Responsible and Sustainable Tourism
Because we care about the planet
Here at Septimo Paraiso Responsible and Sustainable Tourism is our way of doing business. We are firm believers that well managed conservation and business together can provide a good deal for everyone. Our business includes conservation, community work and joint ventures, job opportunities, ecology and respect for the cloud forest.
To continue with sustainable and responsible tourism practices, to enhance our community – private joint ventures, to offer our guests the best services and experiences possible and to promote conservation as a viable business.
Septimo Paraiso has several community projects and ventures:
Since our creation conservation has been our main aim, we have reforested more than 80 hectares of old pastures and reconverted them into Cloud Forest. Septimo Paraiso has 420 hectares of cloud forest at present and we still have 6 more hectares to reforest.
Some of our project and programs are listed below:
We have been working with Rainforest Alliance for more than two years in their Good Management Practices program. They help us catalogue all our process and check lists. We continue to work with them in this program and we help each other with ideas and sharing information.
ASEC (Asociación Ecuatoriana de Ecoturismo)
We have been working with ASEC for two years, they audited Rainforest Alliance’s Good Management Practices and we received a total of 91.53%. We will continue to work with them in this project.
Starting from this year we opened the Bird Banding Project at Septimo Paraiso. Mark Blazis arranged for several experienced bird-bander volunteers from Massachusetts to come to Septimo Paraiso for a week to help band and catalogue local bird species. We also opened this experience to four local birding guides and one trainee. It proved to be a success and the project will continue next year.
Giant Daisy are initially planted within the pasture sections. They have a fast rate of growth, allowing them to give ample shade and hence kill and limit the growth of the old pastures. After two of three years of this process the land is ready to be regenerated with local flora.
Middle School Intern Program
This intern program started in 2005. Two or three outstanding middle school students are chosen. They spend an average of 8 weeks at Septimo Paraiso. Among their responsibilities they have the hummingbird count study program, recycling program including paper production and pencil dolls, English lectures and signaling project. This year another project is added, the botanical garden specimen collection and documentation project.
Less packaging program
The logistics department is in charge all food purchasing. They have a program of reducing packaging and plastic. When all food is purchased recycled boxes are reused to transport it to the lodge and minimize the amount of bag use. Once it arrives to the lodge all boxes are taken to the recycling plant and the bags are reused within the lodge and workshops. The program extends to all purchased required by the lodge and offices.
Promotion of recycled materials
We implemented a program to use only recycled office paper and toilet paper. We emphasise the need to reusing all plastic containers and we offer plastic reusable water bottles for guests; this enables us to minimize the consumption of plastic bottles. Several areas of recycling bins have been set up at the lodge. All remains and waste office paper is saved to later be sent to the recycling paper section of the lodge. We also collect waste paper from our office in Quito for the same purpose.
Office intern program
Each year our office in Quito gives the opportunity to one or two students to gain valuable experience by completing an internship in the business of tourism and conservation issues. They also take the position of assistants to our senior staff in the areas of logistics, project creation and accounting.
All our employees are affiliated to the IESS (Social Security), they are paid competitive salaries and have all the legal right to work required by Law. They have flexible work hours. We also employ single mothers and pregnant women; we offer part time and seasonal work, a special manual job opportunity was created for handicapped people.