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Colibri

by Ron Mader

As part of the global celebration of World Environment Day, Planeta.com presents the tenth annual Colibri Ecotourism Awards honoring the work of Allan Rhodes and Verena Gerber.

The Colibri Ecotourism Award recognizes leaders who are at the forefront of innovative measures to protect cultural and natural heritage in Mexico. The winner of the 2010 Colibri Ecotoursm Award is Alan Rhodes. This year we also present the Colibri Ecolodge Award to Verena Gerber, founder of the EcoParaiso ecolodge.

“Allan stands at the forefront of Mexican ecotourism leaders who are equally talented in working with communities and officials on the ground and communicating this work online,” said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader. The development of Ecoturismo Genuino and its accompanying online community are thanks to Allan’s long-standing commitment to connecting players working in the virtual and natural worlds.

Mexico’s esteemed park system plays a critical role in protecting biodiversity while creating employment for locals. Allan’s work stands as a model for those integrating conservation and tourism in these areas.

EcoParaiso offers responsible tourism and an alternative to mass tourism,” Mader said. “There is a growing market for smaller places that respect the environment. EcoParaiso has set a high standard and provides a positive financial impact for the people of Celestún and a positive environmental impact for the wilderness area of the Celestún Biosphere Reserve.

Background

As part of the global celebration of World Environment Day (June 5), Planeta.com presents the annual Colibri Ecotourism Award (2001-) to a leading catalyst working toward ecotourism and responsible travel in Mexico!

Things you can do to support the Colibri Ecotourism Award

Congratulate the winners!
Work with the winners!
Add the Colibri logo to your website
Talk up Mexico’s ecotourism and responsible travel options
Talk up Mexico’s ecotourism and responsible travel options on your website
Talk up Mexico’s ecotourism and responsible travel options using Web 2.0: Blog, Tweet and Flickr!
Support the winners by adding a link to their website and Web 2.0 channels
Add photos to the Colibri Flickr Groups: Re-Imagining North American Ecotourism, Si mas Bicicletas, Mexican palette, Birds of the World!, Árboles de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Trees) and Sustainable tea, coffee and chocolate
Fave the Colibri Slideshow

Vote for Pedro

by Ron Mader

Pedro Martinez Wins 2009 Colibri Ecotourism Award

OAXACA DE JUAREZ, MEXICO — As part of the global celebration of World
Environment Day (June 5)
, Planeta.com presents the ninth annual Colibri
Ecotourism Award
to Pedro Martinez, the owner of a small business in Oaxaca
City that has pioneered responsible travel and ecotourism the past 20 years.

“Pedro is an inspiration, a model of the small business entrepreneur who has
persevered in creating an enterprise that touches the lives of locals and
foreigners,” said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader. ” His work is outstanding
and the contributions he has made to the Rural Tourism Fairs and to
improving the editorial content on Planeta.com are good examples of sharing
lessons and broadening the appeal of Mexico’s rural tourism and ecotourism
options.”

The Colibri Ecotourism Award recognizes leaders who are at the forefront of
innovative measures to protect cultural and natural heritage in Mexico.

“We hope that the Colibri Ecotourism Award gets the word out about Mexico’s
role in the global movement toward responsible travel and ecotourism,” said
Emilio Kifuri, award co-sponsor and owner of Canyon Travel —
http://www.canyontravel.com — a North American ecotourism operator.
“Entrepreneurs like Pedro Martinez lead the way. Literally!”

“This year’s Colibri Ecotourism Award recognizes a continuation of Oaxaca’s
place in fostering innovative and sustainable tourism practices,” said Greg
Custer, award co-sponsor and Vice President of Destination Ventures —
http://www.magicofmexico.com. “The Oaxaca region has for millennia been a
wellspring for human cultural advancement. The rest of world should take
note.”

ABOUT THE COLIBRI AWARD

Colibri means ‘Hummingbird’ in Spanish and in 2009 the Colibri Award
celebrates its ninth anniversary, making this one of the longest-running
ecotourism awards. The winner of the annual award receives a trophy, diploma
and a $1,000 cash award from Emilio Kifuri, president of Canyon Travel.

