Posted by deborahmclaren on December 30, 2012
I’ve been busy building another wordpress.org blog/website: www.getlocalflavor.com to promote small businesses, organizations and events that are “local” and sustainable in the Upper Midwest. Along with the website you can find us on Facebook.com/getlocalflavor or Twitter: @getlocalflavor or even a linkedin group “Local Flavor.”
Deborah McLaren aka TravelMomma
Posted in Buy-local, cultural heritage, ecotour, entreprenuers, microenterprise, Minnesota, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, travel | Tagged: Deborah McLaren, Local Flavor, local food, locally owned accommodations, Minnesota, slow travel, sustainable tourism, Upper Midwest, Wisconsin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on January 18, 2011
2011 Responsible Tourism Week: Feb 14-18
Fall in love with responsible tourism. The dates are set for our next Responsible Tourism Week. Our unconventional, online unconference takes place Feb 14-18, 2011. Details:
Background: Responsible Tourism Week is a fun mash-up exploring down to earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, the local travel movement and ecotourism with practical and inexpensive Web 2.0 technologies. Take a peak at what we accomplished this year via the Planeta Wiki and on Slideshare.
We are seeking partners and financial sponsors.
Simply put, this online unconference is an excellent way to broaden and deepen our dialogue about sustainable practice and tourism. The event encourages participants to articulate their core values and the way they put noble ideas into practice. It’s an opportunity to introduce new events, tours and research projects as well as an opportunity to summarize recent events. Yes, it’s a high-tech, but we also promote the foam board. For those who can keep track of a hashtag, it’s a new window to the world!
How to participate? You can start now by documenting the stories you’d like to share. In particular we will highlight photos on Flickr, tweets on Twitter, videos on YouTube and recommended blogs and wikis. This year we will start to feature tours using Gowalla and Foursquare. Check out the toolbox!
The talking points for RT 2011will be updated on the wiki. Of special interest in 2011 will be the role of responsible tourism in forests and cities. Join us!
Posted in Buy-local, climate solutions, conference, ecotour, green travel, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Technology, travel | Tagged: 2011 Responsible tourism week, Deborah McLaren, ecotourism, Foursquare, Gowalla, local travel, local travel movement, Planeta, planeta.com, responsible tourism, responsible tourism in cities, responsible tourism in forests, Ron Mader, wikispaces | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on November 1, 2010
Please join me on my new Facebook page which celebrates LOCAL food, art, culture, heritage and travel. Please feel free to post about locally-owned businesses, organizations and events! See you THERE!
Buying local is the best investment in our economy!
Posted in art, Buy-local, ecotour, entreprenuers, Fair Trade, family travel, food and wine, green music, Indigenous tourism, microenterprise, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, theater, travel | Tagged: art, culture, Deborah McLaren, Facebook, food, heritage, Local Flavor Travel, Locally-owned, travel, www.Facebook.com/LocalFlavorTravel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on July 22, 2010
Briefly, the ITBWA is a unique, important award for Indigenous Peoples involved in tourism. Listen to Ron Mader (host of http://www.planeta.com and interviewer) and Oliver Hillel of the CBD who sponsors the award.
Click here for the Youtube interview, Oliver Hillel and Ron Mader.
Posted in award, ecotour, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, Technology | Tagged: CBD, Indigenous tourism, Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversityt Website Award, Indigenous tourism award, International Ecotourism Society Conference, Oliver Hillel, planeta.com | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on December 27, 2009
The Climate Change talks in Copenhagen were disappointing… and while the mainstream travel industry continues to greatly contribute to global warming the REAL change is, of course, being made by the people who have consistently been the best care takers and conservationists of Mother Earth – our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
The 2010 Award for the best Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website, is a collaborative effort between Planeta.com and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity/UNEP (CBD) with the support of the Heidehof Foundation to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award is presented to indigenous tourism operations for websites that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation.
A good slideshare description, posted by Ron Mader (host of Planeta.com) is available at ITBW2010 and the ITBW2010 wiki.
