Cabarete Travel Tips:

How To Give Back While On Vacation

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Natura Cabana is an ecological paradise immersed in a tropical setting. Trees and flowers surround us, our structures are naturally built with Dominican stone and wood, and our restaurants serve up a cuisine that takes full advantage of fresh local ingredients. We do our best to take little and contribute lots, so we wanted to share a few ideas of how to give back on vacation.

Responsible Tourism

The World Summit of Sustainable Development defined Responsible Tourism in 2002, “Responsible Tourism is about ‘making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.’ Responsible Tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable.”

Responsible tourism has become an increasingly important effort in the travel industry over the past few years. The internet, cheap airfare, and wanderlust have brought more people to remote places than ever. There can be a symbiotic relationship between locals and travelers. Tourism can be good for the local economy, while also broadening the mind of the traveler. However, tourism can also have devastating effects on the daily life and culture of the locals if we aren’t careful. So, it’s important to know how not to be an unwitting colonizer.

Here are examples of how you can be a responsible tourist during your vacation in Cabarete, Dominican Republic:

Make connections with local people and the local culture

When you’re in Cabarete, do as the Dominicans do. Try to grasp an understanding of the people who live where you are visiting.

  • Take a Latin Dancing class! Dancing (especially Bachata) is a unique part of Dominican culture. So, immerse yourself in it!
  • Have conversations. Talk to the people around you. Get out of your bubble. Your taxi driver, cashier, and surf instructor all have unique stories to share.
  • Skip the bar and check out a colmado (convenience store) or bomba (gas station) for your Happy Hour. Not only are you supporting small business, but you’re also engaging in an activity that is about as Dominican as it gets.

Learn about Social and Environmental Issues

Every country has its own social and environmental landscape. It’s important to educate yourself on the place you’re visiting so you can help enhance the well-being of your host community. The Dominican Republic, for example, is a developing country. Many do not have access to education or even clean running water. The infrastructure of the country also struggles with things like waste management and electricity.

  • Pack Clothes you want to give away, at the end of your trip ask one of your new local buddies if he/she knows who can benefit from your clothes.
  • Bring practical items like school supplies or hygienic supplies. Non-profit organizations like The DREAM project, Mariposa Foundation, and Inspire DR will gladly accept your donations.
  • Clean up the beach. It’s gratifying to pick a zone and convert it to a litter free zone! Bonus: you are doing your part to improve the health of the WORLD’S oceans, not just Cabarete.

Minimize Negative Environmental and Economic Impact

The best way to give back on vacation is by doing your personal best not to contribute to what damages the community.

  • Support local businesses. Try to go to patronize shops that are Dominican owned. Buy from street vendors.
  • Always Tip. The standard is 10-15%. Yes, you may see a legal “service” fee added onto your bill, but that is split (maybe unequally) among ALL of the staff, including managers, and is not a tip, per say. Read more in depth on TripAdvisor.
  • Conserve water. Hotels and resorts have better access to water than the local communities right across the street. While they sometimes go hours, even days without water, tourist locations have more money to invest in getting water, so their guests never go without it. The water all comes from the same place, so the less you use, the more everyone has.
  • Conserve electricity. Same as with water, most communities go periods of time without power. The less you use, the more everyone has.
  • Minimize waste. Taking your food or drinks to go just increases the amount of waste in the community. Recycling is not a government service right now. So don’t contribute to creating more waste.

In Cabarete, visitors will inevitably have a good time, but make it an even better time by contributing to our local community any way you can. We have made it a priority to be a sustainable, eco-friendly hotel, and we hope you will do your best to be a responsible tourist.

Tell us how you contribute to being a responsible tourist in the comment below.

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