“Mexico is one of the world’s mega diverse countries and there are many
examples where tourism helps educate visitors and provides benefits for
rural communities,” said Kifuri. “Mexico ought to be at the forefront of the
ecotourism movement and if we pay attention to the work that’s being done,
the word ‘ecotourism’ will make travelers think of Mexico.”

The Colibri Ecotourism Award’s co-sponsor, Destination Ventures, contributes
directly to Planeta.com to develop supporting projects documenting the
winner’s work. The company specializes in travel industry education and
currently works for the Mexico Tourism Board and United Nations Foundation
in promoting sustainable travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Previous winners include Steve Bridger, Gerhard Buttner Jennifer Morfín,
Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, Jorge Chàvez de la Peña, Fernando Garcia
Aguinaco, Marlene Ehrenberg, Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez and
Francisco Verastegui.

The winner of the award is selected by Planeta.com founder Ron Mader
following consultation with previous award winners and colleagues.

CRITERIA

Planeta.com presents the Colibri Ecotourism Award to those whose work in
Mexico is exemplary and who share what they learn. Good ideas require good
work to come to completion and good work needs to be documented so that
lessons can be shared.

Nominees participate in the Planeta Forum or contribute editorial
suggestions for at least a year. Bonus points are given to those who
participate on other websites and forums. This is part of Planeta.com’s
desire to create incentives for communication, collaboration and continuity,
all vital elements in the development of ecotourism and responsible travel.

WINNER

Pedro Martinez wins the 2009 Colibri Ecotourism Award.

Born in El Cabrito la Hermita Ejutla de Crespo, Pedro was raised in the
Oaxacan countryside.

Pedro won the state sports award in 1985. He was a member of the national
road cycling team from 1985 to 1988. In 1991 he participated in the Duatlón
World Championship in California.

Pedro opened his business in 1988 and after three years of running a cycling
store began operating tours in 1991.

“Tourists would come to Oaxaca and want to rent a bicycle and they’d look
for me,” Pedro recalls. “Then a tour operator friend from Ottawa suggested
that I offer tours. This idea sparked my interest and helped developed the
confidence needed to develop tours.”

Pedro credits a number of international contacts for the help needed in
making his operation a success. These include Austin – Lehman Adventures
(USA), Solana Tours (Mexico) and Joker Tours (Belgium).

Inclusion in the Lonely Planet Guidebook has also been important. “Being
featured in Lonely Planet has been an honor,” Martinez added. “Foreigners
coming to Oaxaca trust this book and feel a sense of security with the
operations listed. I am very grateful to the publisher for a book that truly
understands how to assist travelers to understand Mexico.”

Pedro also has been an active participant in the rural tourism fairs hosted
by Planeta.com in Oaxaca since 2001.

By giving Pedro the award in 2009, the Colibri Ecotourism Award draws
attention to rich natural and cultural diversity in Mexico. Pedro works with
weavers in Teotitlan del Valle (where last year’s Colibri Ecotourism winner
Gerhard Buttner taught English classes) – and integrates cultural elements
on his bike rides.

This ‘out of the box’ thinking still defies the traditional silo thinking as
it does not fit with interior organization chart. Pedro added that he had
ideas on how to make all of this work better and he’s been doing just that.
By working the artisans off the beaten track, he’s been able to bring in
much needed income to rural villages. It’s this type of leadership that the
Colibri Ecotourism Award recognizes.

An interesting note is how Pedro has worked with his nephews in developing
Web 2.0 channels including Flickr —
http://flickr.com/photos/bicicletaspedro — and YouTube —
http://www.youtube.com/user/PedroMartinezBikes
Pedro even started his own Flickr Group called Si Más Bicicletas to which
cycling fans are cordially invited to share pictures
http://www.flickr.com/groups/simasbicicletas

http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/mexico/red/0906award.html

Colibri Ecotourism Award

si mas bicicletas

Planeta.com Announces Winner of 2008 Colibri Ecotourism Award

OAXACA DE JUAREZ, MEXICO — As part of the global celebration of World Environment Day (June 5), Planeta.com presents the eighth annual Colibri Ecotourism Award to Gerhard Buttner, who has trained guides and artisans in the Yucatan and Oaxaca.

