ADVENTURES FOR CHANGE |
Tourism is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the world, and adventure travel is one of its fastest growing categories. As tourism grows and tourists seek new experiences and destinations, around the world opportunities arise to develop new ways of travel, particularly those aimed to maximize ecological, cultural and economic benefits for local communities and minimise its impacts.
At Onca we believe tourism has the power of transforming the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Our mission is to provide travellers with unique experiences in nature while taking part on genuine wildlife research and conservation projects throughout this important ecoregion.
WHAT DO WE DO?
To fulfill our mission, we design and operate ecotours and expeditions that combine wildlife research, ecosystem monitoring, education, and community development, with sustainable tourism activities, promoting awareness about the value and threats to biodiversity, and generating direct benefits for the conservation and management of wildlife species and its habitat.
HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT TO OTHER TOUR OPERATORS?
Apart from being a tourist operator, our company finances important research and conservation initiatives throughout the region like the monitoring of marine megafauna populations (e.g. humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, sea birds and sharks), marine life stranding attention and great whale entanglement rescue, environmental awereness campaigns and education for conservation workshops at local schools and rural communities.
We also work tightly with the communities that own access to significant natural areas, helping them build and strengthen their capacities for the development and implementation of sustainable tourism products from which they can get direct benefits as an alternative to traditional economic activities (e.g. artisanal fisheries, agriculture, acuaculture, logging, etc.), improving their livelihoods, and inspiring them to protect their own resources though a genuine sense of ownership for their natural heritage.
WHAT DOES ONCA MEAN?
Our name is a tribute to the Mexican jaguar (Panthera onca), one of the most significant symbols of our prehispanic culture and standard of wealth and natural integrity of Mexico´s wilderness. Despite being the largest cat in the Americas, Jaguars have been hunted in great numbers and its habitat has been modified and destroyed in such a way that today, only a few specimens roam the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sinaloa, an important portion of its distribution habitat in Mexico, and a priority region for its conservation.
From the foothills of the Sierra Madre to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortes and the Mexican Pacific, Onca Explorations bets on sustainable tourism as the path to maximize the environmental, economic and sociocultural benefits, minimizing its negative impacts, thus contributing to rural community welfare and the conservation of ecosystem integrity and the wildlife they support.
This post is also available in: Spanish