photo © André Dib
We have always believed in tourism as a sector for development. That’s why, 10 years ago, Raízes Sustainable Development was founded. It was born out of a collective dream of experiential tourism, focusing on: itineraries that transform. After an initial period of learning and growth, a community-based tourism project in Jequitinhonha Valley was born in 2012.
As the project developed, Raízes became more involved in the community based tourism sector within Brazil. The encouraging results that have been achieved so far only confirm our premise that travelling transforms you as a person. This was our main inspiration to create Vivejar. Our years of experience in tourism has shown us that there is still a long way to go in order to present Brazil as a plural and holistic tourist destination.
In short, Brazil is a destination with a multifaceted allure. We not only have beaches, samba and soccer, but we also have a rich cultural heritage, delicious gastronomic pleasures, fascinating folklore, thriving art scenes and an incredibly welcoming and diverse population. All these pieces add value to the tourist product and can be used as tools for inclusion, income generation, rent distribution, cultural exchange, knowledge transfers and positive social change.
That’s why we say with confidence: travel can transform lives.
photo © André Dib
How do we do it
Experience the very essence of Brazil through our exclusive trips. Our experiential tours show you the best of what Brazil has to offer: Brazilians.
All our trips are based on the following principles/ premises:
Community based tourism is a tourism development model that is based on the concept of self-management or cooperativism, valuing the local culture and focusing on community members. What does it mean? The trips offered by Vivejar are spearheaded by community members and the activities are based on their concepts and ideas. The community controls the tourist product and reaps the social and economic benefits of these activities. That’s why it is a transformative travel experience.
Sharing the daily routine with the family, as well as cultural exchanges between visitors and community members can foster protagonism and entrepreneurship within the community. Not only is community based tourism seen as an alternative tool for local development and income generation, it also promotes the preservation of local traditions and ancestral wisdom.
Community members can use tourism as a window to not only to earn money but to establish ways of doing, using and feeling that encourage community members and families to recover their own culture and way of life as well as discover new things. Appropriating their own culture and environment allows the community the adapt to the new while also holding onto the old. That’s why we call it transformative tourism.
The foundation of Vivejar’s travel experiences is the interaction between the visitor and the host. It is how we forge meaningful experiences. Experiential tourism is a type of tourism that helps people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture.
The communities that we work with are prepared to share with visitors the richness of their history, culture, work, crafts, art and their collective ways of living together. Moreover, they welcome visitors to understand the relationships that they have with the natural environment that surrounds them. As a result, the visitor’s gaze is widened with cultural exchanges and knowledge transfers that transform not only the tourists but also the community. That is why we call it community based tourism.
We are all made of stories, emotions, of sharing and belonging. The oral tradition is how communities pass their knowledge to the next generation. This traditional way of conveying is not only about simply and clearly transmitting a story, it’s also about involving the listeners.
Vivejar’s travel experiences are based on storylines. We delineate themes that enable visitors to turn tangible the experience they are living immersed in the community. That’s why we call it tourism that fosters personal transformation.
Vivejar is committed to promoting the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. As an organization, we constantly question whether our actions are sustainable, economically viable, socially just and environmentally correct. For us, sustainability is related to citizenship and in this respect it is our highest priority.
To actualize sustainable development in these spheres, Vivejar invests in concrete collective participation, establishing a common theory of change for each reality as well as strengthening networks based on the principles of fair trade.
Additionally, we develop strategies for evaluation and monitoring in order to measure the impact of our actions and to know when to alter them when necessary.