Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Cindy Forster

Reader 3

Kimberly Drake

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Hannah M. Sands

Abstract

As tourism expands across the globe, tourists seek “undeveloped” areas to explore. This influx of visitors has lasting impacts on the natural environment and the socio-economic structures of host communities. Ecotourism has the potential to positively implement tourism that values the natural environment and its’ people. I argue that ecotourism initiatives led by outside agents prioritize natural environment over the indigenous peoples who have lived on the lands for centuries. Indigenous-led tourism inherently is ecotourism, and in Aymara culture ties to Pachamama and their way of live are more sustainable than green tourists traveling to their communities. This thesis draws on the recognized need for local communities to lead tourism initiatives, and examines the difference in outside involvement. An analysis of Isla de la Luna (Coati) and Isla del Sol (Challapampa) in Lake Titicaca, I argue that autonomy and respect of the Aymara people and their cultures should be prioritized as the tourism industry develops in Bolivia. Safeguarding against reproducing and increasing class divisions amongst community members is necessary to preserving sustainable cultural and communal relationships.

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