Sustainable and Responsible Tourism in Uruguay
Our passion is Uruguay, and it is vital to Lares Tours that we preserve the beauty, authenticity and quality of our incredible country. We are deeply committed to meeting standards of sustainable tourism that protect the environment, by supporting host communities and initiatives, working with like-minded suppliers and minimising our carbon footprint wherever possible. Lares’ ultimate aim then, is to showcase the best of incredible Uruguay with real excitement, yet also preserve the landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the country along the way.
The benefits of tourism are universal for everybody, as visitors love Uruguay’s natural beauty, the activities, people and places that make those all-important and everlasting memories, while locals have the chance to meet people from around the world, as well as getting a boost to the
local economy through employment and income generation.
However, with development and travel come both challenges and environmental impact, so Lares’ responsibility as a leading DMC and Tour operator in Uruguay is to constantly be on the lookout for initiatives, engagement and conservation projects across our beautiful country, which we can then support.
Here are a few examples of the work we do – on top of our green day-to-day office practices – within the sustainable tourism sector:
- Aluminum over plastic: Travel can be thirsty work, especially if you are enjoying one of our active summertime tours, meaning – potentially – a lot of plastic water bottles could be used during every Lares vacation. To avoid this, we provide all traveling passengers with a reusable aluminum water bottle which they can then refill, reducing the need for mass consumption of unnecessary plastic.
- Protecting Green Turtles: The beloved Green Turtle has long been under threat across South America, previously through hunting and today due to habitat destruction, pollution and accidental fishing. So, Lares have partnered with Uruguayan NGO, Karumbe – which means “turtle” in the local Guarani language – to help protect this much-loved species, raising both money and awareness to fund their operations. Find more about Karumbe: http://www.karumbe.org/
- Cleaning the beaches of Rocha and Maldonado: Uruguay’s coastline is famous, popular among locals and visitors alike, though with human presence comes unwanted waste which can impact the natural beauty and ecology of our prized beaches. In an attempt to preserve the enjoyment of visiting the coast of Uruguay, Lares joins local groups in Rocha and Maldonado to ensure they are always clean, regularly combing for harmful plastics and other debris.
- Using local guides, farmers and drivers: Wherever possible, we use the services of local guides. Or, if none are available, Lares will employ locally and then invest in training. This is our way of giving something back to the socio-economic development of communities kind enough to host us and applies to the guides, car providers and drivers, restaurant owners and farmers producing the food we eat.
- Ninos con Alas Foundation: Lares has long been supporting this non-profit institution with no religious or political denomination whose purpose is to fight marginalization through education and the development of human beings and social equity, making emphasis in CHILDREN. The foundation supports 2,000 children who attend five schools in deprived neighborhoods of Montevideo. The most important tool of the Foundation is the “PADRINAZGO”. It consists of looking for people or companies that assume the commitment to finance the schooling of a “godson” or “goddaughter” throughout primary school. The Foundation also funds other programs such as Teacher Support, regular food supplies or transportation for children. This financing comes from the extraordinary income that it receives through different campaigns of public good and donations of companies; in this case, its objective is to assist the schools with which it works to enhance the impact on the neighboring society.
This is just a snapshot of the work Lares does, though we are always keen to do more and help produce responsible, sustainable travel experiences to Uruguay, protecting our natural world as much as possible.