By Annie Young J.
A while ago I heard the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.
This quote really hit home for me and since I have heard it has become one of my mottos in life. Before returning home from a study abroad program where I volunteered with a conservation organization I went on a backpacking trip that inspired me to create EcoCircuitos Panama (1999). After this trip I realized that I wanted to share my passion for Panama with the rest of the world in a different way.
As a dreamer, I felt that we could connect conservation, social development and tourism. This has been my goal since I began EcoCircuitos Panama. It has not been easy… sometimes promoting responsible travel is more difficult that the classical approach, but we believe that it can be done.
The EcoCircuitos Panama team including myself has evolved since the company began. I have learned from many different people that have worked with me all these years that in today’s world you have to give something back… not just take.
Today we are a team of local enthusiasts about Panama. On a daily basis we learn from each other sharing, our dreams for sustainable development. It is important to me to motivate each member of my team to create, innovate and collaborate in an environment where it is not only my vision that is followed.
Our objectives as a company are very clear to us:
– Create low-impact tours and experiences that are appealing to our clients.
– Increase the level of awareness amongst travelers and turning them in effective agents for conservation.
– Channel a portion of our revenues towards supporting the conservation and sustainable use of Panama´s biodiversity.
– Reduce poverty through environmental conscious income generation activities and employment, which effectively decrease the threat to biodiversity in our local communities.
– Encourage active participation and involvement of local communities in the development, operation and monitoring of tourism activities.
This is our responsibility as a tour operator and DMC in Panama, and we are a happy team that is following a beautiful dream.