Problem: The commoners appear to suffer disproportionately from problems related to alcohol abuse (such as absenteeism, drunkenness, and theft). This hinders the Posada Amazonas’ smooth operation and its ability to improve service quality and occupancy. In fact, in any given year, turnover can easily reach 50%, with as many as six people leaving. Solutions: (1) Design and implement health-related programs to improve the well-being of the commoners. The community’s governing body will enact new rules and policies aimed at reducing alcohol abuse by, for example, passing resolutions prohibiting alcohol use among any employee of Posada Amazonas the day before any employee is scheduled to work. * Train a group of new community leaders to address substance abuse and other health issues facing the community. * Form committees to work on strategic plans addressing alcohol abuse. By form coalitions, the community can work together to solve health issues. (2) Create activities in each of the following primary areas: * Public Awareness/Community-Wide Prevention.
Draw on native cultural traditions in the hopes that as people identify more with their heritage, they will be less likely to abuse alcohol or other substances. * Early Identification and Treatment. Create projects that seek to intervene with those at high risk. * Alcoholism Treatment and Aftercare. Focus on providing options for commoners returning from treatment, such as support groups and entering training programs. These programs will be funded by the net profit paid to the Ese’eja community by the Posada Amazonas project.
If turnover can be eliminated, Posada Amazonas could create a working team to ensure a smooth operation for the lodge. Problem: Posada Amazonas’ approach to integrating the lodge into the community and how it trains and prepares the commoners for their jobs needs to be reevaluated. Solution: Maintain and increase the commoners’ involvement and stake in the lodge. The commoners form an integral part of the community, although their customs and attitudes toward vary somewhat from those of Rainforest Expeditions.
This can be accomplished through: * Revised training methods and participation of indigenous community members in all lodge positions that will be more in line with their culture and values. * Community participation in all aspects of project design, management, and operations. * Combining wildlife conservation, management, and research practices to develop local natural attractions. * Monitoring and evaluation of the economic, ecological, and social impacts of tourism on the area and community * Enhancing and preserving indigenous cultural values.
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