HELPING TO CREATE A GREENER AND HAPPIER ECUADOR
As is true throughout the world, in Ecuador tourism has both positive and negative impacts on the local environment, nature and people. Growth in tourist numbers brings more money into the economy of this developing country but at the same time puts an increasing strain on the very same forests, animals and people that tourists come to see.
We therefore believe that it is the responsibility of all tour operators and agencies here to promote and encourage eco-friendly practices amongst their clients and employees, as well as taking an active role in enhancing the positive impacts that tourism can have in Ecuador.
AS OF SEPT 2012 HAPPY GRINGO ARE PROUD TO BE THE VERY FIRST TRAVEL AGENCY TO GAIN THE PRESTIGIOUS SMART VOYAGER AWARD FOR OUR CONTINUED EFFORTS IN RESPONSIBLE TOURISM - THIS IS RECOGNISED AS THE HIGHEST MERIT IN ECOLOOGICAL PRACTICES IN ECUADOR.
At HAPPY GRINGO we take the following steps to support local communities and the economy, protect the environment, and recycle waste:
ECO-TOURS - we actively promote the very best eco-tourism projects in the country such as , , Huoarani & Napo rainforest lodges, the cloudforest lodge, and Eric / Letty / Flamingo yachts. We have also designed our own special 1 week tour that visits the best of the smaller, less known eco-tourism projects in the Ecuadorian Andes, and from which we donate US$25 per person to a local charity.
RECYCLING - although Latin America is sadly lagging
behind when it comes to recycling we do
successfully recycle paper, glass, aluminium
and plastic waste from our office since 2007. We also have signs throughout our office to remind staff and clients to conserve water and electricity wherever possible.
HELPING POOR COMMUNITIES - we collect in our Quito office for
donation to the small farming community
of Porvenir de Mocha, to whom we have
also donated spanish childrens books to
their school library, and encourage to contact Voluntarios de Occidente (VDO)
to help directly in this community.
Since 2007 we have also organised and funded the annual and party for the Porvenir
de Mocha community.
We have also donated
tours as prizes for the fundraising events
of the Bruce Ecuador Street Children Project and for Andean Bear Conservation.
All of your donations and support to
these wonderful causes are very welcome!!!
LEAVING NO FOOTPRINTS - we inform all of our Galapagos clients
about the important and encourage
them to always understand, respect and
help protect the fragile ecosystem that
they are visiting - local guides often
forget to do this and tourists therefore
cause damage to the environment due to
lack of awareness.
We also donate funds in order to be corporate members of the Galapagos Conservation
Trust who are leaders in conservation projects at the islands.
To further our green initiative we are
also off-setting the carbon emissions
of our Happy Gringo minivan used in daytours
as well as the electricity use of our
an Ecuadorian based organization, are
doing some fine native tree reforestation
and development work in Ecuador - see
their link below. If you would like to
offset the impact of your trip to Ecuador
or Galapagos then please ask us for further
LOCAL ECONOMY - we employ
skilled local people at highly competitive
and fair wage rates. Currently 100% of our
office staff, drivers, guides,
accountants, lawyers and cleaners are native
Ecuadorians. We also work together primarily
with Ecuadorian suppliers and tour operators.
Another important means of supporting the Ecuadorian economy is to pay correct taxes and to affiliate all staff with social security - something that we have done responsibly since our inauguration.