Tenorio Lodge gets involved in responsible tourism practises
We, Christine and Franck Dziubak as owners' of Tenorio Lodge and also wildlife professional photographer are conscious that our lodge create an impact in its environment, the point thus is about minimizing this impact and making sure that the local habitat is kept protected in time. Since started this project in 2005, we decided to build and ran Tenorio Lodge with certain ethics and policies in regards to the environment and to the local community.
| ||ENVIRONMENT : |
* Tenorio Lodge was built to be small as a 8 bungalows (+8 in the future) project providing protection and reforestation to seven hectares in the middle of tropical vegetation surrounding by two natural ponds.
* In order to minimize the ecological impact of our lodge we decided from the beginning to build this project with minimal environmental impact.
* From the architectural standpoint, to minimize the visual impact, all buildings are single storey and rooms are on stilts. We also focus on large openings windows to get a maximum of natural light and give to our Guest a direct view to the nature while preserving their privacy. All the wood used on our construction is provided from plantation wood such as local teak or pine. We also decided to build the lodge with local workers of the community and try to get more than 50 percent of the materials and furniture from local stores.
| ||ENERGY SAVING : |
* Tenorio Lodge was designed in a way that does not require air-conditioning units in the rooms and public area. The hot water is produced with solar heated water (electricity back up in the rainy days).
* Tenorio Lodge keeps the use of electricity at a minimum and in order not to exceed energy levels needed; guests and employees are constantly reminded to save energy. Lights are provided with 90 percent of compact fluorescent bulb to save up more energy. We ask our guests to cooperate by switching off the light when necessary.
* In order to minimize the use of our dryer in the laundry and save electricity, we have built a bio-climatic room to dry clothes naturally.
| ||WATER : |
* Our guests and staff are reminded to use water responsibly. The water system and pipes are periodically monitored to avoid any sort of leaks. We don't need to sprinkle our garden and have also planted local heat-resistant plants.
* In the bungalows, we ask our guests for cooperation in reducing water use of unnecessary sheet or towel washing.
* Tenorio Lodge makes a strong effort to avoid products that negatively influence wastewater. For example, all detergents and products for guests (shampoo, etc.) used are biodegradable.
* Wastewater is collected in septic tank and then filtered into drain-fields.
| ||WASTE MANAGEMENT : |
* The program involves around the three “R’s” of reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste.
* Garbage is carefully sorted out at Tenorio Lodge and we separate recyclable materials such as cans, plastic bottles, tins, paper, etc. Tenorio Lodge will participate in a program of implementation of recycling in the village and National Park.
* To avoid the waste, at Tenorio Lodge we buy most of our food in bulk and use reusable packaging when available (beer, sodas, etc.). We also encourage our staff and guests not to use disposable plastics.
* We also have our own compost facility which is the destination for more than 70% of our waste. The produce of the compost is periodically used by our gardeners as nutrients for our plants, thus avoiding the use of any artificial fertilizer. We do not use any kind of pesticides, herbicides and dangerous chemicals in our garden.
| ||SOCIAL : |
* The staff at Tenorio Lodge is all local. By staying at Tenorio Lodge, guests provide directly employment to over 8 families in the area.
* All the employees of Tenorio Lodge are paid according to law wage in Costa Rica. We take into account the qualification and the experience of each one. No employee is or will be paid below the minimum wage. Our wages are higher from 5 to 10% on those charged generally.
* As we are a young company, less than 3 years running, we don't have yet established an employee benefits system.
* All our employees are under the scheme of social security in Costa Rica. We also have an insurance to cover work-related accidents.
* Some of our employees attend training courses. We have thus adjusted their
schedules to allow them to follow these courses.
| ||CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT : |
* We supports local owned tours operators (Rio Celeste, Cano Negro, hanging bridges, etc.) They work very hard to offer unforgettable experiences for our guests. One example is Don Antonio, who runs the Caño Negro tour. He offers not only a great tour to discover this amazing sanctuary of birds but a tour with him is a real cultural experience!
* Our small gift shop offers exclusively art-crafts made by local artisans. Our store is intentionally kept very small and we encourage guests to buy at local gift shops in Bijagua. We also use for ornaments and hotel rooms art-crafts and other artistic product manufactured by local women for handicrafts.
* Tenorio Lodge is member of the local chamber of tourism (CATTEMI) and also member of the national chamber of tourism of Costa Rica (CANATUR).
* We use mostly locally bought ingredients in our kitchen, not only to support the local economy but also as part of the cultural experience of local cuisine for our guests. (Our kitchen garden provides 30% of our needs). Furniture is bought locally whenever possible as well as other supplies for the lodge.
| ||ASSISTANCE FROM EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS : |
* In December 2008, Rainforest Alliance has made a diagnosis of Tenorio Lodge to implement “Best Management Practices in Sustainable Tourism”. Since that date, we are working to implement the results of this analysis.
* The aim is to introduce Tenorio Lodge for the CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism).
| ||OTHER RESPONSIBLE TOURISM PRACTICES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT : |
* Tenorio Lodge prohibits the use and promotion of activities of commercial sex, prostitution, sale of drugs or other social problems.
* Tenorio Lodge tries to be “Quiet Neighbor attitude” towards the environment: no unnecessary noise, music, engines, lighting etc.
* Tenorio Lodge provides information to the guests about the measures to protect the environment who are developed in the region, information, on socio-cultural activities taking place in the region.
* Tenorio Lodge encourages and guide customers to visit different National Park or other natural attractions. The company maintains detailed information on natural areas of tourist interest for their clients.
* At Tenorio Lodge we feel that protection of the rainforest and its inhabitants is one of the most important parts of our mission. In our property, in collaboration with the students from Upala high school, we have already planted more than a thousand of natives’ trees, some endangered. The vast garden´s vegetation consists with predominant species native from the area.
* We have used local plants and trees all around our garden that attract wildlife. Guests are asked to respect the local flora and fauna, to not walk off-trails or to try to feed any wildlife.
| ||CERTIFICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM : |
We have begun the process of obtaining certification "Sustainable Tourism” (CST) with the Costa Rican Ministry of Tourism and we are hoping to get this commitment soon.
Download our PDF file about certification for sustainable turism
For more information about the CST, see the oficial web page from the Costa Rica Turism board