My name is Angela Rodriguez, I am Totonal Viajes’s marketing & communication officer, and I am a Spanish nomad. I am writing the chapters of my life as they go, one step at a time, living in different countries of our wonderful planet to learn what shapes people and communities around the world, and how they understand and work around sustainable tourism. This inquisitive search brought me to México a couple of years ago, where I met Marisol (our CEO) and the great team behind the scenes at Totonal Viajes. We soon realized we shared the same values, and a wonderful journey with a growing team of like-minded and inspirational individuals began.
At Totonal Viajes, we are authentic travel experience seekers and designers. We create tailor-made holidays that allow visitors from all over the world to discover the real Mexico, delving into the local heritage, the gastronomy and the different cultures from the past and the present.
Although Mexico can sometimes be identified with mass tourism, the country offers endless opportunities to develop sustainable tourism: it is ranked number 5 in the TOP most diverse countries of the world in terms of biodiversity, Mexican gastronomy is declared as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO and there are 62 indigenous societies currently living across the many states of the Mexican Republic. Many of these ethnic groups, have community-based tourism in place where they welcome and look after visitors looking for meaningful contact with the local inhabitants of this land.
Unfortunately, Mexico does not have an efficient waste management system in place. Recycling is not widespread, and people tend to burn their waste on a daily basis as a result. Considering that Riviera Maya in the Top Latin America destination and that tap water is not safe to drink, tourists consume a great deal of water bottles a day (as well as many other single use plastic containers used for street food and drinks).
Most of this plastic waste, together with the inefficient waste management system and the bad habits of the fishing industry, are having a big impact on the coastal and marine ecosystems. This is why we believe is so important to raise awareness of this issue and organize small actions that have the potential to engage with both travelers and hosts.
Tourism and sustainability is integrated through every one of our tailor-made itineraries. We strive to integrate rural cooperatives and cultural initiatives by our local experts to offer trips that respond to the increasing search of authenticity in travel.
And of course through our company values, which set our sustainability standards with both the local providers and staff:
Because we believe sustainable tourism is not a competition, but a joint effort of many people making positive impacts in their local area. We believe collective change happens, and more so in tackling plastic waste!