I´m copying the description of an interesting project on tourism and cultural heritage of black Africans and their descendants in Brazil…I hope you like it!

Desafío de Geoturismo:

Quality of tourist experience and educational benefit to tourists, Quality of benefit to residents for the destination, Quality of tourism management by destination leadership, Quality of stewardship of the destination

Indica el tamaño de tu organización:

Small (1 to 100 employees)

Indicate sector in which you principally work:
Industria del turismo

Indica sobré cuál nivel en la cadena de valor en turismo impacta tu trabajo (elige todas aquellas opciones que apliquen):

  • Consumidores (viajeros)
  • Mayoristas
  • Agentes detallistas
  • Operadores de Turismo
  • Prestatarios de servicios turísticos
  • Prestatarios de servicios no turísticos (proveedores)
  • Grupos comunitarios autóctonos
  • Atractivos naturales y culturales

Indica la actividad principal en la que trabajas:

  • Living culture

Indica cuáles de estas temáticas cubre tu innovación (elige todas aquellas opciones que apliquen):

  • Planificación y Gestión de destinos
  • Innovación y diversificación en el desarrollo de productos turísticos
  • Profesionalización, buenas prácticas y certificación de servicios turísticos sostenibles
  • Estrategias y herramientas innovadoras para la promoción y puesta en mercado de destinos y productos en turismo sostenible y geoturismo.

¿Cuál es el objetivo de tu innovación? Por favor describe en una oración el tipo de impacto, cambio o reforma que tu enfoque quiere lograr.

Include the Trad Black Communities in the process of job generation,income, knowledge & touristic mana/t through the “Route of Freedom Touristic Circuit”.

Escribe un resumen de tu proyecto. Incluye cómo tu enfoque apoya o representa al concepto de geoturismo o turismo sustentable.

The Route of Freedom is a Touristic Circuit developed in the region of Vale do Paraiba, North Coast and Mantiqueira Mountains, which maps the paths of black Africans and their descendants in the formation of these regions’ cultures. According to a tourism project that follows Unesco’s orientations in its worldwide project “Slave Route”, it reveals the presence of blacks through the sightseeing where religiosity, gastronomy, music and dance (Congada, Moçambique, Jongo, among others), know-how, Quilombos, Archeological sites, Coffee Farms, besides geographic sites (caves, rivers, waterfalls), building Brazil’s history and that of the region of Vale do Paraiba, demonstrating the intense movement of the black African and their descendents besides demystifying the idea hat they ere people without will, subjugated by their slave-owners. Created initially to enable the students to “perform Live History” and get to know the reality of traditional black communities, the project grew and obtained international recognition, which is monitored by the coordination of the “Abolitions Route” touristic Project, developed in France by Sr. Philippe Pichot.
The initiative enables the Traditional Black Communities to reach citizenship through tourism, which also generates income and jobs, through commercialization and management of the cultural/touristic space, aggregating value to artisanal products and local gastronomy. The route of freedom has 7 routes which last an ~ of 3 days each and extend themselves throughout 15 cities of the Paraiba Valley

Describe en detalle porqué tu enfoque es innovador.

Because it places Traditional Black Communities as main agents in conducting their culture through Tourism, seeking for this their training, through public policies for their development.
– Because the project follows the Unesco world guidelines of valuing black culture, combating discrimination and racism through Cultural Tourism.- Because in adopting the Tourism Ministry orientations for the routes formatting, creation of products aggregated to tourism such as arts crafts and gastronomy, enables job and income generation for communities, enabling also for the world to get to know the importance of these communities in the historical formation of Brazil, action basically denied and unknown by most people, that linked to a discriminatory conception, deny the recognition of these communities’ importance.- Because it uses Cultural Tourism as a base to build the project, we reach the Cultural and Educational fields as well, strengthening the processes of these communities’ social inclusion

<!– not in use!What types of partnerships or professional developement would be most beneficial in spearding your innovation?
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–> ¿Cuál es el origen de tu organización? ¿Qué fue lo que motivó el desarrollo de esta innovación?

