Green Footprints

Bosawas.com is an initiative of Vapues Tours (Nicaraguan Inbound Tour operator & DMC). Green footprints are being left while promoting sustainable development through tourism. Joint action with respectable and enthusiastic counterparts leads to a growing determination in meeting our objectives.

December 2012 – Supporting the Genesis Teatro Ensamble from Costa Rica
Vapues Tours is sponsoring the Genesis Teatro Ensamble from Costa Rica with their fabulous and very well received 'El Ogrito'. Their goal is to introduce theater to children and teenagers throughout Central America in areas where theatre is largely inaccessible. Vapues Tours supported this theater group with accommodation and transfers. http://genesis-teatroensamble.com

September 2012 - Cooperation with Chacocente to protect sea-turtles
Vapues Tours is working with the Wildlife Refuge Rio Escalante Chacocente in the Vida Silvestre region of Nicaragua to promote eco-tourism. Chacocente is one of the most important remaining reserves of tropical dry forest in Central America. This is the place where the mass arrival of Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea) takes place, and it marks one of the main attractions of this area: up 5,000 turtles come at night to lay their eggs on this beach, and a few weeks later one can observe thousands of little turtles hatching. You can experience this marvel of nature with Vapues Tours.

March 2012 - Strategic partners with the Association of Kayak Guides ‘Jacamar’, Boca de Sábalos
Vapues Tours and Agua Trails are strategic partners in this project, led by ProPemce, a cooperative program in Nicaragua for the development of women and excluded populations, funded by the DFID / UKaid (Great Britain) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Despite the fact that the number of tourists visiting the Rio San Juan area been has doubled in two years, the local community does not benefit financially from tourism and the region remains a deprived area. ProPemce formed an association of local guides, aiming to train local people from the small village of Sábalos (tributary of the San Juan River) as tour guides.

Vapues Tours’ role as strategic partners in this project consists of giving English classes, which is done by one of our English speaking employees and market their excursions through the travel trade. Vapues Tours is offering the services of Jacamar to different tour operators from Costa Rica and Nicaragua; moreover, we will promote the area through our Rio San Juan & Solentiname Map, brochures and flyers.

November 2011 - Strategic partners with UPAS, Solentiname Islands
Vapues Tours and Agua Trails are strategic partners in this project, led by ProPemce, a cooperative program in Nicaragua for the development of women and excluded populations, funded by the DFID / UKaid (Great Britain) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Solentiname Islands, located in the south-eastern part of Lake Nicaragua, are known for artists working with balsawood, turning this prime timber into colorful souvenirs. Together with local painters, these artisans formed a cooperation named UPAS (Unión de Pintores y Artesanos de Solentiname) in order to preserve and promote the identity and authenticity of the Solentiname artistic tradition.

By encouraging artists to sell their work in the offices of Vapues Tours (Granada) and Agua Trails (La Fortuna) we help to empower local artists of Solentiname. With the exhibitions we promote tourism to the area, by including the services of UPAS it our excursion packages, allowing tourists to meet the artisans on the Islands and first handedly witness the process of the different types of arts and crafts that are being produced. The package includes a workshop where tourists will participate in the process.

October 2011 - Vapues Tours joins TOPS
TOPS (Tour Operadores Promoviendo la Sostenibilidad - Tour Operators Promote Sustainability) is a network, set up under the umbrella of the Rainforest Alliance, to promote the relationships and cooperation between operators and other providers in sustainability-oriented tour operators. See for the full list of the members on http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/es/tourism/tops-members

July 2011 -  Cocoa Farmers Cooperative CUSEMUCRIM, Boca de Sábalos
The Sustainable Management Project ‘Sustainable Bufferzone Management Project’ in the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve is a joint development and conservation project implemented by the Danish Embassy, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the local Cocoa Farmers Cooperative COSEMUCRIM. Its aim is to fight poverty and deforestation by promoting diversified cocoa- agro forestry systems. Since 2008, the project offers technical assistance and capacity building for poverty stricken local farmers in order to produce organically certified first quality cocoa beans.

The cocoa tree is a native and shade-tolerant tree that combines perfectly to the remaining rainforest fragments on the farms. Cocoa agro forestry managed to revert the traditional unsustainable land use practices (slash and burn) and created a protection belt around the core area of one of the last big rainforest areas of Central America. Local cocoa farmers learn through their own organization, the COSEMUCRIM cooperation, how to produce ecologically, how to safeguard a high quality product and how to sell collectively to attractive and fair markets. In 2009 the cooperation introduced an innovative community-based tourism program: ‘Cacaoturismo’.

Agua Trails and Vapues Tours now offers a unique and authentic experience for visitors: guided tours along the product circle of organic cocoa, from the seedlings to fresh artisan chocolates. As strategic partners we contribute by marketing the initiative through the travel trade, and by coordinating visits of international groups, subsequently providing clients’ feedback to the cooperative through on-site training sessions. Through the BOSAWAS brand we financed the fabrication of interpretation signs at the visitor center in Boca de Sábalos. 

