About Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.
She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.
Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.
Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
Latest Posts by Renee Blodgett
The River Rock Inn & Garden Deli Cafe is located in the heart of Gold Country in Mariposa, California right on the doorstep of Yosemite National Park. I ran across it quite by accident on my way to Yosemite this month to shoot some of the fall foliage and the Merced River.
The inn is small and intimate with only seven rooms and suites, but with a ton of personal flavor and style. There are unique gates on the side that lead you into the back garden where there’s a pool and tables and chairs. You can eat breakfast out here as well, which includes fresh baked pastries, fresh fruit, granola, and Mariposa Coffee.
Female owned and run, Vickie Lorenzi greeted me when I walked into their adjacent Garden Deli Cafe to order a sandwich before heading into the park. Not only did she go above and beyond by giving me a grilled salmon sandwich at no additional cost when they ran out of chicken, but she did it with a smile and that level of graciousness that few hotel owners dish out anymore.
Outside, there’s a ton of character and since its November, pumpkins, straw, autumn flora decorated its exterior.
Inside the cafe is equally charming.
The food in the cafe is delicious! Bear in mind that if you just stop in Mariposa to grab food before you enter the park, you might be persuaded to go for the easiest and most visible option – a Subway on the corner. Rather than eat a sandwich (which doesn’t use organic ingredients) from a chain, why not support a local business and walk the half block and order from Vickie’s cafe instead?
They have sandwiches which include prosciutto, provolone, artichoke hearts and pepperoncinis, a Grove, which is chicken, provolone, artichoke hearts, balsamic vinegar and mayo, the Sherwood, which is a Black Forest Ham, served with Jarlsberg Swiss and honey bacon mustard and 6-8 others. The Nutty Crantastic which I didn’t get sounded fabulous – pecans, cranberries, cream cheese and turkey.
They also have great salads for only $9 at the time of writing this. The Beetnik is greens, ginger beet kraut, cranberries, pecans and goat cheese while you can also get a grilled chicken salad or the Mediterrannean, which includes feta and olive tapenade in the mix. Yum! You can get vegan and vegetarian options as well for $7 – try their sun dried tomato and cilantro pesto!
Their rooms are quaint and very personal and rates differ depending on whether you want a suite or a standard room.
December-February : $79 – $99
March-April: $89 – $ 109
May-October: $ 129 – $ 159
November: $65 – $75
December-February: $ 55 – $65
March-April: $75 – $ 105
May-October: $99 – $109
All Pricing is based on a two person occupancy and again, the prices as of November 2013. There is an additional $15 fee for each person over 11 years of age.
4993 Seventh Street
Mariposa California, 95338
For mobile warriors on the road who need to be connected but are tired of their batteries dying, the Vorson Arc 4k II Battery back up is a godsend. Vorson New Arc 4K is a super-thin battery backup for Android and iOS devices.
They use CNC unibody fabrication techniques, which is the same thing used in aerospace and for Apple Macbooks. Additionally, they use Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries, which can be poured and molded into any shape or size allowing them to create extremely thin and compact designs so you’re not stuck with something bulky and frankly, ugly, not to mention too heavy to carry around.
With a 4000 mAh capacity and dressed in shockproof 8mm thick aluminum alloy chassis, the New Arc 4K can give your device up to 20 hours of additional video playback and travel conveniently wherever you need it. There’s also a color coded LED charge indicator to help keep track of remaining charge, preventing you from being stuck without power ever again.
Using a high-grade Lithium-Ion polymer battery, it comes in four colors: black, white, silver and red. It is compatible with iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini* and iPod touch (5. Gen.). The Lightning to USB cable is not included. It is priced at $99.
I just discovered Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco which touts 42 taps & specialized bottle selections from some of the best breweries in the world. You can get a beer and a brat for only $12. In addition to fabulous beer, they have a selection of quick bar eats that you can get to go along with your brew.