The project’s origin is linked to the intense Racial and Social Discrimination suffered by black communities in Brazil, which I am part of, the lack of perspective as human beings, totally suffocated by prejudice, poverty, low self-esteem, was the motor that impelled me to this creation.When I met in 2003 Unesco’s project – Slave Route and its guidelines for cultural tourism development, I noticed that it could be a way to promote the social inclusion of these communities, enabling for them to be their own agents in the process of organization, revival, maintenance and preservation of their historical richness as descendants of black Africans made slaves in Brazilian lands for more than 300 years and which was, without a doubt, one of the most important elements of the country’s history. The 10.639/03 law which determines the Teaching of African History and Afro-Brazilian culture in schools requires subsidies for its application and the Traditional Black Communities were there, at hand, totally unknown and disrespected in their existence, so, using Cultural Tourism as a means to generate knowledge, income and jobs and promote a movement of fight against discrimination and racism through Tourism impelled me to create the project.Besides that, the existence of public policies at the federal and state levels made it easier for the project to come about, the raining in Tourism Technician and the historical knowledge from the University of Lorena and IEV – Valeparaibanos Teaching Institute, where documental sources revealed all the importance of the black presence in local culture and about the existence of Traditional Black Communities in the region

Provee una biografía personal. Esta puede ser utilizada por Changemakers para su material de marketing.

I was born in São Paulo in 1963 daughter of a sewer and a metallurgic worker. They taught me to fight discrimination and have conscious about my roots. Mother of 5 sons I graduated in 2000 as Tourism Technician and in 2004 entered History course where I got to know about the history of black population in Vale do Paraiba region and surroundings. This is where I was motivated to build the “Routs of Freedom” Touristic Circuit. In 2005 I bought a Tourism Agency (Reality Tour) and in 2006 the project “Routes of Freedom” was supported by the State Secretariat of Tourism, becoming an official touristic route of the state government. In 2006 I had contact with Philipe Pichot from France who started acting to disseminate it through Unesco

Describe qué tipos de experiencias turísticas únicas provee tu enfoque. Sé específico e ilustrativo con tus ejemplos.

– Experience of living on a daily basis in maroon communities, knowing their history, their struggle to maintain their land, the attempt to preserve their culture.
– Experience of listening to the drums of a Jongo group, listen to them talking about how their ancestors used music as a pace for their work in the coffee fields, the dance to welcome their ancestors at night.
– Experience of feeling and sharing the vibration of the members of Congada through music and dance, the black saints devotion, such as Saint Benedict and Holy Mary.
– Perceive the legacy of black Africans in the ruins and archaeological sites of San Francisco, in the cave of Neuchatel farm and in the walls of Senzala House

¿Qué tipos de alianzas o desarrollo profesional serían más beneficiosos para difundir tu innovación?

Partnership which enabled the insertion of traditional black youth in the job market, through tourism, culture, teaching communities to take advantage of new technologies to generate jobs and income, with training that respects their identity.Partnership that promotes the qualification of the communities for the production and management of arts crafts aimed at the touristic market, with respect to their characteristics.
Partnerships which promote the insertion of these communities in a world of knowledge, education; breaking with the country’s frontiers

Describe el grado de éxito de tu modelo hasta la fecha: Explica claramente cómo mides en forma cualitativa y cuantitativa el impacto en términos del aporte de tu modelo al sostenimiento y enaltecimiento de la cultura local, su medio ambiente, herencia y estética? ¿Cómo tu enfoque ha contribuido a hacer de tu destino turístico un lugar único? ¿Cómo has contribuido al desarrollo del turismo sustentable? ¿Cómo es que tu modelo minimiza el impacto negativo?

The mapping of Traditional Black Communities enabled us to format touristic routes which approach the black presence in different historical sector of the region. The work developed with some of these communities has already permitted us to have a clear notion fop their importance as a social group and therefore seek ways to qualify and take advantage of their culture. We brought to the government’s attention the importance of these communities, facilitating the interaction between them, creating a communication channel that allows for the adoption of public policies which really come to satisfy and promote the life quality of these populations. The interest about black heritage has grown in the Academia as well as schools and the members of the communities have been invited to perform speeches about their communities.
The members of the communities have a clearer understanding about the importance and need to preserve their history.The “view” of people about Black Culture is losing its prejudice, which comes from the lack of knowledge and the “folk view” about the black presence in the region.And what’s more important, the communities perceive the real possibility to reach income and jobs through their cultural heritage and increase their self-esteem

¿De qué manera los residentes del lugar son integrados activamente a tu trabajo, incluyendo la participación y opinión de la comunidad? ¿Cómo es que la comunidad ha respondido o se ha beneficiado con tu modelo?

