Photo courtesy of Planeta.com’s Flickr collection
Today we are featuring an interview with professional journalist and activist Ron Mader.
Mr. Mader is a journalist, photographer and founder of the award-winning website Planeta.com, which for over thirteen years has served to explore ecotourism and sustainable tourism around the world.
Based in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ron organizes grassroots tourism fairs and co-founded a local rugby club. Ron received his Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas in 1990 and his Bachelors Degree from Indiana University. His work has garnered numerous awards and Ron is profiled in the book American Environmental Leaders (Abc-Clio, 2000).
This interview is part of a new feature on the Practical Environmentalist called â€œPeople Making a Difference.â€ If you know of someone working in the environmental community who would like to share their story, please leave a comment!
Now to the interviewâ€¦.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in sustainable tourism.
Let’s see. I’m a US expat who lives in Mexico. I conduct workshops and give presentations in Latin America, the United States and Australia.
Some background. In the late 1980s I embarked on a radical change — exploring and explaining Latin America to a Gringo audience. Something was pulling me South, so I decided to pursue my interest in Latin America at the Institute of Latin American Studies in Austin, Texas.
The focus of my studies was the then new buzzword ‘ecotourism.’ This was a great window into the culture of a region that otherwise does not receive much coverage in U.S. media.
Austin was a great place to study and later on I developed a long-standing friendship with Bill Christensen who developed the Greenbuilder website.
I have written for numerous publications, including Transition Abroad and have written nature guidebooks to Mexico and Honduras.
What was your role during the International Year of Ecotourism?
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