Sustainable Tourism

We are currently looking to partner with national and international universities, institutes and international governments to recruit interns for this program. Please contact us for more information.

Tourism to our region is rapidly becoming more popular and represents both a risk and an opportunity. We engage with our community about the growing tourism industry and develop plans on how to achieve more sustainable growth so that everyone benefits - the environment, the people, and the tourists.


We are working to create a better system of waste management for Minca as it becomes an increasingly important issue amidst the rapid increase of tourism to the area. In January of 2015 we launched a recycling project in Minca to combat the increasing waste issue. We invite local businesses, institutions and residents to bring their recycling to our office every Saturday.


  • Tourism development increases the amount of waste generated

  • The presence of waste and dangerous materials in natural areas and water sources has negative effects on the local biodiversity

  • There is currently no system of management and classification of solid waste in town. This results in the accumulation of excessive trash in public areas where abandoned animals (like dogs and donkeys) rip open the plastic bags looking for food.

  • Negative impact on the dynamics of the town’s tourism development due to the accumulation of trash in tourism sites.

  • Effects on human health, such as diseases generated by the presence of transmitters like Aedes, a propagator of dengue and chikungunya in waters contaminated by irresponsibly disposed of plastic.


  • Reduce the amount of waste generated in Minca and give value to the waste generated by local businesses and institutions

  • Collect and ensure correct disposal of hazardous materials such as batteries, light bulbs and oil

  • Develop practical lessons to promote adequate waste management in Minca

  • Actively participate in community activities for waste management

  • Promote the management and selective disposition of solid waste


  • Collect and sort recycling from local businesses, institutions and residents in Minca on a weekly basis

  • Work hand in hand with an Association of Recyclers in Santa Marta

  • Provide communication for correct handling and disposal of batteries and hazardous materials

  • Educational activities with children and participation in community clean-ups


  • Since January 2015, we have been working with an association of recyclers in Santa Marta, contributing to the work of more than 78 people. We have received, sorted and transported a total of 1176,3 kilos of recycled material, avoiding its disposal in natural areas, landfills and water sources.
      •  715,4 kilos of plastic.
      •  111 kilos of cardboard and paper.
      •  107,9 kilos of metal.
      • 242 kilos of glass.
  • Provided training to 15 local guides and equipped them with binoculars to pursue jobs in tourism.
  • Hosted various community workshops on sustainable practices such as waste management and permaculture.
  • Connected local tourism ventures with volunteers who have led risk assessments, created business plans, built permaculture systems, and much more.
  • We have received, sorted and transported more than 1,1 tons of recycling 
  • Since June 2014, we have participated in more than 12 community clean ups with the local residents and police in Minca
  • We have developed educational campaigns for children and young adults using art as a pedagogical tool and waste as a primary material to promote productive local processes.
  • We have involved public institutions such as the police and local school, more than 14 local businesses and people from community.
  • We have established a partnership with Recopila for a proper disposal of batteries.

To support this project please contact us at info@misiongaia.org, to become a volunteer please click here.