Why here? Why us?
The San Buenaventura Valley in Panajachel, Guatemala has seen tremendous transformations from an ancient Mayan village at the end of the 1700s, to a sugarcane plantation in the mid 1800s and then, to a family coffee plantation in the early 20th Century when Don Moises Rivera Soto bought the land.
His descendant, in 1995, turned part of the valley into a Nature Reserve that began with a butterfly preserve and the nature trails. By 1997, the Nature Reserve opened its first visitor center. The waterfall hanging bridges were inaugurated in 1999, the new Visitor Center a couple of years later. In 2006 the Ziptrek, Cables X-Tremos, opened to the public and in 2012 the Cables ULTRA X-Tremos.
With such rich history, the family business assumes the corporate social responsibility to look after this extraordinary natural and cultural heritage. Since 2008 the Nature Reserve has been actively involved in the environmental movement of the Lake Basin and has hosted numerous meetings of grass roots organizations and has supported the Scientific Expeditions of 2010 and onwards.
Today, the Nature Reserve is a privileged place to enjoy the magnificent natural setting of the Lake Basin. And through its outreach programs and the sponsoring of “Todos por el Lago” [Everyone for the Lake], the Reserve is a place to talk about our common future.
Our goal is to maintain the living communities and their surroundings so that future generations can have access to this extraordinary legacy.
We are at the front-line of environmental awareness and the communication of science regarding the watershed.
Local workers, suppliers and products
The Reserve gives preference to local workers, producers and suppliers.
Recycling and reusing
The Reserve recycles and reutilizes paper, plastic containers, steel cables, linen, oils, etc.. We support the municipality’s collection center for recycling.
The Reserve does not use single use plastic bags or straws. It chooses products considering the package or container to insure minimal environmental impact.
Semillas de Ajachel (Ajachel Seeds)
Together with other hotels, the Reserve supports an environmental education and outdoors program for children in public primary schools in the area.
Breeding of butterflies
The Reserve trains women and the young to breed butterflies at home. The chrysalides are bought by the Reserve. This insures the presence of host plants and biodiversity in the communities while providing a source of income for families.
Native species tree nursery
The Reserve has a native species tree nursery jointly managed with the Lake Authority (AMSCLAE) to reforest the watershed.
In the San Buenaventura Valley, the Reserve has planted upwards of 150 thousand native trees to create refuge and feeding areas for local fauna. We also make sustainable use of timber.
The Reserve supports the Volunteer Firemen of San Jorge La Laguna, providing equipment and other resources, and jointly control forest fires in the San Buenaventura Valley.
Generate economic benefits
The reserve provides reliable sources of income for local families (guides, rangers, maintenance, hotel, kitchen and reception jobs) with good working conditions, fair pay and all the benefits of the law.
Corporate social responsibility
General Sustainability Policy
At the Reserve, in all our operations, we support sustainable tourism regarding the environment, and our social, cultural and economic heritage.
General Environmental Policy
At the Reserve, we take the necessary steps to insure efficient use and savings in water, electricity and fuels. We provide proper handling of solid and liquid waste and minimize emission gases and strong odors. We actively protect the watershed ecosystems and conserve the wild areas and the biodiversity of the region.
General Socio-cultural Policy
At the Reserve, we support planning, implementation and promotion of local development activities, including educational, environmental, sporting, artistic and charitable activities. We respect the intellectual property of the local and neighboring communities and protect their cultural heritage. We take specific measures to reconcile work, family and personal lives of our employees.
General Policy Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
At the Reserve, we do not allow actions that support or promote commercial or sexual exploitation of girls, boys or teenagers.
General policy for the protection of the cultural and historic heritage
At the Reserve, we insure the protection of the cultural and historic heritage by observing the laws, norms and regulations, using a design respectful of the landscape and, at an appropriate scale, and by conveying information and respect regarding local peoples and cultures. We promote tourist visitation to places of culture, artistic, archeological and historic interest, we support the conservation of the cultural heritage, respect intellectual property rights and the interpretation of the natural surroundings following appropriate conduct codes.
Policy for the conservation of the cultural heritage
At the Reserve, we comply with the Guatemalan legislation regarding respect for the diversity of cultures of the communities, while we value and promote their expressions including local traditions and culture.
General Policy for the Conservation of Biodiversity
At the Reserve, we ensure the conservation plants and animal biodiversity of the Atitlán watershed, we promote environmental education, reforest and actively promote the conservation of key habitats.
General Policy for Saving Electrical Energy and Fuels
We constantly measure the consumption of electricity, we have written plans and adopt concrete measures to use of natural lighting and heating. We use devices and equipment designed for efficient consumption of energy, minimizing the loss of heat or cold in specific areas and equipment. We have procedures to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Policy of No Air, Soil or Water Pollution
We ensure the protection of the environment through a wide range of initiatives designed to prevent pollution of air, soil and water.