BeachCorps President David Searby was invited to join a distinguished panel of experts in sustainable tourism on August 28, 2017 hosted by FUNGLODE and its sister organization in the USA the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. Other panelists included Joel Santos, President of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASONAHORES, the country's largest hospitality industry confederation); Jake Kheel, Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation; Elizabeth Tovar, President of the incentive travel firm Turenlaces; Francisco Carreras, private entrepreneur and cruise consultant for the Dominican Government, and Jonathan Delance, coordinator of the Coastal Biodiversity and Tourism project for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Like the other panelists on Sustainable Tourism at the event , BeachCorps was optimistic that the Dominican Republic will make the necessary changes to its tourism development to promote sustainability and empower communities.
Links to Articles on FUNGLODE Event:
Diario Digital DR: "El turismo sostenible y responsable atrae turistas de calidad" (Sustainable Tourism Attracts Quality Tourists).
#Sustainability #SustainableTourism #DominicanRepublic
On August 29, 2017, BeachCorps President David Searby appeared on Tendencias TV and Radio to launch the "Recycling for Education" program. Searby described the BeachCorps partnership with the premiere recycling and sustainability firm in the Eastern Dominican Republic, Ecoservices Dominicana, to create over the next year a program to help increase the amount of school supplies destined for giving underserved communities in exchange for kids and communities helping out by turning in some plastic bottles, cardboard, and Tetra pak for recycling.
Tendencias also presented this Youtube video that shows the enthusiasm of Dominican communities for this project. The first organization showed is the Fundación Caña, Melao y Azucar (the Cane, Molasses and Sugar Foundation) and is centered in the town of San Pedro de Macoris, the capital city of Dominican baseball. The second organization is even more informal and is centered on the community of Monte Verde (Green Mountain), a community that also has the nickname of Mata Mosquitos (Mosquito Killer).
Searby said that by the summer of 2018 BeachCorps hopes to have full-fledged BeachCorps volunteer vacation programs ready where volunteers can come to local communities and celebrate the donation of more and better school supplies in exchange for recycling and creating cleaner communities.
Searby said that the program will tackle four different issues at once:
1. Promoting recycling: BeachCorps will educate kids about the importance of recycling and particularly the harm plastic trash in particular does to the environment and even to storm and flood water drainage.
2. Combatting the "Trash Culture": BeachCorps will help the kids understand why they must be the generation that starts to change the culture of just tossing trash on the ground.
3. Supporting Education: BeachCorps wants to make sure that this program increases the amount and quality of school supplies for kids that need them. The program will increase the payment for recycled bottles well beyond the market price, creating a powerful tool for buying school supplies.
4. Supporting Empowerment and Combatting the Dependency Culture: by giving kids the opportunity to pay for a greater number of school supplies, BeachCorps will show them the value of working towards their own education and give them the pride of earning their school supplies as opposed to getting it for free. Searby also said that a culture of dependency is not just a problem of the poor, since the rich contribute to it because the rich love to give easy gifts to the poor for nothing while avoiding addressing messy, structural problems.
#Empowerment #Recycling #VolunteerVacation #Voluntourism #PuntaCana #DominicanRepublic #DependencyCulture #Education #SchoolSupplies