Report on Community Tourism Programme for Urban, Rural and Indigenous Local Development 2017-2019
Opening up to tourism by the Mbya communities in Misiones was a process that began in 2006 with an Argentinean project of Canadian cooperation called Proyecto Mate, (www.proyectomate.org). This initiative consisted of a series of knowledge building and training activities among the communities in order to unify criteria on what of their culture could be shared with visitors, understanding the new context in which we found ourselves: we could no longer continue with permanent migrations covering new territories, but had to stay in a certain fixed space and develop there, hold title deeds and no longer migrate. This produced a change of paradigm that led to the need to venture into different alternatives to obtain economic income, as in the case of tourism. This project, which was carried out in the Iryapu community, was the starting point and the model that emerged from it was replicated in several communities not only in the province but also in the region. Today, after so many years, there are more than 15 communities which receive tourists. We share our essence: the visit of a guided and self-managed interpretation trail, and each of the communities is unique as to which resource is abundant in it, depending on the geographical location where the community is located.
This work consisted of three axes: the first was diagnosis, and prior consultation according to Convention 169: National, Regional and International. The second was the project for the creation of a school of Indigenous Tourism in the Province of Misiones. The third axis of the programme is to generate a proposal for a regulatory framework for the activity based on the principles of sustainable tourism and taking into account the experiences of other Argentine provinces and countries that have been pioneers in Latin America and the world.
All of this will lead to the promotion and commercialisation of the products through the appropriate channels at different levels.
This programme was promoted by the Government of the Province of Misiones, through the Ministry of Tourism in charge of Minister José María Arrúa. It is run by the NGO Travolution Latin America, which specialises in the development of community-based tourism enterprises, with extensive experience at the global and regional level.
[ February 2018 ] Provincial Tourism Forum. Commenting on the project and presenting the topic in the touristically oriented municipalities with Mbya communities.
[ March 2018 ]Pilot Test Community Tourism Route Misiones – Culture and Contact France
The route consisted of a 7- day trip through the province (Posadas – El Soberbio – Iguazu) which implied the enhancement of infrastructure at the communities of Jeji, Jeji Miri, Pindo Poty at El Soberbio so as to be able to stay overnight there for 2 nights. The experience was successful.
[ April 2018 ]
Implementation of a Guaraní Indigenous Tourism Desk at Iguazú Tourism Office.
[ May 2018 ] Iguazú Town Council provides support to the TRC Programme in order to be able to download training for TRC entrepreneurs.
[ June 2018 ] Presentation of the Programme within the framework of FETUR in search of Strategic Alliances with the Private Sector.
[ August 2018 ]
Launch of TRC Seminar for Entrepreneurs in the region. Annual Programme that started in September 2018 and ended in July 2019 with 35 CRT entrepreneurs trained.
[ October 2018 ] Participation of Mbya Guaraní Tourism in FIT (International Tourism Fair) in a framework of equity and inclusion, as well as in different tourism fairs in the country and the province.
[ November 2018 ] Presentation of the Pre-Project for the creation of the Darío Karaí Correa Itinerant School of Community Tourism in the framework of Feria Todos Tenemos Misiones.
[ March 2019 ] Beginning of the 2nd stage of the Community Tourism Seminar for entrepreneurs.
[ May 2019 ] Presentation and delivery of the final project for the creation of the Darío Karaí Correa Itinerant School.
[ July 2019 ] Presentation of the Proposal for the Creation of the Regulatory Framework and Closing of the First Stage of the TRC Programme for Local Development.
As planned, we managed to obtain a complete diagnostic survey of the province, detecting 15 indigenous communities of the Mbya Guaraní ethnic group that carry out an incipient tourist activity.
The executive project for the creation of the Itinerant School of TRC Darío Karaí Correa.
The proposal for the creation of a Regulatory Framework for Community Tourism in the province.
On the other hand, the integration of Mbya members in the team empowered the beneficiaries and gave rise to the project “Mbya in Tourism”, an initiative of the indigenous people that promotes integration through tourism.
The theme of Indigenous Tourism was completely installed throughout the province.
Pending Challenges: 2nd Stage of the TRC Programme for Local Development
The implementation of the school, the sanctioning of the regulatory framework and the creation of a Guaraní trail in the waterfall area, are pending for a second stage.