Seizing the Lake: Tourism, Identity and Power of the Indigenous Peoples of Quilotoa, Ecuador
by María Belén Noroña
This work examines the process by which the community Ponce Quilotoa, in the Central Andes of Ecuador, undertakes community based tourism as complementary to their traditional economy.
This process that initially started by the mid eighties is documented up until 2007, showing how the community has taken advantage of this activity. While at the same time, it has increased access and control over natural resources, territory and it has strengthened local indigenous organizations.
This case study unveils the difficulties the community has to go through in order to maintain this enterprise, as well as the cultural contradictions that the insertion into the touristic market implies. Finally, this case illustrates that the adoption of community based tourism does not only respond to economic needs, it also respond to social and ethnic claims that had been historically in conflict with the mestizo society.