“I can think of no better candidate this year and it is hard to know where to begin in touting his professional work in Mexico and the assistance he has given Planeta.com,” said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader. “The list of achievements of this year’s winner is great. His work is beyond exemplary and validates what the Colibri Award represents,” said award sponsor Emilio Kifuri of Canyon Travel.

ABOUT THE COLIBRI AWARD

Colibri means ‘Hummingbird’ in Spanish and in 2008 the Colibri Award celebrates its eighth anniversary, making this one of the longest-running ecotourism awards. The winner of the annual award receives a trophy, diploma and a $1,000 cash award from Emilio Kifuri, president of Canyon Travel.

“Mexico is one of the world’s mega diverse countries with one of the most successful tourism industries,” said Emilio Kifuri. “If ecotourism is to overtake the senseless destruction of the world’s natural areas, it has to develop at a faster pace. We feel fortunate to be in a position to demonstrate that ecotourism can be more profitable than mainstream tourism.”

The Colibri Ecotourism Award’s co-sponsor, Destination Ventures, contributes directly to Planeta.com to develop supporting projects documenting the winner’s work. The company specializes in travel industry education and currently works for the Mexico Tourism Board and United Nations Foundation in promoting sustainable travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Previous winners include Steve Bridger, Jennifer Morfín, Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, Jorge Chàvez de la Peña, Fernando Garcia Aguinaco, Marlene Ehrenberg, Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez and Francisco Verastegui.

The winner of the award is selected by Planeta.com founder Ron Mader following consultation with previous award winners and colleagues.

CRITERIA

Planeta.com presents the Colibri Ecotourism Award to those whose work in Mexico is exemplary and who share what they learn. Good ideas require good work to come to completion and good work needs to be documented so that lessons can be shared.

Nominees participate in the Planeta Forum or contribute editorial suggestions for at least a year. Bonus points are given to those who participate on other websites and forums. This is part of Planeta.com’s desire to create incentives for communication, collaboration and continuity, all vital elements in the development of ecotourism and responsible travel.

WINNER

Gerhard Buttner wins the 2008 Colibri Ecotourism Award. “I can think of no better candidate this year and it is hard to know where to begin in touting his professional work in Mexico and the assistance he has given Planeta.com,” said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader.

Gerhard has worked as tourist guide and development consultant in South Africa, as cartographer in England and traveled widely in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Latin America. In the last five years he has been in Mexico where he married Gabriela Ramírez Galindo, a Mexican. On arrival in Mexico he worked as guide trainer, English teacher and ecotourism consultant in Celestun, Yucatan and in recent years is based in Oaxaca. Here he has worked in participative community cartography using GIS (Geographical Information system), community development and as ecotourism guide trainer and related issues mainly in Oaxaca and occasionally in neighboring states of the Mexican southeast.

A geographer from Cape Town, South Africa, Gerhard prepared location maps for several Planeta.com pages. His geographical know-how also inspired Planeta.com’s guide to geography.

“I met Gerhard several years ago at the bird watching conference in Merida,” Mader said. “He impressed me from the start and later wrote one of the most popular features we have published — Crossing the Atlantic — which compared ecotourism in South Africa and Mexico. This is precisely the type of content that can be created by those with a global vision.”

Gerhard also has been an active participant on the Planeta Forum and has been an active participant in several of Planeta.com’s online conferences.

Gerhard has been working with the community of San Antonio Cuajimaloyas providing guide training and promotion, as the town has developed its annual mushroom fair. He has documented the innovative festival in the Planeta Forum in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Conversations with Gerhard led to the Survey on Community Tourism Guides which is one of the few evaluations of travelers and their views on what they want from community tourism.

In 2008 Gerhard is the English-language teacher of the new program Oaxaca Amigos: English Classes for Community Guides and Rural Artisans in the town of Teotitlán del Valle.

Colibri Ecotourism Award

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