Our son, Cory, and his friend, Sam, developed and implemented tourism programs for the community of Los Ramos that mesh with responsible tourism practices on Ometepe Island. According to Sam:
Time here on the island is starting to wind down, and with that comes some amazing closure. Below is the brochure we have put together for the community of Los Ramos. Cory and I have worked side by side with the community helping them develop cultural based tourism programs. We have worked very hard to empower the community, and reveal to them how many amazing programs they are able to offer. The focus throughout has been to embrace who they are and what they stand for. Often times you will see tourism develop in a way that changes the heart and soul of communities just like this. Instead we were striving to keep the heart and soul, and have that be the focus of EVERY program. The development of tourism is inevitable, so why not do it in a way that can embrace the people and not just the place.
I am so proud of these young men. They have worked unselfishly to empower an indigenous community on Ometepe Island. From making nacatamales with the local cooks, to trail blazing, to wild dug-out canoe boat rides, to riding a bull for seven hours…they have done it all.This is responsible tourism at its finest! They came with a mission statement for their business, OutMore Adventures, and not once have they strayed from their path. Their philosophy of responsible tourism connects tourists with the local culture and traditions of an indigenous community, as well as providing income for Los Ramos. Hopefully, this hard-working community will never have to leave their beloved island to find work in Costa Rica or wash dishes and clean toilets for a foreign-owned resort.
Empower the people, not just the place! Their dreams are now a reality!