If we think about the way we travel today, we realize how much has changed in recent years. Tourism has become an investment in oneself: a way to get to know other cultures and live authentic experiences. More and more travelers are more aware about the impact of traveling, and we try our best so that our trips have a positive impact on the destination.
Traveling gives us memories that last a lifetime and the most incredible experiences to share. But this is only half the story… In Espiritu Travel we want to ensure that not only each of our customized trips to Cuba provides a truly enriching experience for the traveler but that every trip has a positive impact on economy and reduces the negative environmental impacts.
Traveling with a positive impact to Cuba
We often talk about the negative effects of tourism, such as the overload of destinations and the environmental impact. A part from focusing on these challenges, which we all know, it is important that we also talk about affordable actions that travelers can take to travel in a more sustainable way, generating a positive impact.
While some people take green travel to the extreme, no matter what decisions you make during your travels, as long as, you try your best to be more environmentally conscious. The best and easiest phrase to remember when traveling is to leave no trace. This concept means to leave nothing behind but footprints, no matter where you go.
Planning a trip with a positive impact does not mean having to compromise on the quality or enjoyment of your trip to Cuba in fact in Espíritu Travel, we believe it enhances the experience of getting to know the people and culture of Cuba. Check out our positive impact trips to Cuba.
Positive Impact Trips to Cuba
We know Cuba is a special destination but with small gestures we can turn our trip to Cuba into an experience with a positive impact that will enrich our trip even more. But what can we do?
- Choose staying at local accommodations like Casas Particulares instead of large hotel chains
Today we have many accommodation options that we all know in houses and local establishments, in the case of Cuba there is the option of staying in Casas Particulares. These are private houses licensed by the government under strict conditions to rent en-suite rooms to foreigners. A sort of micro bed and breakfast that has been set up in people’s homes.
Staying in a casa particular is without a doubt one of the best recipes to get to know Cuban’s way of life, while helping the local community. You will not only invest in the local community but you will also participate in a cultural exchange that will enrich you and your hosts.
- New people, new relationships
When we travel to a new place, we meet new people. When we make an effort to learn the local culture and way of life, we build real relationships with locals. It is always good to take a look at the destination from a local perspective.
- Get involved with the local communities
While planning your trip to Cuba, it is always good to check the activity of the local community. Almost all sites have volunteer programs that you can join. This can be a good method to gather knowledge, but also to share what you have to give.
If our impact on nature can be dangerous, the impact on other people is even more so. Especially with the most disadvantaged groups. In Espíritu Travel we provide monthly donations to AniPlant, an independent membership organization dedicated to the protection of domestic animals in Cuba.
- Eat at Cuban local restaurants: Paladares
What better way than to know Cuba than through the gastronomy? Avoid eating in the large chain restaurants that you find on the corner of your hometown, try local products that are produced in Cuba and consume in the local restaurant.
In Cuba you will find private owned restaurant by Cubans almost everywhere, they are call Paladares. Do not hesitate to ask your local guide for a good Paladar to have lunch. I assure you that your gastronomic experience will be more authentic!
- Consume Cuban local products and services.
Cuba’s availability of basic products or services is very limited and the population itself sometimes has difficulty obtaining basic products. Consume responsibly! Not because you are far from home you should waste, the use of energy and the expense of water has an impact on Cuba, just as it does at your home.
Small gestures to consume responsibly: ask Espíritu Travel local guide where can you buy locally, your gift will be more authentic and if it is handmade it will be unique. At your accommodation, try to avoid changing towels every day.
- Use local guides and small group or private activities.
Who better to show you the country than the local people? Try when possible, to book activities in small groups or private to minimize the impact of carrying out the activity in the environment.
A private visit allows travelers to learn more and talk with local people. You can share your points of view, listen to the guide’s comments on certain historical or current events and educate each other about their respective cultures and traditions. The benefit of the activity will be reinvested in the community!
- Contributes to the conservation, protection and regeneration of Cuban ecosystems
We all love visiting natural landscapes and living with animals, but as Responsible Travelers we must make sure that the ecosystem is not damaged. On the contrary, tourism should serve to protect it, regenerate it and help it grow.
Do not participate in activities where animals are removed from their habitat. Do not swim with the dolphins or pick flowers or plants from the parks you visit.
Espíritu Travel positive impact trips to Cuba
We are aware of the influence that our trips have on the social, cultural, economic and ecological environment, therefore we seek to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones, as follows:
To become a more sustainability company we have partner with CCC’s Carbon Neutral Checkout, a program that measures the greenhouse gas emissions associated with every trip with Espíritu Travel.
As an example, one of our eight-day trips to Cuba supports a number of entrepreneurs / small businesses and their families as well as the subsequent indirect linkages with other sectors.
Over the last five years we have maintained working relationships with a plethora of small businesses, from casas particulares, family-owned restaurants to local guides and shop owners.
You can read more about Espíritu Travel positive impact trips and policies here.
The Planet has a lot to offer. It would be a shame if everything falls apart because at the time, we did not give it attention. It is our duty to leave the destination we visit as if we had not passed by. All we must leave behind are wonderful memories and the relationships we build with the local community.
At Espiritu Travel we design trips to Cuba that create jobs, help local families, collaborate with locals, and endorse real connections between countries and people. Our biggest challenge is to offer real experiences planning a sustainable trip to Cuba. Start planning your positive impact trip to Cuba here.