Have you ever thought about going to a developing nation on a vacation? Tourism is becoming a big draw in Nicaragua to help protect the second largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere.
Tourism is becoming a big business in rural parts of Nicaragua and while that's not what Charlottesville's Building Goodness Foundation is all about, they're certainly not opposed to a little fun. Developing nations attract plenty of mission work and in Nicaragua; the locals are picking up on it and trying to cash in. It's called 'voluntourism' and BGF is part of it.
We're used to seeing photos depicting extreme poverty in developing nations, but it's not all gloom and doom in Nicaragua. Tupac Abiles runs an ecotourism business just outside Siuna. Guest come from all over the world and stay at the resort-like estate called La Posada Dona Chella and go on tours of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, the second largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere.
"We are worried about nature, so we are trying to involve people from the community." Abiles said.
Jason Neise is a volunteer plumber with BGF. While the group spends the majority of its time hard at work, members also get to soak up the sights and culture around them.
"It is one of the most important aspects is actually to blend in with the culture here," Neise stated. "It's a good experience. It's something that most Americans would never be able to experience. They don't get out of their shell of their own community."
Back at la posada Dona Chella, Tupac hopes more people will take advantage of what his country has to offer. "The way to protect the forest, the rivers, is we need to work in tourism. That is the way to protect the forest," he stated.
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