Wednesday 26 April 2017
Campesino tourism

New developments of the Sustainable and Incluse Tourism Programme in North West Argentina (TSNOA)

The TSNOA project was born 6 years ago to promote the development of Community tourism under the auspices of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference. Since about two years, AMU’s intervention with the Communion Economy has allowed to improve the accommodation capacity of 5 communities through specific training, equipment delivery, and a “reciprocity fund”. More information can be read on the project sheet.

Some important awards testify to the vitality and solidity of the project. First, the project won a Nassen Foundation funding project in Argentina, whereby 17 families from the Hornaditas community will have access to water, with a contribution of about 30,000 Euros, which will consequently benefit tourism activities.
The TSNOA program was also selected by the Ministry of Tourism of the province of Salta for receiving funds for infrastructure and supply of equipment. 3 families from Quebrada del Toro benefited from it, while at Brealito an aerial will be installed that will allow the whole community to receive telephone signal, ensuring communication with tourists and coordinating visits.
Finally, the project has passed the first selection phase in a competition launched by the National Tourism Ministry to access a web platform that promotes tourist destinations.

The people involved, now proper tourism entrepreneurs, have consolidated their activities thanks to the large groups of tourists who have been changing over the last few months. And exactly they, the tourists, as shown in the testimonies published on AMU News n. 1/2017, which follow, give the most important recognition to the TSNOA programme.

Travellers’ notes in the Northwest Argentine

The journalist and writer Claudio Sabelli Fioretti published an article in the Touring Club Italiano magazine in February, telling of his trip to Argentina. Having travelled all the usual tourist routes, Sabelli says, “I missed the people.” And so he landed in the North, in Hornaditas, a lost community not far from Humahuaca. Without knowing it, he came to one of the communities where the TSNOA project for sustainable and solidarity tourism takes place. Here he meets “poor people, but incredibly dignified people”. Like Clarita, who asks him to peel a mountain of beans (“This is Campesino tourism”), and her husband Hector who tells him “We wanted to know the world but we could not afford it. And then we opened the door and the world came to us. ”

Even for Stefano De Sanctis, who visited the project last year, says that the people are the heart of the journey:
“I often feel that for some people travelling is a bit like seeing the world through a shop window. We carry our Western standards and our securities, and we live superficially the places we go to, seeing them “from the outside” as in a shop window, precisely. We arrive, take lots of photos, buy souvenirs, eat in a typical restaurant, and that’s it. And then next! We wait for the next stop of a sometimes frantic travel agenda.
But visiting a country means something else. It means diving into places, in the culture of the place. A country is not only made of monuments and souvenirs but is made of people. So being the guests of these people and share with them their home, the food on the table, and music is the most authentic way to travel.
I really liked this idea of community tourism and I felt at ease immediately. This type of tourism can never be a “consumable” tourism. It requires opening, it takes time. You have to stop, listen to those places, let yourself be surprised and even endure some small discomfort. It’s worth it.
“Compartire…Subdivide!” that’s the Spanish verb that I learned best during my trip to Argentina. “


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