June, 7 2017
We spoke with Christian Claveau, Tourism Development Advisor at the San Martin Chamber of Commerce (professional volunteer with Uniterra).
In the middle of the Peruvian jungle, on the banks of the Huallaga River, is the province of Bellavista, in the department of San Martin, where Uniterra Peru is working on a tourism development project.
“Bellavista is little known, because it is an hour and a half away from the city of Tarapoto, but its name says it all: it means ‘beautiful view’. The town has incredible landscapes, a privileged nature, with great potential for tourism,” says Christian Claveau, Tourism Development Advisor for Uniterra, who leads this project.
"The municipality, the young people, and the community are all participating. Thay are willing and have de capacity"
The objective of the intervention is to elaborate an action plan for the development of tourism in the province of Bellavista. “To do this, you must first know what exists and how it can be sold. We want to develop a catalog of services and attractions that will then attract tourists to the area. There are great possibilities for experiential tourism and ecological tourism. The Huallaga River has beautiful beaches and offers exceptional tracks to explore the amazon area. There are impressive caves and waterfalls, old-growth forests, the Cordillera Azul National Park, and is also a magnificent agricultural area, where thousands of hectares of rice and fruit are cultivated,” he says.
He continued, “We are identifying the most viable and accessible attractions as well as the degree of difficulty. All of this has to be determined to present a good touristic opportunity.”
The project has the support of the municipal authorities, the chamber of commerce, native groups, and young students of the faculty of Tourism, thanks to an agreement between Uniterra and the Cesar Vallejo University in Tarapoto. In addition, a tourism action committee has been established to coordinate with all parties.
When asked what he likes most about his job, Christian says, “I love what I do. The most important thing as a volunteer is to gain the trust of the people. This trust allows us to work well and I think we already achieved it here in Bellavista,” he concludes.
Uniterra is a leading Canadian international development program that is jointly operated by WUSC and CECI. Each year, 600 volunteers contribute their time and experience to positive and lasting change towards a more equitable world by dedicating a few weeks to two years of their lives to international volunteer work. The program also provides opportunities to get involved in Canada and play an active role in combatting poverty.
The Uniterra program receives funding from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada.