Friday 12 August 2022

Costa Rica launches a tourism incubation program for indigenous peoples

In Costa Rica, 2.4% of the national population is indigenous. Initiative seeks to recognize innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship in indigenous peoples.

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12 August 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) launched the ‘Raíces’ program on Tuesday, an initiative focused on the generation and consolidation of indigenous tourism ventures.

Initiative seeks to recognize innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship in indigenous peoples. ICT

It is a financial mechanism developed from the UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), which seeks to address the priorities defined by indigenous peoples within the framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy (2016-2025), based on a broad participatory process from the indigenous peoples that began in 2019.

“Indigenous peoples, in their ancient role as guardians of nature, have much to contribute to a common vision of sustainable development where no one is really left behind. Thus, this program and its focus on sustainable tourism, with cultural identity from the perspective of indigenous peoples, offers us an opportunity to generate green jobs, promoting cultural rescue and learning of a harmonious relationship with nature,” said the UNDP resident representative in Costa Rica, José Vicente Troya.

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People interested in opting for these funds, which deliver up to ¢6 million colones (about US$8,500 dollars) non-refundable, must belong to and be from one of the indigenous territories of Boruca, Cabagra, China Kichá, Rey Curré, Salitre, Térraba or Ujarrás. In addition, they must have a business idea or business initiative related to the tourism sector under a concept of balance and respect for nature.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to diversify, to teach, not only the traditional products, which we already know from canopy or rafting, but we also carry out an indigenous process so that the people who live in indigenous reserves can improve their quality of life and to us that is very important. This is also going to increase the number of products we offer abroad”, explained the Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez.

In Costa Rica, 2.4% of the national population is indigenous. The last census (2011) records 104,143 inhabitants, of which 35% live within their territories, while 65% are outside. This group is distributed in eight large towns: Bribri, Cabécar, Maleku, Chorotega, Huetar, Teribe, Brunca and Ngäbe, in which high levels of poverty are recorded.

(Source: ICT)

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