“We conducted research regarding tourism to indigenous communities, and discovered that for every $100USD spent in tourism, only $5USD stays in the indigenous community or developing country at large. It’s crazy!” Explains Marcelo Muñoz of Evoluzion. Evoluzion is a socially responsible tour operator company that focuses on providing experiences into the local indigenous communities of Chile. “With our tours we try to keep at least 70% of revenue in the community,” says Marcelo.
Before entering the tourism business, Marcelo had the opportunity to stay with a Mapuchue family in Chile, and see first hand the unique experience he could provide to tourists by bringing them to indigenous homes and teaching them local traditions. “I learned about their vision and their relationship with the land. The woman I stayed with became a second mother to me. She worked very hard for her family and to teach other tourists about her lifestyle with the Mapuchue.”
In addition to offering tours through the indigenous communities of Chile, Evoluzion collaborates and transfers skills to local people to become great tour guides while creating jobs and bringing more money to their villages. “We are partners with these local people from the beginning.”
Marcelo also offers consulting to other countries to promote responsible tourism within the indigenous communities of Latin America. A couple years ago he was invited to participate and consult as a coach with UNICEF Nicaragua and P-Lab. “Despite the fact that I had never left the country and was just piecing together my own responsible tourism company, when UNICEF and P-Lab asked me to help put together a responsible tourism program, I said yes straight away,” admits Marcelo. “Richard Branson probably said it best when he stated: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
After two weeks of studying every tour guidebook he could get his hands on, Marcelo flew to Nicaragua. The UNICEF Nicaragua project became a huge success. “I remember after presenting the results of the program and returning to Chile, I got tons of Twitter and Facebook messages from people saying how much they loved the idea and support for Nicaragua.”
It is experiences like the one in Nicaragua that motivates Marcelo to put 100% of his effort and time into Evoluzion. “I know that if I only put 50% of my efforts into the company, I will only get 50% of the results back.”
Today, Evoluzion is focusing on spreading the world about their unique and responsible tour operations.
Check out the link to Evoluzion’s facebook and website to learn more about their life changing tours: