Sustainable Development

The town of Minca, known as the "Ecological Capital of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta", has one of the highest levels of biodiversity and wildlife endemism in the world: however, the uncontrolled development of tourism in recent years affects the sustainable natural balance in the town. 

Therefore, Mission Gaia has decided to unite the efforts of the actors to make a more sustainable town, capable of leading the change of attitudes and behaviors and improving the quality of life in general. 

Mission Gaia works in four areas: 


We aim to work hand in hand with touristic businesses, community groups, tourists and schools in Minca to turn them into leading examples for the local sustainable development. Therefore, we are putting in place a project that helps local businesses to design a personalized plan to adopt more sustainable business practices and management and reduce single plastic use in this location. 



"Best Practices in Tourism Management for sustainability" 

Mission Gaia has been working on the development of a strategy to provide tourism enterprises with materials and educational tools on the implementation of sustainable solid waste management practices based on national regulations. By increasing theoretical and practical knowledge and applying sustainable practices, Mission Gaia aims to bridge the gap between awareness and action in the hope of triggering long-term behavioural change in the tourism sector. 

In the short term, the objectives are: 

In the long term, the objective is to reduce the negative environmental impacts of host tourism enterprises in Minca. 


We are always looking to improve our impact and strategies. Working on the project to reduce the negative impacts of tourism offers a great opportunity for a Research Project about Sustainable Tourism. We are calling  pre- and post graduate students from national and international universities to come in a regular basis to help us to develop the project. You can also be a part of this!

Contact us for more information!





Environment project : " Minca Limpia "

In January 2015, we launched a project for a collection point for the selective sorting of waste in Minca. After implementing the selective collection route supported by the mayor's office, we closed the collection center to strengthen awareness processes with the participation of some local companies, institutions, residents and visitors. 

We are currently working to seek funding for our project, which seeks to reduce the amount of waste by selectively sorting and reducing single-use plastics and valuing the waste generated. 

Through the implementation of a project of selective management of organic waste for Minca, we seek to value the waste and reduce by at least 50% the waste generated. 

We propose a collaborative plan with various local partners where we base ourselves on the strategy of the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) while generating raw materials usable for agriculture. 

At this time, we are looking for allies and sponsors who want to partner and collaborate with us to solve one of the biggest problems facing Minca and the Sierra Nevada: optimal waste management. 

If you are interested in participating, please email us at 


Research opportunity

We are always looking to improve our impact and strategies. Working on the project, "Minca Limpia," offers a great opportunity for a Research Project about Waste Management

Contact us!

We are looking to partner with national and international universities, institutions and governmental organizations to recruit interns for this program. 

Find more information here!

Would you like to become a volunteer

Find more information here!


We are aiming to promote cultural exchange and local cooperation by developing programs with volunteers and professional interns focused on Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational (SAVE) travel. 

In order to promote mutual understanding, we also provide Spanish classes. 


Tourism is rapidly becoming popular and represents both a risk and an opportunity for the local community. Solidarity tourism benefits not only local economies, but also often leads to national economic benefits by helping to improve the capacity of educational, scientific and cultural institutions.

The economic benefits generated by this type of tourism tend to be more widely distributed than those arising from mass tourism. 




Participants in our programs are motivated to engage in travel experiences that include a close relationship with the nature, culture and people of the desired destination in a way that contributes to their knowledge or involves the improvement of the particular destination. This is the kind of tourists we, Mission Gaia, are looking for. 

If you feel identified with what you are reading and would like to travel, contact us! 

Would you like to become a SAVE traveler

Find more information here!


Misión Gaia promotes the commercialization of organic and natural products made by local producers from the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. We want to inform visitors about their power to make a difference by purchasing fair and local trade as an ecologic and economic alternative.