The Ecotourism Game
Have a contemporary fiesta
tourists are surprised when you bring out the stereo, plug it into the gasoline
generator, and play pop music. Some sit on the benches, confused and obviously
not having much fun. Others get up and dance, enjoying the beer and aguardiente
cane alcohol which is repeatedly passed around.
Over the months, you notice that fewer tourists are coming
to your community. The ones that do seem less interested in the rainforest
and more interested in the fiestas and the liquor. It's not unusual for
tourists to stay up until 4 a.m. drinking with a few Quichua men. Some people
in the community begin complaining about the bad influence on the children.
After several community meetings, everyone agrees that tourism has not been
good for Pangayacu.
The community votes to end your experiment in tourism. You'll
have to return to agriculture full-time. You know that you'll soon have
to clear another hectare (two and a half acres) of primary forest for a
coffee plantation. You need the money to pay for a new roof and school supplies
for your children. Agriculture is once again the way of life here.
|Losing tourism means expanding agriculture. More rainforest must be cleared, leaving the community with less than 10% of its land in primary forest.
||Losing tourism means losing money too. You and the others once again earn about $600 a year, after the brief burst of income from tourism.
This is the end of the ecotourism game.
Would you like to see what happens if you stage
a traditional cultural program?