Dayle Laing

The ‘coolest shade of green’ is the sustainable choice. Dayle Laing is a Professional Speaker and Author who uses her experience and training as an educator, a designer and a LEED Accredited Professional to empower Conscious Consumers to make practical yet beautiful choices for sustainable living, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing their body, mind & spirit.

dayle national park 300A zero carbon footprint may not be realistic for everyone yet.

If you are planning a vacation and want to become more environmentally responsible, you might consider an eco-tourism vacation.

Bright and early, local guide Miguel collected our group for a day of the real Mexico, away from tourist beaches and resorts. Nestled between the mighty Sierra Madre del Sur mountains and the pacific coast of the state of huatulco national park 300Oaxaca, sits a 12,000 hectare national park. Parque Nacional Huatulco was carved out of roughly half marine areas and half lowland jungle in 1998.

Miguel told us the government wisely continues to pay the local people to look after the park habitat, since the park extends 5 miles out into the pacific, locals needed repayment for losing fishing as well as hunting rights. This was in addition to amounts for expropriating local land. The community reaps the benefit of Huatulco being awarded the Green Globe International Certification as a sustainable tourist area that conserves natural resources in an environmentally friendly manner.

 

huatulco jungle 300This honour has been conferred as the first sustainable tourist area in North and South America. The initiative has been supported by both the government and the European Bank. Tourists are invited to come to experience this natural wonder.

The park is home to 723 species of animals, most of which are nocturnal. The white-tailed deer is quite prevalent, as the largest mammal. Bird species are abundant and the waters contain one of the most important coral reefs in the Mexican pacific, a large draw for bird watchers and scuba divers. We could feel ourselves relaxing far more quickly than a day at the beach.

zapotec loom 300Part of this development has been the creation of a new tourist town called Le Crucecita. Developments and infrastructure have been blended with green zones for conservation. A highlight for me was visiting local Zapotec artisans who operate their historic looms, weaving fabric for both the local population and tourists alike. The steady rhythmical click of the shuttle carrying the weft yarns back and forth proceeded the ‘thud’ as each row was beat neatly into place. The skill of ancient craft is celebrated with colourful piles of local cotton clothing, blankets, and table cloths.

hand loomed local cotton 300

The marine park area consists of 5 of Huatulco’s (pronounced wah-TOOL-co) 9 bays. We spent a day on the waters of these Pacific beaches, within views of the magnificient Sierra Madres. Schools of dolphins, sea turtles swam past, while overhead, we were treated to Brown Pelicans swooping for fish, and the soaring of Magnificent Frigatebirds.

The pristine beaches seemed to extend forever without the interuption of hotels or commercialization.

sierra madres park beach 300 dolphins 150sea turtle 150brown pelican 150magnificent frigatebird 150great kiskadee 150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

dayle iguana 300Back on the 50 acre site of our hotel Huatulco Las Brias, we were encouraged to conserve water and avoid unnecessary detergents by needlessly washing towels. Hotels in the area are well spaced and protected from future development. Modern water and sewage treatment plants protect the pristine bays from waste.

Delights revealed themselves around every corner. Iguanas blended seamlessly onto their sunning rocks. Early morning bird watching produced tropical birds, like the Great Kiskadee, and squawks from Wild Turkeys. Late afternoons unveiled calm deserted beaches. We were mesmerized by this unexpected green gem in Mexico.

secret beach 300This is a far different Mexico from the one that tourists typically visit, and well worth a trip. Eco-tourism is a valuable tool to support local economies, ecologies and encourages protection of the environment.iguana 150

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