One of the main objectives in building Finca Esperanza Verde Ecolodge and Organic Coffee Farm was to attract visitors to the area. The lodge was built in 2000 and visitors began arriving quickly.聽 This created new opportunities for people in the town of San Ram贸n to create small local businesses from their own hard work and ingenuity.
Community-based tourism, as this is called, took hold immediately.
Guesthouses: were among the first small businesses to be formed.聽 Guests visiting town needed accomodations and soon a group of women took on the challenge.聽 The concept of non-verbal communication to bridge the language divide and learning how to make their guests comfortable and happy were quickly mastered by these new guesthouse owners.
Tourist Guide Club: The Tourist Guide Club of San Ram贸n is comprised of high school students who took on the challenge of showing visitors the main attractions such as the corn grinding mill, schools, sports fields, and library. They brushed up on the history of San Ram贸n by interviewing the old timers and visiting the regional library.
Craft Fairs and Art Sales: Hand made paper, jewelry from local seeds, weavings and primitivist style paintings are among some of the items you can find at the Art and Craft聽 fairs.聽 Although there were few artisans initially craft fairs were held when visitors came to town and everyone was encouraged to participate.聽 Now there are many craftspeople in San Ram贸n running their own small businesses selling their handmade goods.聽 Also, the painting program that we support is now more then just a form of artistic expression, it can provide a meaningful income for young people and thier families.
Concerts: During one week-long ecotours our musical group performs.聽 The income allows the musicians to purchase new instruments and to support their families.
Local Culture Classes: Locals who give talks to the visiting groups appreciate the chance to talk about town history.聽 Other cultural classes include cooking, making masks, seed jewelry and dance performances.聽聽 Providing these services as a form of micro enterprise gives locals a way to share their talents and culture with visitors, as well as encourage others to do the same.