Madrid, July 31, 2023 – Tourism in Central America and the Dominican Republic is aligned with indigenous economic development. The offer for visitors has, among its main axes, the protection of the environment of each country, a gastronomy that is cooked with ingredients grown by local producers and the conservation of the culture and traditions of indigenous peoples. As Carolina Briones, General Secretary of the Central American Tourism Promotion Agency (CATA) points out, “we want to value tourism that directly benefits the people of our region. Tourism is a fundamental sector not only for governments or large companies, but also for small businesses or farmers, to give two examples”.
For this reason, the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic are concerned with valuing tourism that coexists in harmony with the environment. Home to 12% of biodiversity, it is the second largest area for bird watching in the Western Hemisphere and is part of the second largest coral reef in the world. A unique tropical sanctuary, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, which tourists can enjoy with the utmost respect for nature and is pampered so that it is inherited by future generations.
As for gastronomic tourism, the region offers visitors a rich fusion of indigenous, African and Spanish cuisine, which is based on corn, a native crop that is part of the food base of the pre-Hispanic peoples of Mesoamerica who they inhabited the region. In addition to corn, we must highlight products such as cassava, black and red beans, peanuts, rice, chili peppers, avocado, cocoa, pineapple, coconut... all of them grown by local producers who have an important source of income from tourism.
Archeology and ancestral heritage
Central America and the Dominican Republic is also home to various pre-Columbian lineages whose heritage transcends to our days thanks to the zeal and care for the traditions and cultural expressions of their heirs, as well as the archaeological remains, which have been preserved unscathed over time. Throughout the length and breadth, and in different geographical points of the Central American isthmus, the ethnic groups of the Lenca, Tolupanes, Maya Chortis, Payas, Tawahkas, Miskitos, Sumo, Rama, Ulwas, Marribio, Chorotega, Nagrandano, Nicarao, Sutiaba are located. , Matagalpa, Chontal, Guatusos, Quitirrisí, Malekú, Bribri, Talamancas, Emberá, Nagate and the artistic Kuna.
Likewise, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are home to nearly six million descendants of the ancient Mayan culture. Therefore, in Central America, travelers can see first-hand the route traced by this surprising culture, which, ahead of its time, bequeathed the signs and vestiges that demonstrate its splendor.
In this line, Guatemala marvels with the archaeological sites and parks El Mirador-Río Azul, Uaxactun, Tikal, Yaxha-Nahum-Naranjo, Quirigua and Takalik Abaj. Belize fascinates with its extraordinary, and little-known, ancient wealth consisting of more than 1,400 Mayan sites, among which Cerro Maya, Santa Rita, Altun Ha, Lamanai and Baton Creek stand out. El Salvador captivates by the charm of the archaeological sites of San Andrés, Cara Sucia, Tazumal, Cihuatán, Joya de Cerén, Casa Blanca, and Santa Leticia; while the stately and magical Honduras surrounds with the imposing and indecipherable ruins of Copán, Rastrojón and the bridge among others.
Local culture and traditions
In the Dominican Republic, the Taino heritage is still very present throughout the country. The Taíno-Arawaks were the first inhabitants of the country to settle before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish. Currently the spirit of the Tainos is still very latent in the national idiosyncrasy. From the legacy of this pre-Columbian culture, which can be discovered in different museums in the country, such as the Museo del Hombre Dominicano in Santo Domingo or the Altos de Chavón Regional Archaeological Museum, to gastronomy, such as the delicious cassava cassava.
Also the bucolic and stately colonial cities, founded throughout the length and breadth of the royal road that interconnected the native peoples, preserve the cultural heritage of Central America. In Panama, Panama La Vieja stands out, founded in 1519, the old town, the modern city of Panama, Portobelo, the Anton Valley whose population is settled on an extinct crater and Chiriquí. In Nicaragua, León and 'La Gran Sultana', as the city of Granada is known, both founded in 1524.
Environment, gastronomy, culture and traditions are some of the pillars of tourism in Central America and the Dominican Republic, which, as proven, contribute to the region's indigenous sustainable development.
Issuer: Central American Tourism Promotion Agency
For more information
CATA Communication www.visitcentroamérica.com
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