Female | USA | Last updated 9/1/2008 1:37 am
My husband and I are self employed artisan/craftsmen with a small family in Vermont. While we have very modest means, our hearts were touched in the country of Peru along the banks of the Amazon River by the natives inhabiting this depressed area. In an effort to try to come up with a way to help bring clean water and improved quality of life to a seemingly neglected poulation, Eric & I came up with the idea to build a co-op style, eco-tourist, socially responsible, self sustaining, not-for profit model in the form of a tourist lodge. If built, the lodge would bring tourists to this amazing area of this country to explore the Amazon River and the Rainforests it shares with expert guides. They would stay in comfortable but extremely rustic, native constructed accomodations and share in local cultures. The co-operative with the area villages allows the families to rotationally share in working at this lodge for fair wage, enjoy the facilities of the lodge at any time, and share their customs with the visiting tourists. The monies received from the cost of the tour package and accomodations are used to pay these villagers, and the remainder is channeled into our non-profit organization named, Amazon Outreach. This non-profit organization then distributes the money to the area villages in need of fresh water systems, educational facilities, medical facilities, etc. by hiring other non-profit companies to provide these goods. The hope was that eventually, all needs would be met cooperatively, and other lodges could then be built to repeat this model further down the river, again and then agin, and then again. This endeavor has begun, personally funded by Eric & I. We are 50% done, having found an area that embraced this notion, finding villagers willing to work towards this end, establishing trust with area guides and those excited about this idea, and construction began this summer. The structure is up! It is exciting. However, Eric & I are completely out of money presently to a scary level for our own family while trying to support the families of those workers now helping us create this concept. We desperately need to find a way to get alternative septic like composting toilets there next, but the cost of those has shocked us and derailed our momentum. If this reaches any eyes and ears that might have means or ideas or contacts we could persue, we would be humbly but eternally grateful. We feel lost in this endeavor at the moment having never taken on anything like it before, and need to reach out to the world of this seeming participation revolution of social consciousness occurring presently in the world right now. Is there anyone out there who can help us?
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