Socially Responsible Alternatives

We have choices in the kinds of hotels/lodges that we stay in. We can stay in places that impact the environment as little as possible or we can choose high impact hotels. The same holds true for many other areas of life.

My brother runs The Social Equity Group based in the San Francisco Bay area of northern California. He and the people who work with him are financial planners/managers whose investments reach beyond purely financial goals to address ethical concerns. This is a way of making a difference with your financial investments.  To learn more about what they do, you can go to

My son’s Sudbury school is very aware of choices. They’ve been making some upgrades on the school building and in that process have sought out ways to do this that will not negativelly impact the environment. They have a great recycling program and re use items in very creative ways.  Now if only all schools would make those same choices.

There are many alternatives out there and it’s up to us to make the right choices.

Butterfly Festival at Domitila Private Wildlife Reserve in Nicaragua

I received a flyer about an upcoming series of events to view, observe and photograph neotropical butterlies in their natural habitat. The event is conducted by Jean Michael Maes Ph.D and Eric Van Den Berghe Ph.D.
June 15 to June 21, 2007
June 30 to July 6, 2007
July 13 to July 19, 2007
July 28 to August 3, 2007
August 11 to August 18, 2007

For information and reservations please contact: or visit their website at  This eco lodge was recently added to Eco Tropical Resorts and is much more than just a lodge.  Take a look at their site  on my Ecotourism lodge directory and also view the guest comments to get a feel as to what they’re about at 


The event takes place at the Domitila Private Wildlife Reserve in Nicaragua.  To go directly to their website: 

Kuna Yala Island Adventure in The San Blas Islands of Panama

A friend is spending two months down in Panama in various areas.  He just got back from visiting the San Blas Islands off Panama a couple of weeks ago.  While there he had a wonderful time and wanted me to include the place he stayed in my Ecotourism Lodge Directlory.  The only problem is that the man who runs it doesn’t have a website for his eco homestay, so I thought I’d add it to my blog.  Following is my friends description:

Elias Perez Martinez is a Kuna Indian who was educated in Panama City and the United States. He is the principal of the elementary school on Isla Corbiski, Kuna Yala, Panama; the San Blas Islands. He has opened a different type of hostel in a Kuna village. His idea is to provide an experience for tourists by living in a Kuna Village and seeing the day to day life of the Kuna.Accomodations are basic, for example the ‘shower’ is a barrel of rain water and a bucket, but his wife Soby and her family keep the place neat and tidy and provide food and will do you laundry if you are there for more than a week.

His rates are US$25-US$35/day, which includes three meals and daily excursions to other islands for swimming, or to Carti to visit a larger villiage and see the Kuna museum. You can also take, for a small fee for the gasoline, trips to the main land to visit the rain forest. Elias is also a Kayak guide and hopes to provide camping in the future.

If you want to experience life in a Kuna Village I highly recommend this. I stayed for two weeks and enjoyed it all.

You can contact Elias by phone (507) 6708-5254 in Panama, or email or or you can book through (and pay by credit card) Ancon Expeditions in Panama City. Elias also guides for Ancon.

I’d really like to see Elias make a go of this as he is a wonderful person and really wants to protect Kuna culture and at the same time provide more services for tourists. Most people who go to the San Blas Islands stay at places where the Kuna are only curiosities.

I contacted Ancon Expeditions and you have to mention this place specifically if you want to book here.  Your best bet will probably be to email Elias for further information.