FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Playa Larga community

History and location of the experience

The Playa Larga community is located in the province of Matanzas, which is part of the Ciénaga de Zapata tourist region. The main economic activities in this region are tourism, fishing and beekeeping, and, due to its geographical location, the community is an important centre for nature tourism, being the second most important tourist destination in the region. A total of 21 people work in tourism activities, including 14 women.

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

The ecotourism activities carried out by the community consist of different excursions, which have been designed for visitors to get to know the ecosystem of the community in the Ciénaga de Zapata region. One of the most important tourist attractions in the area is the Ciénaga Biosphere Reserve, which has a large diversity of ecosystems. The excursions offered include a route to learn about the beekeeping production of the area, as well as a visit to local farms, where visitors can learn about the activities and daily life of the families.

The community also has three creole restaurants and private cars are available for hire, which are linked to the promotion of services at rental houses in the area, as well as restaurants.

Ecotourism services in the community are promoted mainly through tour operators and national agencies. However, restaurants in the area use WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to promote their services, typical dishes and activities. These businesses often share the experiences of tourists and customer opinions, while social networks are usually managed by business owners or family members through their mobile phones. An example of ecotourism activities in the area that has a Facebook page is Casa Ana, Birding endemic (https://www.facebook.com/casa.ana.playa.larga.cuba/).

In terms of business promotion, owners of private hire cars also use WhatsApp and Facebook to publicize their services and provide information about the vehicles.

Location

 

 

Sopillar community

History and location of the experience

The Sopillar community is located 3 km from the east coast of the Bay of Pigs, on the road from Playa Larga to Playa Girón, approximately 5 km from Playa Larga. The main economic activities in the area are forestry, ecotourism, platform and reservoir fishing, beekeeping and agriculture. The rural population totals 201 inhabitants and there are seven people who work in tourism, including four women.

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

This experience offers hiking trails and various routes, including those related to forestry-silvicultural, ecosystems and protected areas, platform and freshwater fishing, and beekeeping. In addition, there are tours available to local farms. As for other services, there is a creole restaurant in Sopillar, while in terms of accommodation there are 12 houses that are rented to tourists. Private hire car services also exist, allowing tourists to explore the area.

Tourism service operators mainly use their mobile phones for business-related matters and Facebook and WhatsApp for the promotion of their services, as well as maintaining relationships with tourist agencies, which connect the activities of the area with tourists from different parts of the world.

Location

 

 

Cayo Ramona community

History and location of the experience

The community is located in the eastern region of Ciénaga de Zapata municipality and 12 km south of Playa Girón. To the north it borders with the municipality of Aguada de Pasajeros, to the east with the province of Cienfuegos and to the west with Playa Larga. The most important economic activities are forestry, ecotourism, platform and reservoir fishing, beekeeping and, on a smaller scale, handicrafts. Nature tourism has great economic potential in the area, with 24 people involved in tourism activities, of whom 16 are women.

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

Different routes and excursions are offered in the community, either by truck or on horseback, which allow tourists to learn about the local fishing, forestry and coal production activities. On these tours it is also possible to observe the local flora and fauna, in addition to participating in bird watching activities. Apart from the activities mentioned, tourists can visit two local farms, where they can see first-hand the productive activity and enjoy the typical food of the area.

Location

 

 

Meneses community

History and location of the experience

The community of Meneses has a population of 6 817 inhabitants, of whom 3 455 are women and 3 362 men. The community is located in the central area of the municipality of Yaguajay, in the province of Sancti Spíritus. Meneses borders to the north with the municipal capital, to the south with the Popular Councils of Itabo and Jarahueca, to the east with the Turquino I Popular Council and to the west with the Turquino II Popular Council and the Bamburanao mountain range. Within the community is the town of Jobo Rosado, where the Managed Resources Protected Area (AORM) is located, and also the Sancti Espíritus Flora and Fauna Company (EFFSS).

In terms of economic activity, this is mainly related to agricultural production (grains, mainly corn and beans), horticultural crops and vegetables. Meanwhile, in terms of distribution and administration of tasks, one of the characteristics of the community is the important role of women in economic and social activities, since their participation in management and technical responsibilities is over 50 percent.

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

The activities offered are closely related to nature, including hiking, horseback riding and bird watching, as well as a Jeep safari to Jobo Rosado, which is one of the most popular activities. Recently, a new tourist service was launched, which consists of taking tourists to farms and cooperatives where pigs, goats and rabbits are raised, so that visitors can participate in a day of work with members of the organizations. Part of the activities of this service consists of cleaning and feeding the cattle, as well as the collection of agricultural products.

There are a variety of accommodations available, including motels, hostels and private houses with accommodation license. Meanwhile, in terms of food, the community has five restaurants that offer various dishes to the local population and tourists. In addition, it is possible to hire private transportation services, as well as attend craft fairs and festivals that feature traditional music and dances.

Location

 

 

Bacuranao town, Vista Hermosa community

History and location of the experience

The town of Bacuranao is located in the Guanabacoa municipality, east of Havana. This town borders to the north with the municipality of Habana del Este, to the south with the town of Peñalver, to the west with the town of Santa Fe and to the east with Poblado La Gallega. This is one of the oldest towns in the province, dating from the 16th century, which is the reason for its historical importance in economic, political, cultural and hospitality matters. As a result, the town receives a significant number of tourists and visitors, which is a fact promoted by the municipal government of Guanabacoa.

One of the town's tourist attractions is the Vista Hermosa farm, which has been awarded the Quinta Corona (Fifth Crown) by Cuba's Urban, Peri-urban and Family Farming movement. This is significant since ecotourism on the farm has had a positive impact on the surrounding area, generating jobs mainly for youth and women. This last element is important because, of the 61 people who make up the Vista Hermosa collective, 25 are women and 16 are young people. In addition, the resources generated by the farm have allowed the development of small-scale infrastructure projects (roads, communication, drinking water).

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

To promote the ecotourism activity, the town has worked together with various travel agencies in Cuba, especially the Ecotur agency. This agency has helped to develop the "Farm to Table" tourism product, which includes a talk presenting the farm's activities, a tour of productive areas, bird watching and viewing of flora and fauna, horse and cart rides, as well as a tasting of a creole menu, which is accompanied by live music.

With the support of the local government, a product called "Fiesta campesina" has recently been added to the tourist offer, the main objective of which is to promote the cultural traditions of the rural area. The product consists of a Guateque (party celebrated with dance, music, food and revelry), which begins after a typical dinner served at sunset. This event includes traditional dances, which are accompanied by live music performed by local musicians.

The organizers of the experience use mobile phones to access the Internet and social networks, which are used for promotion, coordination of programmes and communication between the members.

Location


Diagnóstico y prioridades digitales de experiencias de turismo rural en Cuba