Ometepe empowers rural tourism • El Nuevo Diario

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The calm waters of Lake Nicaragua represent a source of income for artisanal fishermen Ruth Martinez and 29 other members of the Israel Cooperative in the municipality of Moyogalpa on Ometepe.

But starting this weekend, the office that this group has developed throughout her life will experience a leap of quality.

“Another livelihood for fishermen who will offer kayak tours, boat, some crafts and the possibility that the visitor can learn how to fish with bait, cast net or seine” says Martinez, who from now on will be a small business owner at the Eco Efficiency Center in Punta Jesus Maria, which opened on Saturday by representatives of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), the European Union, the Cleaner Production Centre, the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation and the municipality of Moyogalpa.

Local development

Efficient Eco Center, together with the Floral Trail, located in the reserve of the Concepción volcano and ferry station infrastructure Puerto Las Brisas, in the town of Altagracia, part of the Project to Support Local Economic Development through Colonial and Volcano Routes since 2012 driving in six departments of the Pacific the above organizations and ending in December: Tourism sector.

Sendero Concepción volcano– Sendero Concepción volcano –

According to Marc Riehl, regional director of the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation, the project has earmarked an amount of 8.2 million euros, 3 million of that total was spent for the benefit of 19 local tourism initiatives in the Pacific country.Intervention in these three initiatives approved in the case of the island of Ometepe to strengthen local capacities in services, infrastructure and development of tourist circuits.

“The most important aspect of the project is to work with communities, because subsidies have been given to NGOs, cooperatives and municipal governments, it is most important to us, that the money gets to the people and that can have an impact in the lives of people, “said Riehl.

Maria Miriam Potoy, representative of the Foundation among Volcanoes, shared that with the implementation of the project was able to form the Union of Tourist Guides of the island and Rural Network Ometepe Tourism.

“In the case of the Union of Guides became a formal cooperative composed of 17 members, while the network currently encompasses 11 initiatives,” said Potoy.
According to Potoy, members of both initiatives have been trained in areas such as tourism management, accounting, marketing and service improvement, especially with regard to advertising campaigns via the Internet.

Among the beneficiaries are members of the cooperative artisanal fishermen Israel in Punta Jesus Maria.

What will be offered?

According to Walter Ponce, coordinator of the Rural Tourism Network, living with families on the island, adventure and natural landscapes are part of the strengths that the beneficiaries may explode.

“The options are promoting include boating, riding, cycling, nature-friendly activities. Also living together in houses of native people, and elements related to the ancestral part of the island, shared Ponce.

Meanwhile, Roger Arcia, micro Punta de Jesus Maria said that apart from the option of learning to fish, tourists also have the chance to taste the local cuisine and entertainment in top condition.

The Island (Ometepe) is one of the main destinations for visitors, the vast majority are foreigners, but also domestic tourists, “says Anasha Campbell, co-director of Intur.

Punta Jesus Maria five modules have been built where visitors will be offered food, drink and crafts typical of the island. Meanwhile, Maria Leticia Salazar, project coordinator, said that the complex will allow the population of Moyogalpa have a tidy and suitable for space tourism potential of the municipality.

“Those who came visiting us for a while and then went to the other town, where infrastructure exists r Qu, with the first phase we hope to start to change that,” added Salazar.

While in the path La Flora in Concepcion volcano, which is under the responsibility of the Cooperative Union of Tourist Guides of Ometepe, we want to encourage this option as a major Moyogalpa.

“In the first 500 meters an agricultural intervention that keeps you in touch with nature, in the second part of the tour you can see a lot of species of trees, bird watching, herds of howler monkeys, white face is seen and variety of reptiles and amphibians, “said Jose Antonio Argeñal, coordinator of volunteer rangers on the island of Ometepe.

Important Enclave

Anasha Campbell, co-director of Intur, stressed the importance of Ometepe as a key tourism enclave both nationally and internationally, so that strengthening the capacity of local tourism businesses is an essential step.

“The island is one of the main destinations for visitors, the vast majority are foreigners, but also the national economy, in the case of those who visit believe that spending is higher than the average in the rest of the country (40-42 dollars), because it involves transported to the island, stay on the island, buy local crafts, “said Campbell.

According to the co-director of Intur, from January to July this year the flow of tourists has grown by 4.4 percent over the same period last year.

“In July last year we received nearly 700,000 visitors, this year the figure exceeds 800,000
tourists, “Campbell said.

  • The Eco Efficient Punta de Jesus Maria, the complex path Floral Volcano Conception and construction of infrastructure waiting room Puerto Las Brisas in Altagracia, the three projects are developed on the island of Ometepe; with a total investment of 567.445 euros.

Source: Ometepe potencia el turismo rural • El Nuevo Diario

This is a good story, another good data point for those following Nicaraguan tourism and it’s development. The story says 800,000 tourists are visiting in 2015 with 700,000 visiting the year before. That is a lot of visitors!

Teaching tourists the traditional fishing techniques, offering kayaks and such, is all good. Equally, I’m glad to hear that better infrastructure in general is in place and other projects soon to come. Congratulations Ometepe Island, you are definitely on the list of most-visited places for tourists in Nicaragua. I would guess Granada and San Juan del Sur would be the other in the top-three. Opinions?

Hey reader, watcha think?