ACTA participated in the Tourism Cares Event in Puerto Rico on May 8th and 9th.
On May 8th – ACTA participated in the opening session that focused on connections of the communities and tourism. The welcome session introduced the mission-shift and evolution of Tourism Cares. A focus on looking forward and the future of tourism through demonstration of destinations and entrepreneurs. Then continued into two breakout sections:
- A Social Enterprise Connector - The tourism industry is one of the greatest avenues for job inclusion and wealth distribution. Including social enterprises and community associations is resourcing local initiatives with market connections, diversifying product offerings, and creating long-term economic drivers in destination. Tourism is also one of the few industries that is able to bring economic insurgence, job opportunities, and infrastructure back to a region that has been impacted by natural disasters.
- Local Innovation – Food Sovereignty: 80% of Puerto Rico’s food is imported from Mainland USA. The session discussed how agritourism businesses across Puerto Rico worked together create livelihoods and community cohesivity. Addressing the challenges and solutions to including more local suppliers into the tourism value chain.
On May 9th – The team was brought to Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas Sustentables Yauco (CMTAS), a community sustainable farm. CMTAS became a support center for the community, providing food and access to clean water after the hurricane in 2017.
The volunteers consisted of about 150 people from all across North America. They were divided into 8 teams, which assisted in tree planting, painting and restoration of the community to help with the sustainability of Puerto Rico.
Through volunteer labor, grant funding and community support, the three-day program invested nearly $100,000 in to the communities of San Juan, Ponce and Yauco.
For more information on the event, click here.