On 29 January 2015 an Earth Charter workshop was given to a group of 35 young students who are currently studying Sustainable Tourism and Hotel Management at the University of the Caribbean located in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
The group is studying the subject of Sustainable Development and Tourism, taught by Dr. Priscila Ferreira Sosa, professor and full time researcher at the University. Dr. Pricilla Sosa had contact with the organization Voces Ambientales (focal point in Mexico) in order to carry out the Earth Charter workshop. The subject on ST and D has the following main objectives:
1. Cognitive Objective: revise the definition of development and sustainability through its various historical periods, for its association with the characteristics of the tourism and hospitality industry.
2. Procedure Objective: verify the concepts of sustainable tourism through development and sustainability, to assess the current conditions of tourism activity.
3. Attitude Objective: promote social responsibility in tourism professionals, emphasizing the importance of sustainability for the sector’s development.
The activities focused on presenting the principles of the Earth Charter and on how the adoption of these principles can help solve the problems that arise today. In order to achieve this, they carried out dynamic activities accompanied by reflection and problem solving messages.
Integration, accountability, participation, and decision making activities were also performed, with the objective of understanding how participation and individual responsibility work, and how they influence society.
In this case, recognition of societies’ lifestyles can generate conflicts within students’ own communities. The students had to learn the most common problems: discrimination, racism, and stereotypes, among others, and thus find a solution for them and try to prevent them from happening again.
Students learned about the problems that happen directly and indirectly to the environment and about what solutions could be applied to prevent damage to the environment.
To conclude the activities, the students had to reflect about how their careers could adopt the Earth Charter for accomplishing better sustainable tourism management.
Dr. Priscila Sosa Ferreira – Professor and Full Time Researcher
C. Cristina Cahum Canché – President Voces Ambientales group
C. Melchor Muñoz Dzib – Proyect Coordinator Voces Ambientales group
C. Víctor Hernández Alonso – Volunteer Voces Ambientales group