Public Statement 2017
|Sustainable Tourism as a tool for improving the quality of life for people who live in and adjacent to protected areas on the North Coast of Honduras|
|Counterpart committed||$173,500: $114,150 cash; $59,350 in-kind|
|Number of direct &
|Direct: 500 and
|Primary program areas||Enterprise Development, Environment, Education/training, Cultural expression|
Established in 2006, LAPROCOTURH is a network of community-based tourism committees located in La Ceiba whose mission is to develop and improve the well-being of its members while respecting the environment and local cultures. LAPROCOTURH aims to increase community participation in natural resources and park management, primarily through ecotourism.
LAPROCOTURH’s administrative structure includes a seven member board of directors, a general assembly comprised of five representatives per committee that meets semiannually, a monitoring committee, a technical assistance unit, an online reservations platform and a projects team. The general assembly oversees the board.
LAPROCOTURH has signed agreements with diverse entities, most importantly the co-management entities of four protected areas, and implemented different aspects of project and business development, working closely with its members. LAPROCOTURH has managed a dozen projects from various funders, including the United Nations Development Program and the World Wildlife Foundation.
To increase income generation opportunities and reduce pressure on natural resources through community-based tourism.
LAPROCOTURH will strengthen its network of 15 community-based tourism committee members located in or near protected areas on the North Coast of Honduras. LAPROCOTURH will create marketing alliances to increase visitation, provide training, technical assistance and access to credit to its members to improve small business revenue. It will also raise environmental awareness among communities where its members are located and about the benefits of protecting their natural resources. The project will directly benefit 500 people located in eight municipalities on the North Coast and another 1,800 indirectly.
Rationale for Funding
Existing poverty can motivate residents to deplete resources and/or to seek opportunities in cities or abroad. LAPROCOTURH’s organizational methodology and business focus have been successful in creating a sense of cultural belonging and concern for natural resources. Supporting LAPROCOTURH’s efforts in the tourism sector will represent a viable alternative for strengthening local economies in this part of the country. This grant is part of a broader IAF initiative focused on supporting economic prosperity, democracy, and governance consistent with the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America.
IAF will benefit from learning how a network of tourism providers in Honduras can represent communities and include them in decision-making. This project may help reveal the market drivers of community-based tourism, for example, by gaining insight on whether professionalizing business operations can positively influence perceptions of community-based tourism. This project will also allow IAF to deepen its understanding of the environmental challenges facing communities on the country’s north coast and in particular those located near protected areas.