For example, you can get firestone pivo pils and bratwurst sando with fries and salad, a butcher’s board of selected charcuterie or cheese, smoked marcona almonds, Spanish Paprika kosher salt pickled vegetables, S&P fries, salt code cakes, bacon wrapped half smoked chipotle barbeque la quercia prosciutto, a confit duck leg or sandwiches: smoked turkey, bacon, avocado on sourdough, a reuben, a house pastrami with kraut, or fried eggplant. Yum!
Bratwurst is listed throughout as is pork, chicken thighs, veal and a sausage sampler. You can also get just rabbit sausage on its own for around $17.
Vegetarians need not apply, although there are salads and the pickeled vegetables among other things you could opt in for if you just want to sample their umpteen beers.
43 Mason Street
San Francisco CA
The New York Times has opened the 2014 registration as well as the consumer seminar schedule for The 2014 New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2.
The Travel Show is the largest consumer travel event in North America, featuring nearly 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States. The show will offer discounts, educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors.
Consumer seminar topics will cover budget and luxury travel, cruising, travel blogging, LGBT travel, country- and region-specific destinations, travel photography and many other topics. Speakers include leading voices in the industry, including among others:
- Arthur and Pauline Frommer, authors and radio hosts
- Peter Greenberg, CBS travel editor; host of Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio
- Julia Dimon, adventure travel writer and TV host
- Patricia Schultz, travel writer and author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”
- Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com
- Mark Murphy, founder, president and CEO of TravAllianceMedia
- Andrew Evans, Digital Nomad writer for NationalGeographic.com
- Richard Wiese, TV host and author of Born to Explore
The New York Times Travel Show will open to consumers on Saturday, March 1, from 10am until 6pm, and on Sunday, March 2, from 11am until 5pm. The show will be held in Hall 3D & E located on 11th Avenue at the 34th Street entrance to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Admission is $17.
Enter into the world of Chile’s Torres Del Paine National Park. Created in 1959, the park covers 227,000 hectares and contains some of the most diverse wildlife, scenery, vegetation, and fauna in the country. The Paine massif is the main attraction, a mountain system independent in a special way, of Patagonia’s Andes Mountain Range.
For over 12 million years, it has been molded by glaciers. In its highest part, it is made up of sedimentary rock and granite at its base. It is most known for these three marvelous and stunning peaks, the “torres”, of which exude stunning views, often hard to see because of fog and clouds. Luckily the stars were aligned when I was passing through however as her peaks were crystal clear and ever so inviting.
The ‘Torres del Paine’ three granite towers are to the east of the Paine Massif (Macizo Paine) in the centre of the national park. The highest summit of the range is Cerro Paine Grande. The best-known and most spectacular summits are the three Towers of Paine, gigantic monoliths shaped by the forces of glacial ice. The South Tower of Paine (about 2,500 m) is now thought to be the highest of the three, although this has not been definitely established. The Central Tower of Paine stands at about 2,460 m and the North Tower of Paine stands at about 2,260 m. The third main feature of the Paine massif, in between, is Los Cuernos (‘the horns’) which dominate the landscape.
The best views of the Torres themselves are from the top of Valle Ascensio, and to experience Los Cuernos fully, you can trek the Valle Frances, and stop-over at either Camping Los Cuernos or Refugio Los Cuernos to break it up.
The Park has different micro-climates that create an interesting biodiversity, with pre-Andean shrubs, deciduous forest, steppes and Andean desert. Several native species such as pumas, huemules, foxes, condors, flamingos, swans, nandu and guanacos can be seen. The guanaco (similar looking to llamas) is a camelid native to South America that stands between 1 and 1.2 metres at the shoulder and weighs about 90 kg. The colour varies very little, ranging from a light brown to dark cinnamon and shading to white underneath. We came across quite a few of them as we entered the park. I was able to get fairly close on more than one occasion – they are nothing short of adorable!
