Last Monday, the ICC started with a series of community workshops at El Paredon Buena Vista Village, in Sipacate, Escuintla, to gather information about the places of interest for the community and thus, include them within the conservation plans for the Sipacate Naranjo area.
Several community sectors participated in the Workshops, including tourism, fish and hunt, Women’s Network, COCODES, and other community leaders, who, through several methodologies, identified the important zones of the area.
Some of the places that were identified as priority for the community leaders are: beaches, Nance’s Pond, Chiquimulilla Channel, ocean, mangroves, rivers, and river mouth, among others. They also expressed their interest in protecting biodiversity, including parlama turtles, birds, local animals, fish, and crustaceans, among others. “We want to protect everything, because everything helps us survive” said the locals.
The ICC is currently executing the project “Elaboration of a Technical Study, Law Initiative, RAMSAR Information Sheet, and Master plan for the Marine-Coastal Conservation Area Sipacate Naranjo”, which aims to provide technical tools for the conservation and management of the Sipacate Naranjo area.
Sipacate Naranjo was declared a National Park in 1969; however, this category does not reflect the activities that are currently held in the area. Therefore a new categorization that reflects the current activities of the area is needed.
The ICC has performed a series of studies and workshops to obtain the most accurate information of the area, and thus, present a conservation and management proposal according to the interest of its habitants.
Nowadays, the Sipacate Naranjo area is well known for its touristic activity including hotels, surf, mangroves, birdwatching, and parlama turtle conservation. Also, the area has villages, crops, a city (Sipacate), agriculture, livestock, fish and hunt, among others.