iNGO Seeks to Convert Tourism Gateway into a Tourist Destination
I have known for a long time (since 2019) that due to my work with the Piaroa people in Venezuela, investments in real estate in South America, family connections in Caracas and the United States and my actual goals in life that Puerto Carreño in Colombia was the place for me to live, work and perhaps retire from, but I had my doubts. Really though, I never imagined that I would like it here as much as I do, Puerto Carreño is really great! The people are nice, everyone likes to say "good morning" and exchange friendly greetings, there are more trees here than any other Colombian city, and the state Vichada (1 of 23) is known as the Capital of Peace in Colombia. It is a custom here to refer to new and old acquaintances without knowing their name as "Vecino" which is Spanish for neighbor.
|Sunrise on the Orinoco. Photo by Col. David Wright
I want to convert what appeared to me as a last chance outpost or border town into a dominant legal administrative operations center for activities that involve the protection of natural forests, Indigenous territories and provide ecosystem services globally, all of which involves different classes of tourism. Currently Port Carreño serves as a tourist gateway or hub for inland travelers thanks to the new airport, it will be a challenge to transform it into a hotspot destination and traveler getaway on its own merits. Its location makes in a great place to demonstratively protract "ecology" for tourism and hospitality, but the town (city) is not apt enough to take on the big challenges of rehabilitating current infrastructures, but it is clear that they try hard with limited resources. According to locals: corruption, politics and funding cycles are to blame and very little benefit is ever realized for the tourism operators and industry. It is easy enough to look up the city plans from 2012, 2016, 2020 and now in 2024 a new plan is due to be out when the politicians change again in 2023.
Since I arrived here in March almost three months now we have developed a plan with residents to form a tourism council, a plan that is being implemented well online. Very few have seen it yet, we were quickly ranking in Google Search Engine Results Pages.