Issue - October 2009

October 2009


In this fiftieth edition, we present Pinami Open Air Museum, researched by Dylan Rudloff & written by Justin Gouin; Petra Vissers' interview with Pirai Vaca; Justin Gouin tells us about Manuela Gandarillas and Tusoco Viajes; a tribute for Martha Estivariz by Ed Young, finally Luis Fernanado Terrazas tells us about Cochabamba's landscapes through Garcilaso de la Vega's more...

October 2009

Sustainable Tourism With Tusoco Viajes

Justin Gouin
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Vancouver - Canada

With its official opening in August, 2009, Tusoco Viajes is the new commercial arm of Tusoco Red Boliviana de Turismo Solidario Comunitario, a local non-profit organization that for the last five years has been committed to establishing a standard for responsible tourism in Bolivia. Whereas Tusoco Red was previously a watchdog organization, scrutinizing travel companies in Bolivia and giving its approval to those it found to be in accordance with an established code of ethical tourism, Tusoco Viajes will operate as a travel agency that deals directly with clients, offering over twenty carefully planned eco-tours to destinations all over Bolivia.

Tusoco Viajes gives customers a wide variety of unique vacations to choose from, all of which introduce them to people and places that are not generally frequented by other travellers. Whether one chooses to relax in the Chalalán Ecolodge deep in the lowlands of Madidi National Park, to trek in Bolivia’s valleys and spend the night with the people of San Pedro de Sola, or to explore the ancient Incan sepulchres high in the picturesque moonscape of the Altiplano, Tusoco Viajes helps tourists maintain the delicate balance between indulging their desire for adventure and the necessity of protecting local communities both economically and environmentally. Indeed, the agency embodies Tusoco Red’s aim of mitigating the impact of conventional tourism by promoting ecotourism, a practice defined as the attempt to reduce the societal, economic, environment, and cultural impact of tourism, and to educate travellers about their destinations.

Tusoco’s current clientele are mostly European travellers, but one of its major goals is to capture more of Bolivia’s vacationing public, and possibly to create a demand for local tourism that did not previously exist. “Bolivia is diverse,” says Julia, a Tusoco representative “and we hope to convince local tourists to explore their own country before venturing abroad.”

To learn more about Tusoco Viajes’s, or to purchase handmade merchandise crafted in affiliated communities, visit their office in pasaje peatonal Catedral, near Plaza 14 de Septiembre.

Forty years of Dance Leadership

Once a year, during the September 14th celebrations of the founding of the Cochabamba, the Concejo Municipal honor’s the city’s luminaries with the “Distinction Alejo Calatayud”. The winner of this year’s “Mérito Cultural” is an institution unto herself, a veritable force of nature in the dance world. Fittingly, the site of the ceremony, the Teatro Achá, has been home to many of her greatest triumphs. Say “flamenco” to just about anyone in Cochabamba and chances are, they will look up at you and say two words: “Martha Estivariz.”

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