Programa de Ordenamiento de Playas (POP) – Guayas, EcuadorPOP (Programa de Ordenamiento de Playas) is a participative program that promotes sustainable tourism practices among beaches in the Guayas province. Funded by provincial government, the program includes a combination of infrastructure, formation of local leaders, capacity building and environmental monitoring that ultimately seek to conserve natural resources, improve the tourist experience, and increase local income and quality of life. I worked with POP in 2 beaches: General Villamil and Puna Island, both of which were extremely different contexts and demanded different community relations strategies. POP is a replicable program adaptable for any beach that seeks to develop quality strategies in 4 areas of work:
- conservation of natural resources
- sanitation and hygiene
- security and infrastructure
- information and education
Inspired by international beach certification such as Blue Flag, POP is implemented in 3, 5 month stages with community participation and consultation to develop sustainable tourism initiatives that balance the economic, social and environmental goals. For more information, visit the project website.