There’s so much more to the park than guanacos of course but they are one of the most common mammals found in the park. Other mammals include foxes and pumas and it is also home to the endangered Chilean Huemul. The natural diversity shows up in abundant sizes, colors and shapes. Its rugged landscape of rocky mountains, open grasslands and forests crisscrossed by fjords and rivers is breathtaking at every turn.
A sheep herder with his dog brings pregnant sheep to a new location where they would have their babies within a month’s time.
There is a variety of birdlife, including 118 separate species. To see a Chilean Blue Eagle wheeling around the peaks in search of prey is an experience that will take your breath away but you’re more likely to see finches, owls, woodpeckers and one of the most common birds in the region, the Darwin’s Rhea. They’re easy to identify since they stand about a meter tall and look like a feathery egg on legs. Also known as the lesser rhea, the bird was recognized as a new species by Charles Darwin, whilst he was in the middle of eating one!
There’s also the Chilean Flicker, which is a kind of woodpecker, also incredibly popular and common in Chile. You’ll know you’re looking at a Chilean Flicker by its striking plumage, which is made up of wavy bars of dark brown and yellow on its back, whilst its chest is barred with dark brown and white. I also spotted a number of Andean condors, which aside from their beauty and grace, have earned the impressive title of having the longest wingspan of any land bird anywhere.
The park contains breeding populations of 15 bird of prey species and two others are likely reproducing here in total and in addition to the others I mentioned, there are rarer birds such as the Black-chested Buzzard-eagle,Rufous-tailed Hawk, Cinereous Harrier, Chimango Caracara, Magellanic Horned Owl, Austral Pygmy-owl and those you see more often like the Black-necked Swan, the Flamingo and the Magellan Goose.
Amidst the birdlife and other incredible vegetation, the landscapes on the horizon always show the stunning peaks, a reminder that you’re in the Andes and a long way from home. There are also 25 species that live in the park, including ostrich, tilefish, cougar, skunk, red fox, reptiles, amphibians and other fish. In terms of flora, there are 274 species of plants classified in Patagonian steppe, Pre-Andean shrubland, Magellanic forest (beech predominates) and Andean desert.
The spiky trees are also in abundance as is calafate.
From a walk inside the park.
On our way out of the park.
The views don’t get much better than this!
Beyond the trees is Grey Lake where we walked to, where at its far right edge, you can see glaciers (scroll down). In the park, glaciers include the Dickson, the Grey, and the Tyndall.
In addition to Grey Lake, there is Dickson Lake, Nordenskjöld Lake, Pehoe Lake, Del Toro Lake and Sarmiento Lake, which is a very “blue lake,” and was named after an Argentinian president. Later, it was renamed after a Spanish explorer from the 1600′s. The main river flowing through the park is Paine River and most of the rivers and lakes of the park drain into Última Esperanza Sound via Serrano River.
We came in by ship, one which embarked in Punta Arenas (see my extensive write up on this port town) and dropped us off in Puerto Natales, the nearest town to park and yet it is still a 2-3 hour drive away. There are several regular and reliable bus companies and if you go with a small guided group, transfers from Puerto Natales are always included.
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in Puerto Natales and a handful of resorts/hotels in the park itself. I stayed at the Hotel Costaustralis (see our write up) but for other recommended places and to check for availability and prices for your dates refer to this useful list of hotels in Puerto Natales. While many people do cruises or go via boat from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, you can also fly into Punta Arenas and then travel north to Puerto Natales (about 3 hours) which is how we returned to Punta Arenas to catch our flights back to Santiago.
If your travel plans have you in Argentina before your trip to Torres del Paine then you’ll probably be coming in from El Calafate. There are several options for tours and travel from El Calafate to Torres del Paine. Below is a wider view to give you an idea of where you are from an aerial view.
