The Atlántico Department of Colombia is wrestling with the pervasive Colombian challenge of social and economic inequality. Located between the tourist hubs of Cartagena and Santa Marta, the Atlántico Department could capitalize on expanding its tourism industry to create better employment opportunities for local residents.
Challenge: Luruaco is a small municipality in Atlántico that sits off the highway between Cartagena to Santa Marta. Every bus traveling between these tourism hubs stops in Luruaco, which presents an opportunity to engage tourists. However, many tourism guides in Luruaco remain informal and lack organization and training.
Solution: FISDE, a foundation that works on social integration and tourism development located in Luruaco, used its FOC grant to train and equip the informal guides in Luruaco.
FISDE provided the 10 local guides with the training and equipment needed to do their jobs effectively – uniforms, brochures, materials advertising the local attractions, and an office location located beside the tourist bus stop. They also encouraged the guides to promote local, sustainable ecological tourism by promoting local hiking trails in the area as well as the municipality’s diverse flora and fauna.