As an ecotourism company that seeks to support community-based tourism, we have a huge amount of respect for the local communities that we work with on a daily basis. Don't be confused. This is not a client-patron relationship -- they are our partners in all that we do. Without their input, participation, and support, we would never be able to offer the deep insights into the Colombian cultural and natural landscapes to visitors that we do. The majority of our local partners are campesinos, families and communities that live in the rural areas around the capital.
The heritage, identity, and cultural background of campesinos is inherently entwined with the land they cultivate. Even as they sow crops, they sow the cultural backbone of Colombia. It is our unique honor to work with these families and communities and to bolster their livelihoods via ecotourism.
For instance, we recently hosted an 'agro-tour' in the Choachí area in partnership with a newly-formed association of campesino families that is interested in boosting tourism to its farms. We were shown the campesino cheese production process from start to finish -- which included our contribution of the hand-milking of their cows (a process much harder than you would expect)! This was followed up with a first-hand look at the aquaculture plots where they raise trout, as well as a hike through their plots of several different types of potatoes. To see these practices and techniques is to see the reflection of the strong and vibrant culture of these rural farmers.
If you are truly interested in interacting with the soul of Colombia, then you need not look further than the hardworking communities of campesinos.