Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Luxury Cancun hotel offers guests opportunity to help Mayans

A luxury hotel in the Mexican Caribbean resort city of Cancun is offering guests the opportunity to help poor Mayan communities in Quintana Roo state during their vacations.

The "Lazos Mayas" (Maya Ties) project seeks to expand a volunteer programme to guests, who "each day show more interest in becoming involved in the destinations they visit", said representatives of the Ritz-Carlton Cancun Hotel, one of the most luxurious properties in the Mexican Caribbean.

Guests making a donation of 1,500 pesos ($110) per person will be able to participate in "all types of work, from simple tasks like painting and gardening, to implementing recycling programmes", Ritz-Carlton public relations manager Paulina Feltren told EFE.

The work will be performed in cooperation with the non-profit Kanche association, which is promoting activities based on the sustainable management of natural and cultural resources with the goal of having Mayan communities earn income from eco-tourism.

The hotel already has experience offering guests alternative tourism activities, promoting a programme for many years to protect the sea turtles that nest on its beach, Feltren said.

The Ritz-Carlton has been able to save more than 1,200 turtle nests and release over 180,000 hatchlings, thanks to support from guests, Feltren said.

Lodging at the 365-room Ritz-Carlton Cancun costs anywhere from $190 to $570 a night.
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