DESARROLLA MEXICO ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
Promoting Economic Growth by Creating Environmentally Sustainable Businesses
Assist on the expansion and professionalization of an ecotourism business that meets the desire and need of a community in Ejido Playa Grande, Mexico. Build local capacity to use renewable energy to power the local business and create a business/community plan with the community leaders and students from a Mexican university to ensure sustainability.
Desarrolla Mexico team will meet bi-weekly over the Spring semester to set their goals for the project. This will entail constant communication with the members of Ejido Playa Grande and students from a local university to develop a coherent and unified strategy. Duke students will conduct an assessment of the community over 2 months of Summer 2017, advise them on which sources of renewable energy could be preferential for their use, and how they can expand and formalize the ecotourism they have already established. Speaking Spanish is an important asset for this project.
Note: This project is open to upperclassmen undergraduates and graduate students.
Ruxandra Popovici did her PhD dissertation project in this region, and was surprised by this community’s ability to take the income they received from Comisión Nacional Forestal for preserving the forest they depend on, and converting it into an ecotourism business containing a restaurant and zip line. They have expressed trouble in finding customers beyond their acquaintances. They will potentially need help with creating better marketing strategies, microfinance management, creating a website, counseling on administrating people, and any other areas you together find that need work on.