Now that Ariel is based in Bocas del Toro (for those of you not yet in the know, check out the map, here) there is a lot of research to be done! This research is vital to us being able to offer the best service and most comprehensive knowledge about Bocas to our guests once we’re up and running – otherwise known as customer service ‘bíku style’. But, the research and network building serves a much bigger purpose.
What are we trying to achieve?
Our longer term vision is to develop a hospitality and business foundation, focusing on innovation and sustainable practices. Our aim is to develop this school in collaboration with existing eco lodges based in Bocas, building on what they are already doing. This would benefit the entire Bocas community – and would be core to managing and preserving the beautiful environment and culture that Bocas has to offer.
To get a flavour of our line of thinking – check out a couple of our main inspirations: Sumba Hospitality Foundation (main photo is from one of the Foundation’s Instagram posts – if you’re not following them, you should be!) and Green Village Bali. We strongly believe that these models should be replicated across the world particularly in locations like Bocas – where tourism is a main economic driver but simultaneously threatens the local environment and socio-cultural make-up if it is not set up in a sustainable way, working with and led by the local community and peoples. There is a fine balance to be struck in order to share these beautiful places but also ensure that they are managed and preserved.
The challenge and how you can help
We have set ourselves the challenge to meet every eco lodge currently running in the Bocas islands, by the end of June! I say ‘we’ – but it’s really Ariel who’s based there. The commute from London to Bocas makes things a little bit tricky for me! We will share with you our first draft of the list in the next couple of weeks.
How can you help? Well, we want to make sure we leave no stone uncovered, so want to ask you to get in touch to add any places to our list that we’ve missed off. It’s time for your own digging. For those of you who have been to Bocas or who are based their currently, please do get in touch and let us know of anywhere you think we should be checking out.
How to stay up to date on the challenge
We’ll keep you updated through the blog, but will give more detail on each of the lodges we visit, in our monthly newsletter – looking at what each lodge is doing to support Bocas – and why you should know about them. You can sign up to our newsletter here.
Know someone who might want to be a part of this?
Equally – if you have a background setting up a similar project to a hospitality/business school focusing on sustainable practices (particularly in rural communities) or think you can put us in touch with people who would want to be a part of this – let us know:
We look forward to hearing from you. In next week’s blog, we find out more about Bocas’s Plastic Bottle Village! Stay tuned.
Until the next time #liveslow