Tourism infrastructure and mentorship

Two fishermen groups were selected to receive funding to develop ecotourism services, and receive support to acquire the required tourism permits. Necessary infrastructure, including boat refurnishment, life jackets, snorkels and masks, was identified by artisanal fishermen and the local Coast Guard. Agreements were signed with fishermen and the necessary equipment was provided through zero-interest micro-loans. Regular meetings with fishermen provided follow-up and personalized mentorship regarding ecotourism development and environmental leadership.

  • Fishermen are owners of their vessels.
  • Vessels are appropriate for ecotourists.
  • Infrastructure and equipment, not monetary funds, are provided directly to artisanal fishermen. The value of these supplies determined the exact amount for the micro-loans. This allowed for transparency and effective use of funds.
  • An itemized budget should be provided by fishermen and invoices requested from multiple suppliers prior to micro-loan approval. In small communities with limited equipment suppliers, this can sometimes be difficult to achieve.
  • Documenting the progression of infrastructure implementation through images can become extremely useful to communicate project impact.
  • As a participatory project, establishing deadlines for beneficiaries (e.g. presenting budgets, signing agreements, etc.) is crucial for project development. However, considering that beneficiaries might follow different timelines is also important.