In our recent look at Jicaro Island Ecolodge, a part of the Cayuga Collection, we explored the phenomenal job they do of keeping Lake Nicaragua clean and conserving their water usage. But this progressive hotel doesn’t stop there. They incorporate an amazing outreach program that works with and utilizes the local residents in multiple sustainability efforts.
Working for a Sustainable Community
Jicaro recognizes the importance of engaging and integrating the local community into its sustainability practices, and has made it their priority to hire as many local residents as possible, at all levels. The reasons for this are two-fold. One, no one understands the local ecology and how it works better than the people that have lived there their whole lives. These local employees are able to guide the hotel by encouraging practices that will leave as little of a mark as possible on this magnificent location, keeping it intact for years to come. And two, by enlisting the local people in the hotel’s operation, they have a stake in the success of the hotel.
In addition, Jicaro promotes area businesses whenever possible:
- Artwork from local artists is purchased to decorate the hotel, and local artwork is sold in the hotel shop.
- “The fish of the day,” is pre-ordered by guests with local fisherman hired to catch; assuring fresh fish, with only as much as is needed being caught.
- Local boats, hired by the hotel, provide transportation anytime the hotel is unable to meet demands internally.
- Farm animals, specifically pigs, are given to local farmers to raise and sell for additional income, and provide the hotel with a local source for sustainably raised meat.
Once again – it pays to be sustainable for everyone wins; both economically and environmentally.
How is your hotel connecting with your local community? Share your stories with the GreeningtheInn community!
Contributor: David Thurnau has a background in political science, municipal government, and agriculture with an emphasis in environmental issues.
This article first appeared on GreeningtheInn.com.
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