Taking Care of Local Communities, With Your Help
When the pandemic hit, tourism came to a sudden halt around the world. With no jobs, many local tourism workers, along with the extended families they support, have faced hunger, health crises and the loss of income to send their children to school. And with fewer rangers, drivers and guides on the ground in parks and reserves, poaching has increased.
Recognizing this challenge, Nat Hab set up our Community Relief Fund, seeded it with $25,000, and invited our travelers to give, too, so we could send direct economic support to local people who’ve been hardest hit. In less than two months, the fund topped $250,000.
|Contribute to Nat Hab’s Community Relief Fund|
By July 2020, Nat Hab’s Community Relief Fund will have cared for more than 1,600 local tourism workers and family members in 26 different parks and reserves around the globe—people who have dedicated their lives to protecting wild habitats and enriching our experiences abroad. Through the generosity of our donors, here are some of the community members this fund has benefited:
- Kenya and Tanzania: $8,500 went to approximately 20 camp staff and 10 local guides, feeding and providing medical help to several hundred community members. An additional $10,000 was donated to Ol Dereski Conservancy to sustain 29 rangers guarding migrating elephants from poaching in Kenya.
- Costa Rica: $4,000 was donated to Asociación Vecinos de Punta Banco Village, a local women’s group that protects the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles in the Punta Banco area. Without an income from tourism, they wouldn’t be able to continue their important conservation work. $3,600 went to support local guides in the Tortuguero and Corcovado areas who have been taking care of Nat Hab groups for years. $1,200 went to help support the owners of the Pierella Butterfly Gardens in Sarapiquí lowlands rain forest. An additional $1,000 went to a team of three Sierpe River boat guides in Sierpe-Corcovado.
- Galapagos Islands: $17,555 was distributed to 40 unemployed ship crew, local guides and other staff, which ultimately benefited 120 individuals.
- Churchill, Manitoba: $6,000 went to support Danica's Village, a nonprofit organization that provides food and other necessities to vulnerable children in Churchill and other remote villages in Manitoba. The Fund also provided $6,000 to the Duke of Marlborough School, which educates about 180 students from nursery school through 12th grade, to support the school breakfast program. Another $1,000 of funding went to support the Hungry Bears Food Bank, which provides essential food and resources to Churchill families and individuals in need.
- Uganda: Near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, $2,000 went to provide 98 porters who typically support mountain gorilla trekking with supplies to help feed their families. An additional $5,000 was contributed to the nonprofit Bwindi Community Hospital, which provides preventative and curative healthcare services to more than 120,000 people in Uganda.
- Madagascar: $12,000 went to 14 park guides in Andisabe-Mantadia, Ranomafana, Isalo and Zombitse National Parks in addition to 11 drivers and 5 local guides. These funds provided a basic income for each of the recipients to provide for their families.
- Botswana: Near the Okavango Delta, $5150 went to provide food packages to 145 impoverished families and elders in two villages, Sankuyo and Shorobe.
- Brazil: $4,000 went to the Caiman Ecological Refuge in the Pantanal, including $500 for a local guide and $350 for each of the 10 lodge staff to support their families. An additional $6,000 went to local guides and their families in the Pantanal, Rio de Janeiro and Iguazu Falls.
If you haven't had a chance yet to contribute and would like to, or if you’ve already donated and you’d like to give a bit more, please click here. You will receive a $250 Nat Hab travel voucher for every $250 you donate.