FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Páramo Merideño agrotourism tour

History and location of the experience

This experience is located in the municipality of Rangel, which is in the Andes region. This region stands out for its extraordinary mountain landscapes, as well as its valuable historical, cultural and religious heritage. Within the Andes region, there is also the city of Mucuchíes, which is one of the highest cities in Venezuela with an elevation of 2 950 meters above sea level. As agriculture is the main economic activity of the area, there are opportunities to develop agrotourism projects based on the criteria of social and environmental sustainability.

This experience offers an agrotourism route in the communities of Misintá, La Toma, Mitivivó, San Rafael and Mucubají, starting in Los Mucuchies, the municipal capital. This idea reflects the growing interest in responding to the expectations of tourists with regard to their enjoyment of agrotourism.

The estimated number of direct participants in the area is 861, including approximately 250 women and 200 young people. Most of the participants are grouped in different committees and associations, such as the Irrigation Committees (Misintá and Mitivivó), the Association of Environmental Commissioners of Rangel (ACAR), the Páramo Association of Innkeepers and Tourism Service Providers (ASOPRESTUR) the Páramo Horsemen's Association (ASOCAPA), and the Potato Producers Association (PROINPA).

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

The Páramo Merideño agrotourism tour offers visitors activities such as horseback riding, hiking, overnight excursions in the countryside, trout fishing, and viewing of flora and fauna, as well as mountain climbing.

In addition, those seeking to experience the tranquillity and calm of the countryside can take part in activities typical of rural areas, such as milking, planting, harvesting and the preparation of gastronomic and artisanal products.

In terms of culture and religion, participation in activities specific to this region are offered, including the festival of San Isidro to give thanks for a good harvest, the making of mangers at Christmas time, and the Easter festivities, among others.

Due to factors such as the rugged terrain and low population density, among others, digital connectivity in the area is deficient. However, the need for connection has led some families with financial resources to seek connectivity solutions with advanced technologies, using private, national or foreign services (connection from Colombia). This has made it possible for some families and companies in the area to have access to social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, allowing them to keep up to date with the supply and demand of products and services in agricultural and tourism activities.

For images of the experience and to obtain more information, see the Facebook page Las Nieves del Páramo (https://www.facebook.com/lasnievesdelparamo/).

Location

  

Consultoría Diagnóstico y Prioridades Digitales de la Experiencia de Turismo Rural en el Municipio Rangel del Estado Mérida, Venezuela

The La Cerbatana agro-tourism hub

History and location of the experience

The La Cerbatana agro-tourism hub is located in the municipality of Arismendi, which is comprised of the parishes of Río Caribe, El Morro de Puerto Santo, Puerto de San Antonio, Antonio de Sucre and San Juan de las Galdonas, with the first two of these forming part of the experience. The hub is located nine hours from Caracas and 15 minutes from the city of Carúpano, which has an airport. To the north and east of the municipality is the Caribbean Sea and Trinidad and Tobago is only 11 km off its eastern coast, with the municipality being a fishing area of great importance due to its geographical location.

The La Cerbatana agro-tourism hub is comprised of 10 communities located in the mountainous region, comprising a total 150 families, all of them cocoa producers. Women represent 43 percent of the members and play an important role in the decisions of the organization, while also being responsible for managing the selection of seeds for planting.

What does it offer?

What does it offer?

The products offered are based on the coastal landscapes and environmental services of the mountainous region; the production processes of agricultural items linked to cocoa; the cultural sector including religious festivals, and local gastronomy, including the resources used by entrepreneurs in the area to highlight its gastronomic potential. The hub includes a network of inns, restaurants, and entrepreneurs specializing in fish soups, chicken, desserts, and other dishes influenced by the fusion of indigenous, Spanish, French, and Corsican products.

The agro-tourism hub is just beginning its journey in digital marketing. Currently, members of the community, especially young people, are seeking to increase the promotion of their products through social networks and other media. In this regard, partnerships have been established with four digital tour operators in the region: Turismosucre, Carupanoyparia, Venezuelaverde and Venezuelaturistica. In addition, the company CANTV, through the National Telecommunications Commission of Venezuela (CONATEL), is carrying out work to extend Internet connectivity throughout the municipality of Arismendi. At this time, the project is in the fibre optic installation phase, which is expected to be completed in three to five years.

Around 35 percent of the participants in the experience use computers, approximately 90 percent of which are low-end devices donated by the government from 2007 to 2014 as part of a plan called Canaima va a la escuela (Canaima goes to school). The low percentage of access to computers is similar to the access to smartphones, which means that more than 30 percent of participants do not use social networks to promote their businesses.

  

Consultoría Diagnóstico y las Prioridades Digitales de la Experiencia de Turismo Rural en las Parroquias de Río Caribe y Puerto Santo, Municipio Arismendi, Estado Sucre, Venezuela