For those who haven’t heard of Punta Arenas before, it is a commune and the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region, which includes Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. The city was officially renamed Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to Punta Arenas. Essentially it is important to know about if you want to explore any of Chile’s southern gems, such as Patagonia’s nature, take a boat or flight to Antarctica, trekking or simply taking in the magestic views of glaciers and the fauna and wildlife in the nearby Torres Del Paine National Park.
Located on the Brunswick Peninsula north of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas was originally established by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony and part of the government’s colonization of the southern islands. Today, it has become a center for embarking on expeditions that take you into some of Chile’s most beautiful natural surroundings, including hikes, fly fishing and parks.
I had time on the front and back end of my trip to explore some of the restaurants and shops as well as the architecture and cultural nuances of the town. Let’s start with the harbor:
It must be brutal in the dead of winter, but I tried not to think about that as I made my way down to the end of the port watching the men clean the ship and take smoke breaks. It’s not hard to make friends here.
In the center of town lies the town square Plaza Muñoz Gamero, which in addition to the golden statue (below), lies flowering trees, 19th century mansions depicting some of the best of Spanish architecture, locals selling crafts and benches to sit on and watch the day go by. The town square itself is surrounded by cafes, shops and hotels. In the town square itself is the historical statue of Hernando de Magellanes, which has a tradition. Once you kiss the golden toe, you will be sure to return to Patagonia.
There’s also a market in town, as well as a cathedral. Other attractions worth taking in include the Braun Menendez Palace, the Salesian Museum, the cemetery, the Sheperd’s Monument, Sara Braun Palace, the City Hall (Jose Montes Palace) and the Municipal Theatre.
The historical Punta Arenas Cemetery which dates back to 1894, is located just outside town and is meant to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. See our separate write-up on the cemetery for more stunning visuals of this peaceful and serene place. There is no shortage of perfectly and meticulously manicured cypress trees and over-the-top mausoleums and tombs, many of which belong to some of Punta Arena’s earliest pioneers.
Aside from the more traditional attractions, you should just take a meander through town – this is one of my favorite things to do as soon as I get to a town or city. Here, you learn the most about the local culture, the architecture, the way people spend their time, where to go and not go and where the artists hang. Go on a visual journey with me.
Try La Luna Restaurant which has a political history as well (see our write-up on La Luna Restaurant). The ambiance is fun, the walls are creatively painted and you can get a wide range of beers, piscos, Chilean wine and traditional dishes that span several pages on their menu – the seafood and pasta dishes are scrumptious.
Other recommendations include La Marmita on Plaza Sampaio, Restaurant Puerto Viejo for seafood, El Remezón and La Pérgola for traditional Patagonia meals (heavy in meat) and Damiana Elena, also for traditional cuisine. Remezon is also a great find and has a romantic old fashioned feel to it with a wood fired oven as part of its appeal, which is perfect on a cold Patagonia day.
I stayed in the very central and traditional Hotel Cabo De Hornos, but if you have a car or are okay staying a few miles out of town, I’d recommend Remota Hotel, which touts sustainable and au natural in every way while also staying elegant. I had dinner there and took in a modern ballet dance performance – they also have a fabulous pool and lounge area.
Other recommendations include Hotel Carpa Manzano (4 stars), Hotel Rey Don Felipe (4 stars), Estancia Rio de Los Ciervos (3 stars), and if on a budget, Hostal Patagonia and Dreams Punta Arenas.
Tennessee based The Bigfoot Lodge and Bigfoot Crossing are owned and operated by Steve and Jody Belkowski. The couple fell in love with the Smoky Mountain area when they first brought our four children for a family vacation in 2010 which transformed into the lodge that stands there today.
The Bigfoot Cabins at Bigfoot Lodge are based in Pigeon Forge Tennessee and an additional cabin was created afterwards called Bigfoot Crossing, which was originally a 6 bedroom / 5 bathroom cabin. There’s a theater room, entertainment in the game room, which includes a pool table, air hockey and an arcade system.
