Ecoutourism – challenges and hopes
My introduction to ecotourism took place in Central America. I travelled down the trail which is called La Ruta Maya (The Maya Route), and which connects areas of natural importance, ancient Mayan sites hidden in the rainforest, native villages and colorful markets full of locally produced arts & crafts and other local fair trade products. This was a real ecotourist experience, which began my adventure with ecotourism and resulted in my first book „Ecotourism”, which since 2000 has seen three editions (2000, 2008, 2010).
In the “Mundo Maya”, you could stay in one of the Indian villages located at the base of volcano deep in the countryside, or in a colonial town, learn Spanish, appreciate first-hand the daily life of the natives, take part in one of the magic ceremonies performed by the descendants of the Mayas, enjoy corn tortillas, savor the aroma-filled coffee grown on small, family-run plantations, or munch away at exotic fruit from the local market … Almost 100% of the money spent during this trip remained in the community and went straight into the pockets of local inhabitants! That’s what I call ecotourism pure and simple.
The name I gave to this website derives from Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, which was a major inspiration for me to travel responsibly and to write and take photos during my travels.