New Member Guludo Is An EcoLodge Whose Heart Is In The Local Community
Can tourism help end poverty and change a community? Amy and Neal Carter-James set out to test a tourism model in Mozambique that would provide barefoot luxury accommodation to visitors and help relieve poverty in the local community.
They founded Guludo Beach Lodge, an eco-friendly resort on one of Mozambique’s finest beaches, and Nema, a charity that works with local communities to stamp out poverty and take care of the environment.
As a result, the local economy is developing, children are healthier, poverty is falling, and environmental pressures are decreasing.
Guludo is set on a 12km stretch of deserted white beach overlooking the beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique. Villas, built by locals in the local architectural style and furnished and decorated with local materials, front the ocean.
Proximity to the Quirimbas provides guests with unlimited access to stunning beaches and coral reefs. Island hoping, dhow fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling, whale watching in season, sunset sailing, and game spotting at the Quirimbas National Park are all on offer.
Meals are made of catch-of the days from local fishermen and locally sourced fruit and vegetables.
But it is through daily interactions with the staff and the local community that guests can see just how much of an impact the lodge has on its locality.
The lodge neighbours one of the poorest areas of Mozambique, which had poor healthcare and virtually no access to clean water, and few children going to school. Cultural identity was fading and communities relied entirely on threatened environment resources for subsistence.
Now through Nema, the community has access to clean water, healthcare and education. The charity provides 20,000 people with water, a school meal every day for over 1,000 malnourished children, and secondary school scholarships for over 230 scholars. It built 4 primary schools and 1 clinic operating two local ambulances in the village. Villagers received 9,000 mosquito nets and household training in nutrition, malaria, HIV, hygiene and sanitation.
The lodge employs 50 staff, has over 150 local suppliers and 5 local craft enterprises that sell their products to guests.
Through partnering with Helvetas (a Swiss NGO), an agricultural technician has established four village Farmers’ Associations, involving 120 families who’ve received technical support and equipment, such as irrigation pedal pumps.
In addition, the poverty alleviation projects have created more sustainable, alternative livelihoods, thefore reducing pressures on the marine and coastal forest resources.
Guludo’s dream was to become an example of the profound potential within tourism to address poverty. It has been recognised in many responsible tourism awards for its work with the community. It was one of the select 75 organizations long-listed for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards.
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