Ecotourism: Sustainable Indigenous Policies And Its Effects In Mayan Communities, Southern Mexico
Free (open access)
S. E. Valle-García
In a sustainable development paradigm, the promotion of alternative tourism seeks simultaneously: preservation of nature, alleviation of poverty and consideration to ancestral culture. Nevertheless, in an analysis of multilateral and federal policies with methodological triangulation of surveys, in-depth interviews and participative observation, about the tourism market’s dynamics in the ecotouristic Mayan community of Lacanjá Chansayab Chiapas, it was found that the aims of alternative tourism have not been achieved because the changes from a primary to a tertiary economic sector of indigenous’ livelihoods has induced: 1) inter-ethnic struggles over economic natural resource management; 2) upward and downward spiral marginalization; 3) creation of urban environmental problems; 4) ancestral cultures have reconfigured their social function; 5) natural and cultural capitals have become global stock, less favoring indigenous people. The causes are, on the one hand, the intervention of multi-sectorial policies in Mexico is diffuse and without local participation in their design. On the other hand, the absence of impact assessment ex-ante to government interventions.
sustainable tourism, poverty and environment, indigenous policies effects, rural and protected areas, socio-spatial transformations.