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Overview of the training course "Uniting Youth for Ecotourism"

From 6th to 13th November 2017, 31 young people from 13 different countries joined the training course "Uniting Youth for Ecotourism", which has been organised by YEE and took place in the beautiful ecological centre "Kapraluv Mlyn", right in the Moravian Karst.

The goal of the training was to define the concept of ecotourism from different points of view: which practices can be considered "ecotouristic"? How can ecotourism be beneficial for local communities? How can ecotourism be related with youth participation?

Difficult questions require a complex approach. By means of a balanced mix of first-hand experiences, informal and non-formal education methods, the topic has been explored far and wide. The program was indeed very intense, but at the same time it gave a lot of space for participants: one of the peak of the training was surely the intercultural evening, where participants presented the others an object, good, food or drink linked to ecotourism practices in their country of provenance. It was so fascinating listening to the story of Georgian honey produced by a participant`s grandmother or the adventure of a stone picked in Madrid which soon became a precious lucky charm!

Sharing is caring, and the sharing sessions were numerous and represented a good opportunity to have a little taste of the activities and projects of participants` organisations: flying from the green Asturias, where one of the trainers presented his eco-friendly hotel, to the superb and proud Rome, where a participant is working hard to promote ecofriendly activities of local artisans, to the romantic lands of Czech Republic, where young people gathered to spend their holidays in contact with nature, was extremely enriching.

Another beautiful experience was the full day excursion. Participants had the possibility to see with their own eyes concrete ecotourism practices: particularly significant was the visit to Skills Mlyn and the tour of a new experiential exposition about the Moravian Karst in the House of Nature. Exceptionally interesting were also the visit to Mipon, a family company which produces socks bearing the regional brand Moravian karst (at the end, we all bought socks!) and to the farm which produces organic wool and herbs. The excursion was also a good occasion to taste Czechs kindness and hospitality, which have been deeply appreciated by all.

It`s really impossible to report everything that happens in that incredible week: bonfires, reflection sessions, a visit to caves, a movie night and an amazing farewell party to close this fantastic experience which will be hard to forget.

You can read more information about the training course here.