So far, the nominees include:
Bicicletas Pedro Martinez is a Zapotec-owned biking company in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pedro prides his operation on respecting indigenous peoples and the incredibly rich ecosystems.
Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre introduces visitors to the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) in Victoria, Australia.
Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) in Pakistan is owned and operated by the indigenous Kho, Wakhi and Kalash communities.
Chalalan Ecolodge is the most successful effort made by indigenous people in Bolivia and is 100% run and owned by our indigenous community.
Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, is an umbrella association uniting 18 diverse destination communities with more than 350 families in Kyrgyzstan.
Kakadu Culture Camp is owned and operated by Fred and Jenny Hunter, Aboriginal people from Australia’s Kakadu National Park. They live out bush (live in a tent) for eight months to operate the culture camp in the ‘tourist’ season, and work as park rangers in the ‘wet’ season.
Nutti Sami Sii in Sweden features reindeer sled trips, which is a way to preserve knowledge. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are both Sami. Nils is a reindeer herder in Saarivuoma Sameby and Carina has her reindeer in Gabna Sameby.
Pathways Hotel in Micronesia promotes sustainable tourism through conservation efforts, environmental awareness, community assistance and marine management activities.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Canada is the only Cultural Centre in the world that shares the cultures of two distinct indigenous cultures in a visionary partnership on shared traditional territories. The Centre is staffed by Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors from both Nations.
In New Zealand, Taiamai Tours was founded by Ngati Hineira – Te uri Taniwha descendant Hone Mihaka of Ohaeawai Kaikohe in 2001. Our ancient customary practices of kaitiakitanga [guardianship] and manaakitanga [hosting people] connects us to our unique ancestral living landscapes in the Bay of Islands and the wider region of Northland.
Terenga Paraoa Tours highlights the traditional customs – Maori tikanga – in tours based in Whangarei, Northland New Zealand.
TIME Unlimited NZ Tours and Travel provides unique and high quality Auckland and Maori Cultural Tours in New Zealand.
Te Urewera Treks strives to operate in a sustainable manner in accord with Maori principles and values.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park showcases indigenous culture of the Tjapukai people, featuring theatrical performances and interactive activities in Far North Queensland, Australia.
Xe Pian National Protected Are features tours and accommodation 100% owned and managed by local communities in Xe Pian NPA, southern Lao PDR.
Posted in climate solutions, dogsledding, ecotour, green travel, Mexico, Native tourism, sustainable tourism, Technology | Tagged: Aboriginal, best practices, Biciletas Pedro Martinez, Brambuk, Canada, CBD, Chalalan Ecolodge, Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism, green travel, Heidehof Foundation, Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, Indigenous, Indigenous tourism, Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversityt Website Award, ITBW, Kakadu Culture Camp, Laos, Locally-owned, Maori, Mexico, Nutti Sami Sii, Pathways Hotel in Micronesia, planeta.com, slideshare, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Taiamai Tours, Te Urewera Treks, Terenga Paraoa Tours, TIME Unlimited NZ Tours, Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, tourism wiki, UNEP, Xe Pian National Protected Area | 5 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on October 21, 2009
I have spent the past couple of weeks thumbing through the book “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World” by Paul Stamets. As you can imagine from the title, Stamets is practically religious in his message that we can use living systems to solve environmental problems and to restore ecosystems.
One story that stands out in my mind is about his brother’s no-till farming technique. After the produce is cut, the stalks and roots are left in the field. As mushrooms grow in this material they hold the earth in place, absorb and keep more water, and return nutrients to the land. The land stays fertile.
Stamets also discusses the numerous ways that mushrooms have been used as medicine, discussions from the renewal of toxic land to the rehabilitation of toxic human bodies, gardening techniques, how fungi can live off of and absorb and grow on human hair, petro products and other crazy stuff — and compares mushroom growth and shapes to those of galaxies and universes. Could this book be more interesting? And it is written in perfectly readable, understandable English.