We created the project so that the communities could be the protagonists, seeking their ownership over the project and the insertion of the local leaders in all the decision-making processes: workforce training, identification of their artisanal and gastronomic abilities, revival and maintenance of their musical traditions

¿Cómo es que tu programa promueve el entusiasmo de los visitantes, su satisfacción e involucramiento con la población local?

The Route of Freedom enables the visitors to immerge in the cultural universe of the traditional Black communities. The tourists are no longer mere observer and start to participate of local culture. The visitors are “contaminated” with the music, the drums, the food but the most importantly, they seek to reflect about social differences, racial discrimination when getting to know the history of the quilombolas’ struggle. Visitors renew their regard towards blacks by immerging in the richness of their religiosity, which blends Africa, Europe and Brazil.

Describe cómo tu innovación ayuda a los viajeros y a los residentes locales a entender mejor el valor del patrimonio cultural y natural del área, y cómo los educa en cuestiones de medio ambiente local.

The community understands the need to preserve their region from the moment they discover its importance and their own importance. They understand that Tourism can be a source for preserving their culture, provided they act as protagonists.When visiting the communities and knowing them well, the tourists feels “responsible” for that patrimony, starts respecting more the local culture and also values more their own culture, because they can relate it to that of the hosts and notice the differences, but also the similarities, which make them feel “closer” to these communities

<!– not used!Describe cómo tu innovación ayuda a los viajeros y a los residentes locales a entender mejor el valor del patrimonio cultural y natural del área, y cómo los educa en cuestiones de medio ambiente local.
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–> ¿Cómo se financia tu iniciativa en este momento? Si lo sabes, provee información sobre tus finanzas y organización: Presupuesto anual, Ingreso anual generado, Numero de empleados (full-time, part-time, voluntarios).

? Resources of the company – R$ 20.000,00
? Resources from the State Secretariat of Tourism (SP) in producing marketing materials, participation in tourism fairs. (R$ 250.000,00 per year – average)
? Fundraising through federal governmental applications (Ministry of Culture, Palmares Cultural Foundation, Tourism Ministry) to implement projects in the communities, in partnership with them, NGOs, local city halls – R$ 850.000,00
? Support from private partners to format the tourism routes R$ 10.000,00. Pousada Aconchego (Paraty), Olavo Bilac Flat (Taubaté), Fazenda Neuchatel (Guaratinguetá).

¿Tu iniciativa es financieramente sostenible? De no ser así, ¿qué necesitarías para que lo fuese? ¿Cuál es la demanda potencial para tu innovación?

The initiative is sustainable financially because the agency acts as “operator” of the Tourism Circuits, but our reach is still territorially limited due to the lack of resources to purchase a vehicle. Yet, the partnership with other companies has enabled us to seek greater territorial approach and therefore increase the offer of tourism routes

¿Cuáles son las barreras a las que te enfrentas en el manejo, implementación o replicación de tu innovación?¿Qué barreras impiden a tu programa tener un mayor impacto.

In the beginning it was the lack of knowledge about Cultural Tourism, because we started to work with them before it became abject of the Ministry of Tourism.The biggest hurdle in the implementation is the issue of qualifying the Black Communities, because they have always been marginalize or their cultural importance has never been recognized, this way we find the public sector absent in actions for the communities, which makes them doubt in the beginning this new form of income and job generation.In management, our greatest difficulty is to manage the company, map the communities, build the bridge between government and communities, because from 2006 to mid June 2008 we basically did everything on our own. Our potential market is huge, after all we are inside a Project that has a natural scope – the Slave Route, we are a “branch” of this Project by acting on Cultural tourism, according to UNESCO guidelines

¿Cuál es tu plan para expandir este proyecto? Indica cómo harías para hacer crecer o mejorar tu innovación o pedirles a otros que lo hagan.

The plan of expansion starts by strengthening the initiative in the State of Sao Paulo, by creating nuclei in different regions of the state because black culture in Sao Paulo has several nuances. Then we need to take advantage of the formation from the Southeast Development Agency to create a cooperation network among the Communities which develop tourism in the region. Format a network of Black Traditional Communities to act with Cultural Tourism at the national level and thereby integrate the World Network of Cultural Tourism with ethnic approach proposed by Unesco through the Slave Route

Información de contacto
Mrs Solange Barbosa
Coordenadora da Rota da Liberdade Coordinator
Reality Tour Viagens e Turismo Ltda
Rua Bom Jesus, 183 – Centro
realitytour@uol.com.br

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