Located just a couple miles from the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, The Bigfoot Lodge is conveniently located and just a short drive to all the major attractions in the Smoky Mountains area, including Dollywood, Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll find activities along Parkway: shopping outlet centers, museums, dinner shows, mini golf, helicopter rides, zip-line tours, go-carts and so much more! You’ll also find the short drive to the grocery store and many restaurants to be a major convenience during your stay.
Mountain Valley Wedding Chapel is within walking distance of the Bigfoot Lodge. The Bear Room (master bedroom) would be a romantic place for the Bride and Groom and the remaining rooms would be perfect for your wedding guests.
The Bigfoot Lodge can comfortably sleep from 12-16 people, with five bedrooms and five full bathrooms (with two 80-gallon hot water tanks). All bedrooms are equipped with gel-cooled memory foam mattresses and up-scale bedding so you can enjoy a restful sleep during your trip. Each bedroom is decorated with an animal theme inspired by the Smoky Mountain Region.
• The Bear Room is the master bedroom, located on the upper level. The largest of the bedrooms, this room boasts a king bed and has a private whirlpool tub. There is direct access to a full bathroom, which is also accessed through the theater room.
• The Fox Room is on the main level. This room has a queen bed and a full private bathroom attached. This room is perfect for any guests who don’t do well with stairs.
• The Eagle Room is also on the main level. This room has a queen bunk bed, accommodating up to four people. There is a full bathroom near this bedroom, accessed through the hallway. This bathroom has a stand-up shower and is convenient for guests who might have a hard time stepping over a tub wall.
• The Elk Room is on the lower level. This room has a king bed and an attached full bathroom.
• The Horse Room is on the lower level, as well. This room has a king bed and an attached full bathroom. This bedroom has a door that gives direct access to the lower level deck.
Additionally, there is a queen sized sleeper sofa located in the living room on the main level as well as a futon in the lower level game room that folds down to a full sized bed (so will accommodate one adult or two children).
The photo is the view off the main deck of The Bigfoot Lodge in Pigeon Forge TN.
TUI Nederland, a market leader in the Dutch tourism sector has been announced as the Overall Winner of “the 10th World Responsible Tourism Awards at World Travel Market (WTM), sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism. TUI Nederland was commended for its work in child protection, in particular their ‘Say NO to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil’ project and a campaign across Dutch airports to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation issues among travelers.
The 10th annual World Responsible Tourism Awards ceremony was hosted at World Travel Market as part of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. The Awards were presented by Justin Francis, Managing Director of responsibletravel.com, organizer and founder of the Awards, and His Excellency Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad al Mahrzi, Sultanate of Oman Tourism Minister, headline sponsor of the Awards.
In addition to the overall winner, seven winners’ awards were presented in a range of categories: Best for the Local Economy, Best for Child Protection, Best for Campaigning, Best Responsible Wildlife Experiences, Best for Water Conservation, Best Destination for Responsible Tourism and the People’s Choice category, which was decided by public vote. In addition, 10 organisations were rewarded as Highly Commanded, as well as three individuals for the category Best Photography for Responsible Tourism.
- Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences: Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR
- Best for Water Conservation: Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia
- Best for the Local Economy: Village Ways, India & Ethiopia
- Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning: people and places, UK
- Best Destination for Responsible Tourism: Bonito, Brazil
- Best for Child Protection: TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
- Best Photography for Responsible Tourism: No winner (3 Highly Commended)
- People’s Choice: Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile
Nam Nern Night Safari: Judges’ reasons for winning: “Nam Nern Night Safari has been designed to support the conservation of tigers and their prey, as well as other wildlife, by placing a monetary value on tigers and other wildlife for local people. Each reported sighting of wildlife by a tourist results in a financial reward for the villagers, and this includes people who might otherwise poach. Since 2010 there have been 370 visitors in 142 groups, and the revenues have been shared by 1000+ families in the 14 surrounding villages. The village development fund generated $2,860 this year, roughly $200 per village. It has been used by villages to improve their well-being through small projects. Although the numbers are small, the initiative has been very successful in increasing the number of wildlife sightings per boats – they have doubled. The judges felt that this approach should be replicable and would contribute to creating a more positive relationship between local communities, wildlife and tourism”.