My husband Rob and I started taking our son, Anil, mushroom hunting this fall. He was immediately captivated and not only discovered many different types of fungi, but was intensely interested in helping us identify them later. I think part of his interest might have had to do with the fact that many mushrooms are dangerous and have names like “Death Angel,” and sometimes glow – like Jack-o-lanterns. Very cool for 9 year old boys — and I’m happy its mushrooms instead of Play Station 3 warriors… way more organic!
I’m going to have to check Stamet’s book out for another term from the library. It’s too much fun. And I think I might have to start doing mushroom tours! I’ve got some great places in mind — call me if you want to tour both wild and domestic mushroom sites in Minnesota next year!
Posted in Book Review, ecotour, green travel, mushrooms, Uncategorized | Tagged: books, Death Angel, ecosystems, green travel, mushroom tours, mushrooms, Stamets | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on September 14, 2009
Janice Chilton, chef at the Minwanijige Cafe at White Earth (Minnesota) presented a beautiful and delicious dinner for Regional Flavor participants from around the US last week. Participants traveled from America’s Grape Heritage center in NY/PA, the Arkansas Delta, south central Colorado, the Ohio Appalachia, and the “Grow Nebraska” project to learn more about our efforts here to combine economic development and support for microenterprises connected to regional foods, culture, heritage, arts, and tourism.
Janice prepared a late summer salad of veggies and greens from country gardens at White Earth. Toasted pine nuts and raspberry vinegrette provided a light, flavorful and earthy topping.
We feasted on braised pork, creamy new potatoes, wild rice and mushrooms, baked pumpkin and homemade wheat/butter bread. Janice served mini caramel and cream pies and locally harvested and hand-made maple syrup candies. Richwood Winery, the newest vintner in Minnesota, provided the wines.
Ojibwe singer Annie Humphrey played guitar as the sun set behind her over the White Earth forest. You can find out more about Annie at http://www.myspace.com/anniehumphrey
Musician Annie Humphrey
Over the years her songwriting has focused on a specific theme with a message to “Be brave and have a good journey.” Her haunting song “Beautiful Son” is still in my heart and my mind.
The Minwanjige Cafe is located at 33287 County Rd. 34, Ogema, MN 56569. It is at the intersection of 34 and 143, across from Strawberry Lake Store. (218)-983-3834
The Slow Foods Dinner topped off a 3-day program that included touring White Earth and West Central Minnesota, and a regional meeting held Sept 10th at MapleLag Resort that brought together enterprenuers and economic leaders in the region. The “Regional Flavor Circle” in Minnesota will continue to work to support the growth of sustainable entreprenuers in a geographic circle that includes the village of Mahnomen and Itasca State Park (headwaters of the Mississippi River) on the north and the villages of Fergus Falls and Wadena along the south. A Regional Flavor Entreprenuer office will be set up at M State in Detroit Lakes, MN. Contact Juanita Lindsay at CherokeeUpNorth@gmail.com or myself for more information – especially if you are interested in being part of the Regional Flavor Circle.
Posted in sustainable tourism, green travel, Native tourism, ecotour, microenterprise, Minnesota, Buy-local, entreprenuers, Slow Foods | Tagged: microenterprise, Locally-owned, green travel, Slow Foods, White Earth, Regional Flavor, Annie Humphrey, Minwanjige Cafe, Janice Chilton, White Earth Indian Reservation, regional economic development | 2 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on March 6, 2009
We’ve just returned from our Yucatan adventure. I’ll write some short reviews over the next few days. First, for anyone interested in heading there for the Spring Soltice on March 21st, you may want to visit the HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT & YAXKIN SPA, which claims to be “Mexico’s Best Green Jungle Resort and Eco-Spa Wellness Destination.” I wouldn’t disagree!
