This eco-lodge is helping to bring travelers into the real Dominican Republic, channeling tourism dollars directly to the people and their communities while stimulating jobs and opportunity in rural areas and enabling the kind of interchanges and cultural exchanges between people which can be even more enriching and educational for the visitors as they are for the local people. See The Tourist Highway Project
We compost all food residue as fertilizer or animal feed. All paper garbage is carried to a municipal dump. Shower water flows out into the fields through its own piping providing grey water irrigation or dispersal. Kitchen water flows through a grease trap and does the same. Toilets flow into a sceptic tank with a deep rock-filled seepage cavity. Guests are urged to only flush solid waste and to dispose of all paper products in waste cans provided.
A natural spring on the property supplies more water than we can possibly use therefore no need to catch rain water, etc. We provide at least a dozen neighboring houses with running water, a resource they did not have before. We recycle as much as possible by using things like old tires for retaining walls and used motor oil for the preservation of our wooden substructures.
The 12-acre plantation is a natural habitat for many species of birds and insects. Our installation takes up less than an acre of this, freely allowing for the natural existence indigenous plants and wildlife.
We have recycled hundreds of used rubber tires into retention walls, permanently put to good use by burying, not burning. This type of retention wall is also very drainage friendly, allowing the free flow of ground water and not causing destructive erosion.
We have eliminated animal herds for cultivation. We have made arrangements with neighbors to develop a number of “conucos” or garden patches growing local root plants, plantains, beans etc from which they receive 50 per cent or more of the crops. In the areas we have cleared for this we compensated by planting hundreds of tree seedlings on the farm.
We purchase as much locally grown produce as possible and hire from the area as much as possible, as well as opting to use manual labor instead of machines whenever possible. Our structures are almost all handmade using for the most part renewable wood and roofing materials produced in the countryside. Guests often participate in local development such as providing labor and materials to improve a number of local schools. We cooperate extensively with local forestry and environmental officials detect and control any land clearing or environmental abuses in our region.
We engage local people to work with us here. While we may have a foreigner or a Dominican to manage the plantation, it is essential for that person to have the cultural awareness and sensitivity to understand that the purpose of the Plantation is to develop a sustainable community. In that sense, we the management – and even the guests – show empathy with the local people who may not be trained in “our ways” but who are nevertheless committed to service, hospitality and the positive interactions that result.
Tubagua wins national environmental award
SANTO DOMINGO, June 30, 2016–Tubagua Ecolodge was one of this year’s seven winners of the Eigth Annual Atabey Awards, a nationally televised program dedicated to raising environmental consciousness in the Dominican Republic. Tubagua received the award for sustainable tourism. Other award categories include community, conservation, training, alternative energy and corporate initiative and personal initiative.
The Atabey Innovation Center is an NGO dedicated to sustainable development through environmental preservation throughout the Dominican Republic and to promoting a national culture of environmental responsibility
See also “The Tourist Highway Project”
Filed Under: Social Impact