Chepu Adventures EcoLodge: Judges’ reasons for winning: “One of the owners is an engineer and the eco-lodge uses only rain water in the bathrooms and kitchen, harvested from the roofs of the lodge and stored in a well and large water tanks. Chepu uses solar water heaters to provide hot water for showers and the kitchen; its electricity is provided by wind and solar energy. There is also a sophisticated shower control. The judges were particularly impressed by the way in which Chepu engages the visitor enabling them to monitor their own water consumption by providing them with computer-fed feedback on the amount of water they are using. If customers keep within their ‘eco-limit’ they can choose to have a tree planted in Patagonia or a reduction on their bill”.
Village Ways: Judges’ reasons for winning: “Village Ways was recognised in 2009 as the Best Tour Operator for Cultural Engagement. This time the judges were impressed by their innovative and distinctive business model. In order to discourage out-migration and to create additional livelihoods in marginal rural areas, Village Ways has developed a business strategy based on Village Tourism Enterprises: tourists walk from village to village accompanied by local guides, eating locally grown and prepared meals and enjoying local traditional singing, music and dancing. Guests travel “like a local” and have the opportunity to interact with villagers; and if they wish, to participate in village activities. Village Ways has brought significant income to rural households struggling against poverty”.
People & Places: Judges’ reasons for winning: “Highly commended in 2007 in the Best Volunteering category, they won this same category in 2009. The judges were impressed by their campaign for responsible volunteering; they have also been active in campaigning for child protection whilst running their small business. Their campaign has been funded entirely through their business. Making extensive use of the social media the two directors have given their time freely to fight for change. Over the last few years, practice in volunteering has improved, although there is still much to be done – people and places have been at the heart of that movement to raise awareness and demand action, working with many partners in the UK and abroad”.
Bonito: Judges’ reasons for winning: “Bonito was launched as a tourism destination when its natural beauty was revealed on Brazilian television in 1990; in 2012 it received 190,000 tourists. Bonito is famous for its crystal clear waters, caves, mountain and forests with diverse wildlife to be found in a national park and ten private reserves. As tourists began to arrive several concerns emerged: there was fear that unregulated tourism could impact on the environment. The private sector businesses and the public authorities realized that tourism development in Bonito needed to be managed so they developed a voucher system to control visitor numbers. The judges were impressed by the voucher system and keen to recognize its contribution to ensuring the sustainability of the destination.”
TUI Nederland: Judges’ reasons for winning: “TUI Nederland developed policies and trained staff to identify child abuse, whether amongst the families for whom they provide holidays or abuse perpetrated by travelers in the destination. They have been working to protect children from abuse since 2002 when they signed the Child Protection Code with ECPAT Nederland. They have worked to embed child protection into their routine business operations and have extended this commitment through their network of supplier and partners. Realizing that child sex tourism is silently growing in the Northeast of Brazil, TUI Nederland and its numerous partners launched a campaign to say “a collective ‘NO’ to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil”. TUI Nederland has contributed over €100,000 since 2008 to fighting child exploitation in the region; 80 adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age have been trained as ‘Youth Mobilizers’, for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, reaching over 2,000 people. Their vocational training program has 104 graduates of whom 39 were employed throughout 2012”.
Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve (People’s Choice): Judges’ comments: “Huilo Huilo addresses all three pillars of sustainability. It works to conserve the forest and endangered species; it has worked with local people to ensure that those who used to make their living from logging and timber are now able to live off tourism and this biological reserve has been a catalyst to creating opportunities for local people to create their own businesses, fostering local cultural and artistic heritage. Huilo Huilo won the Best for Conservation of Wildlife and Habitats category in 2012. Huilo Huilo received a total of 2,187 votes”.