able to secure two donations of US$1000 for the purchase of tools for the construction department.  In this way the students have been able to gain some of the practical experience which had previously been lacking.  The students skills are then used to save money for the school by undertaking repair and maintenance tasks themselves and earn money by producing furniture for sale in the community.

Ya’axche Conservation Trust

We work with the Ya’axche Conservation Trust by promoting the YCT’s scholarship program to our guests.  At present four local students are being sponsored through their high school education by past guests at the Lodge.  Each scholarship is worth about US$500.  The program offers continuing education for children from the poorest families who would otherwise be unable to continue their studies.  It allows our guests to develop personal relationships within the community and to feel a great sense of satisfaction in knowing their contribution has had a direct impact.. Also by offering accommodation discounts to our returning sponsors the Lodge benefits from repeat business.

The YCT has its own wood workshop in Golden Stream which produces high quality wooden picture frames made from local hardwoods.  The Lodge’s gift shop provides a shop window for YCT and its hand crafted products.

The Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary

The Lodge has been supporting the efforts of the Aguacaliente Management Team since 2002.  At first the contribution was mainly in the form of offering meeting space and free internet access to help the team develop their strategy.  The lodge will be helping AWS to install signs in villages surrounding the sanctuary directing visitors to local homes that will be offering food and refreshment for visitors to Toledo.

The team has worked hard over the past five years to open up the sanctuary for visitors and the Lodge includes the sanctuary in its packages, taking our guests there to enjoy the abundant birdlife on the lagoons surrounded by forested hills.

 
 

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