Although all hotel employees that live there are offered transport, many prefer to walk through the forest, and they manage it in 40 minutes flat.
In the last few years the residents of the village have organised themselves to receive visitors from the city that come to swim in the river pools. They speak of creating a forest nursery in the community to re-forest the barren lands, and offer local cuisine. They understand that tourism is a viable option to obtain an income and that the forest has greater value in the long run than logging, according to community leader Carlos Angulo.
Marcia Pastrana remembers that when she was a girl, the forest was closed off, dense, a source of hunting for the grownups. Life revolved around the extraction of wood. There was no consciousness around the importance of what today they fight to preserve, and the climate has changed so much with the advance of deforestation. They were unaware that local tourism could be source of income or employment. Today they receive visitors into their community and many have become guides or collaborators in other areas of operation of Mashpi Lodge.
The mission of those who promote the Mashpi Reserve and the sustainable hotel project is, above all, to preserve the forest, and that is not only happening within the 1,300 hectares of the reserve, but also in the neighbouring communities. That is the main objective: to benefit and involve all residents of the Mashpi zone and to become an example of a project that can be replicated on a large scale in the neighbouring populations.