December 2010 - Merry Christmas in Leon
This Christmas Eve, Vapues Tours and other local organizations made a monetary donation to families in the communities of San Carlos, El Pilar, and Los Mangos located in the city of Leon. The objective is to provide a pleasant evening filled with joy and a lively cultural presentation with rural families, especially women and children in these areas. [image]  

June 2010 - Prevent littering in the Poneloya community
Participation in a campaign to preserve the Environment and prevent littering at the beach of Poneloya, an initiative for responsible management of natural resources in the León. People from the Poneloya community, including school children, effectively campaigned to recollect litter at the beach. The recollected garbage was consequently selected for recycling. For Vapues Tours a volunteer of the German Weltwärtz program participated in the activity. An educational sign [image] was donated to the community of Poneloya, sponsored by DED (German Development Service) and Vapues Tours. 

April 2010 – Protect turtles at the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Río Escalante, Chacocente
Initiation of the collaboration between Vapues Tours and COSERTUCHACO (Cooperative de Servicios Turísticos del Refugio de Vida Silvestre Río Escalante - Chacocente), supporting the rural community tourism in Chacocente, the biggest tropical dry forest in whole Central America. The beaches of this place is one of the few breeding areas left of the impressive Paslama turtle, which makes it very special and worth of protection. We want to help to preserve this unique spot and its endangered species, and you can be part of it: http://vapues.com/daytoursmanagua.php

January 2010 - Vapues Tours supports the Dutch foundation ‘Do You Care’
Again this year, Dutch foundation ‘Do You Care’ and Vapues Tours collaborate in order to give 14 young Dutch students the opportunity of getting to know Nicaraguan culture and supporting the local community with their volunteer work at institutions such as Asociación Las Tias (street kids shelter), Los Pipitos (disabled children shelter), Orphanage/ Home of the Elderly San Vicente de Paúl and Hospitals AMOCSA and HEODRA. Vapues Tours organizes Spanish classes and works closely together with the cooperative ‘León sin Fronteras’, allowing the students to stay with local families, encouraging a vivid exchange of culture and ideas. http://stichtingdoyoucare.nl

November 2009 - Prevent littering and promote recycling in the San Juan del Sur area
Participation in the campaign ‘ United to preserve the Environment’, an initiative for responsible management of natural resources in the San Juan del Sur area. About 600 people from different communities, including school children, effectively campaigned to recollect litter in their respective communities. The recollected garbage was consequently selected for recycling. At the end of an exciting day, a cultural performance was organized. READ MORE 

July 2009 - Vapues Tours is promoting Community Based Tourism in the Cosiguïna area
Opening of [ Ramsar Lodge], a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between COSETUR (cooperative of 12 local families, owners of Ramsar Lodge) and Vapues Tours. The Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED) and NGO Fundacion Lider provided technical assistance. The investment of the PPP was matched by DED. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) provided technical training through ‘Program Bosque Seco’. This Community Based Tourism (CBT) Initiative serves to generate additional income to traditional commercial activities in the primary sector, and is part of a strategy for responsible management of natural resources in the Cosiguïna area.

March 2009 – Vapues Tours supports the Dutch foundation ‘Do You Care’
For the second time, the Dutch foundation ‘Do you Care’ sends seven students to León, Nicaragua, in order to do their internships and learn about local culture. Organizing host families and Spanish classes, Vapues Tours served as local counterpart, supporting the students in their work with street kids, disabled children and orphans: http://stichtingdoyoucare.nl

January 2009 – Promote cultural heritage of Nicaragua
Promotion and marketing of BOSAWAS project ‘Ruins of El Realejo’, a tour designed in cooperation with Museum Chorotega Nicarao. Supported by one of Nicaragua’s leading archeologist’, participants rediscover the ruins of the first maritime port on the Pacific Ocean, visiting the Convent of San Francisco and other ruins nowadays buried under the house of a local farmer. The tour concludes with a visit to Museum Chorotega Nicarao, where many objects from pre-Columbian Nicaragua are on permanent exhibition.

December 2008 – Promote community bases tourism in Monimbo
Promotion and marketing of BOSAWAS project ‘The Art of Handcraft’, a community based tour has been designed in cooperation with NGO MASINFA. Participants visit a broad variety of ‘patio style’ workshops in Monimbo, experiencing the daily life of these small producers and seeing how traditional handicraft is being made. 

November 2008 – Promote reforestation project in the Cerro Negro area
Promotion and marketing of BOSAWAS project ‘Twilight Hike Cerro Negro’, a tour taking participants to Cerro Negro, to be part of the mysterious transition from day to night. Joining this tour participants support (and visit) the reforestation project of Vapues Tours and Cooperativa de turismo Rural Comunitario Pilas El Hoyo.

