Strengthening Community Tourism in the Sierra Gorda, Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda, Mexico

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) was founded in 1987 by Martha Ruiz Corzo and her family with local citizens to save the forests they call home.  97% of approximately one million acres in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is the private property of 100,000 inhabitants living in 638 rural poverty communities. GESG´s on-going programs include environmental education, skills for a conservation oriented economy, forest and soil regeneration, payment for environmental services, and community owned and operated tourism. Widespread civil participation and inter-institutional partnerships are key to the success of 75 micro and mini enterprises participating throughout the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, owned and operated by mostly rural women.  The unique brand of genuine rural tourism experiences are reflected in the social integration and on-going nature conservation activities. The official operator is Sierra Gorda Ecotours since 2004.    

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