Who We Are
Concerned over rapid social, cultural, and economic changes accompanying increasing tourism, a group of Talamancan residents began meeting. In 1989 this group became an incorporated grassroots, non-profit association and called themselves ATEC—the Asociación Talamanqueña de Ecoturismo y Conservación or in English—the Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation. Talamanca is the “canton” or “county” which is home to the communities of Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo, Cahuita, BriBri and many other culturally and environmentally rich villages.
We were able to open the office in the town center of Puerto Viejo with international grants. Now ATEC is Puerto Viejo’s only non-profit office that offers wonderful local tours, a communication center, and an Internet café and everything a traveler might need. ATEC is a self-sustaining non-profit association that supports itself and its efforts through your support. THANK YOU!
This previously isolated area has since undergone many rapid changes due to the easier access and its natural beauty and charm. We continue to strive to maintain its natural beauty and sustain its culture.
What Are Our Efforts…
- We promote culturally and ecologically sound tourism and small-scale, locally owned businesses.
- We stimulate conservation through education and by helping local families derive economic benefits from their natural resources.
- We arrange memorable activities for visitors to Talamanca and help visitors participate in sound eco-tourism activities.
As well as having the office-communication center in the middle of Puerto Viejo, we also continue to actively participate in various community organizations:
- ReciCaribe—Talamanca’s recycling association
- The Talamancan Network of Rural Community Ecotourism—group of nine local tourism projects striving to maintain their traditional ways and make a living.
- ADELA—the anti-petroleum association The Talamancan Network of Community and Rural
- the KèköLdi Development Board
- CATUR—Puerto Viejo’s tourism board
- The Manzanillo Guide Association
- The Biological Corridor
- CoopeTalamanca—Our new bio-fuel initiative.