September 2008 – Reforestation of selected area near Cerro Negro Volcano
In cooperation with Cooperativa de turismo Rural Comunitario Pilas El Hoyo, 1500 trees are planted (Cedro Real, Guanacaste, Genisaro, Laurel , Malinche and Cortez). Clients of Vapues Tours taking a tour to Cerro Negro visit the reforestation area and are invited to ‘adopt a tree’, which is included in the touring fees.

August 2008 - Promote responsible tourism in the Cerro Negro area
A Memorandum of Understanding is signed between Cooperativa de turismo Rural Comunitario Pilas El Hojo and Vapues Tours. The objective of the agreement is to promote environmentally and socially responsible tourism practices, integrating local communities in initiatives to protect the environment and develop and promote sustainable tourism practices around Cerro Negro.

March 2008 - Vapues Tours supports the Dutch foundation ‘Do You Care’
Dutch foundation Do You Care sends fourteen students to León to do their internships. Local counterpart Vapues Tours organizes Spanish classes, host family stays and work-placements at local organizations in need of assistance. Some of the institutions involved are: Hospital Escuela Oscar Danilo Rosales Arguello (HEODORA), Asociación Las Tias (street kids shelter), Los Pepitos (deaf, mute and mentally disabled children shelter), Sociedad San Vicente de Paúl (Home of the Elderly) and Hogar San Vicente de Paúl (Orphanage). http://stichtingdoyoucare.nl

January 2008 – Letter of intent between Vapues Tours and LIDER
A letter of intent is signed between Nicaraguan NGO Fundación Luchadores Integrados al Desarrollo de la Región (LIDER) and Vapues Tours, contributing to local development and empowerment of families and local people in the conservation and management of biodiversity and natural resources through the promotion of local sustainable development, fundraising and the provision of technical assistance to local communities.

September 2007 – Vapues Tours organize a workshop with the Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Alliance and Vapues Tours organizes a two-day workshop for the suppliers of the hotel sector. Implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP) and technical cooperation in implementation of Sustainable Tourism in Nicaragua are some of the main themes addressed.

July 2007 - Vapues Tours organize a seminar with the Rainforest Alliance
A seminar is organized by Rainforest Alliance and Vapues Tours. Forty selected suppliers of Vapues Tours are invited to develop and implement Best Management Practices (a ‘BMO Plan’). Suppliers of Vapues Tours, like hotels, drivers, guides and community leaders of existing Community based tourism (CBT) projects participated at the seminar.

June 2007 – Cooperation with the Rainforest Alliance
A Memorandum of Understanding is signed between Rainforest Alliance and Vapues Tours. The goal of the agreement is to promote environmentally and socially responsible tourism practices.
http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/tourism/tourism_connections/september_07.html

December 2006 – Vapues Tours wins the award for Best Active Tourism Product
Recognition from the Nicaraguan Minister of Tourism, María Nelly Rivas Blanco, for winning the award for Best Active Tourism Product at the Spanish International Tourism Fair FITUR.

November 2006 – Promoting tourism in natural reserves
An agreement is signed between Fundacion Cocibolca and Vapues Tours. The purpose of the agreement is to promote tourism to the Natural Reserves that Fundacion Cocibólca manages: Reserva Natural Volcán Mombacho (RNVM) and Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor (RVSLF).

May 2006 - Green Travel Market accredits Vapues Tours
Green Travel Market accredits Vapues Tours (Incoming Tour operator Nicaragua - id 19278). Green Travel Market offers comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date information on sustainable tourism products that are currently available on the global marketplace. To ensure quality and sustainability, all the products in the marketplace have been screened based on quality and sustainability criteria.

January 2006 – Vapues Tours awarded
The product ‘Oasis Verdes de Matagalpa’ is selected as best Active Tourism Product (Category International) at the International Tourism Fair of Spain (FITUR) http://www-ni.laprensa.com.ni/cgi-bin/print.pl?id=economia-20060204-04.

September 2004 – Promoting agricultural knowledge, Part II
Dutch NGO Agriterra and Tour operator Agroreizen jointly promote an Agricultural Tour through Nicaragua in cooperation with Vapues Tours. A key focus of Agriterra is the cooperation from farmer to farmer. Agriterra mobilizes the knowledge that Dutch agricultural organizations have, for the benefit of organizations in developing countries, acting as a mediator. http://www.agriterra.org/en

June 2004 - Promoting agricultural knowledge, part I
Representatives of Agriterra, Agroreizen and Vapues Tours visit key actors of local communities in Rivas, Leon and Matagalpa that seek to develop agricultural tourism. With the assistance of local offices of La Union Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos (UNAG), participants of the grassroots farmer to farmer program are involved in the process of designing an agricultural tour through Nicaragua for the Dutch travel trade.


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