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
what they hoped.
The community decides to end the experiment in tourism and
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, and you hope that by getting
rid of tourism you will be able to live quietly here in Pangayacu for many
decades to come.
|Losing tourism means expanding agriculture. More rainforest must be cleared, leaving the community with less than 15% of its land forested.
||Losing tourism means losing money too. You and your neighbors 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?