C.H. is run by 99% Mayan people from local villages. The Hacienda is owned by 4th generation Mexicans who have dedicated their lands and business to improving the land and culture of the Maya. The grounds are a bird sanctuary, set in a lush tropical forest. The restored cottages were originally built for the Carnegie Institute archeologists who were investigating Chichen Itza starting in the early 1900s. Organic foods are grown in their garden and used in their delicious recipes, based on traditional Mayan foods.
At first I was concerned that they advertise Mayan ceremonies as part of their experience. However, I learned that the staff has helped create and promote the work of the local Mayan Elders Association and the Maya Foundation In Laakeech. These organizations are dedicated to preserving Maya culture, creating healthy opportunities for their people, and sharing culturally-appropriate customs and ceremonies with visitors that help them protect the lands they are making a living on.
More from their website:
Both Jose Santos and Lorenzo Tamay have worked since their late teen years at Hacienda Chichen with a high dedicated service attitude to the guests and an eager personal commitment to learn and grow spiritually in the traditional Mayan holistic Cosmovision of their ancestors. Their commitment to the Maya Foundation Board of Trustees has helped them become the Hacienda Chichen’s Maya cultural spokesmen. They work together preparing the many Mayan rituals performed at the Sacred Maya Ceremonial Site use by the Holy Elder J-Men, or Wiseman, while they continue their training to become Elder J-Men themselves.
In their work as Mayan cultural representatives, they continue promoting the Mayan language, culinary arts, and holistic spiritual understanding of the Mayan healing traditions. Their dedication to preserve their ancestors Mayan cultural legacy has help co-workers see the value of their ancestors Cosmovision and spiritual believes. In August 2008, Jose Santos Tamay represented the Maya Foundation In Laakeech in the 8th International Mayan Encounter dedicated preserve the Maya Culture & Traditions, specially the language and rituals, this three day convention was held in Jolom Konob’ (today the town of Santa Eulalia, Guatemala).
Learn more at Hacienda Chichen.
Posted in ecotour, green travel, Mexico, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Uncategorized, Yucatan | Tagged: Chichen Itza, eco-resort, ecotourism, green travel, Hacienda chichen, Laakeech Maya Foundation, Mayan ecotourism, sustainable travel, Yucatan | 4 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on February 18, 2009
Next week I’m heading to the Yucatan, the Mayan Riviera! I’m packing already and trying to imagine what its like in 90 degree weather since we’ve just had the coldest January I’ve ever experienced here in Minnesota! I always have that problem and tend to pack way too much. This time I’m bound and determined to get 2 adults and 1 child’s worth of stuff into one suitcase.
We’re going on an ecological educational experience. Anil will take the time off from school so we want to make the most of it. Our plans are participating in the Centro Ecological Akumal Festival!!! This year their theme is Reuse–Recycle–Restore. CEA is planning events and exhibits related to reducing consumption, recycling waste and working to restore Akumal’s ecosystems.
Akumal means “the place of the turtle” in Mayan. If you can’t make it to the festival you can participate in the adopt-a-baby-turtle program!
Posted in ecotour, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on January 21, 2009
Planeta Update – Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
The nominees are:
The Great Spirit Circle Trail
Huit Huit Tours
It’s Wild! Bush Camps
Kapawi Amazon Ecolodge
Magic Mara Safaris
Nguna – Pele Marine Protected Area
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park
Voting is now open for the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website
Award! Details – http://planeta.wikispaces.com/itbw
This initiative is the result of a collaborative effort between Planeta.com and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. Voting takes place January 20 – February 20, 2009.
The award is presented to indigenous tourism websites that promote
sustainable practices and educate visitors on cultural protocols and
biodiversity conservation. Nominees include indigenous owned and operated tourism
businesses around the world. See the wiki –
http://planeta.wikispaces.com/itbw — for the descriptions of the operations with
links to highlights and Web 2.0 tools.
Posted in award, ecotour, green travel, Native tourism, sustainable tourism, Uncategorized | Tagged: green travel, Indigenous tourism award, sustainable website award, website award | Leave a Comment »