Summer Internship Taps Social Tourism to Spread the Use of Clean Cookstoves
Ecocomal, the factory for Stove Team International and one of the Alliance’s many partners, is launching its first ever social tourism project, and I am delighted to help lead the effort!
Uniquely located next to the tourist hub of Antigua, Ecocomal is leveraging social tourism as a way to spread the use of clean cookstoves. Through tours, travelers are given the opportunity to finance a family’s clean cookstove, visit the family’s home, prepare and share a meal with them, and ultimately make a difference that will last long after their travels end.
Since June, I have been working on the research, market plan, and test marketing behind our social tourism initiative. When I leave my internship in a few weeks and return to Tufts University, I hope to have completed the framework for full operation starting in November. Loving the degree of independence and ownership that I have been given over the tours, I have never before worked on a project that I feel as passionate about. Going to families’ homes and seeing firsthand how overjoyed mothers are at their new, life-improving stoves has been an incredible experience. As I sit here surrounded by the buzz of welding and the rhythm of Bachata music, I am extremely thankful to be able to spend my summer working on such a meaningful project.
A win-win situation for the environment, Guatemalan families, tourists and global health, we hope to see our distinctive tours take off in the next year, and are excited to expand the market for clean cookstoves in Guatemala.
Tufts University Sophomore