Skip to main content

Indigenous attitudes, ecotourism, and Mennonites: Recent examples in rainforest destruction/preservation


During the Summer of 1992, the author traveled to three distinctive rainforest regions. Two were located in Ecuador: the west coastal rainforest and the northern “Oriente”, a headwater region of the Amazon Basin. The third rainforest was located in the northwestern region of Belize. As a member of a study group sponsored by Save the Rainforest, Incorporated, the author was involved with the Programme for Belize Research station at Rio Bravo. Having witnessed a variety of types of rainforest destruction in the Brazilian Amazon during the summer of 1989 and the accompaying multitude of indigenous attitudes concerning the same, the author was keenly aware of destruction/preservation activities in these other regions.

The indigenous peoples encountered during these travels displayed conservation-minded attitudes and a true desire to save the rainforest. In addition, three ecotourism resorts were encountered during these visits. Though these profit-making establishments do not contribute financial support to local conservation efforts, they do represent large investment concerned with rainforest protection. In Belize the immigration of Mennonites has been considerable. Though their American counterparts may observe a quaint and simplistic lifestyle, in Belize, Mennonites are a major destructive force.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Blum, E.: Ecotourism Skyrockets as a Major Market for the Affluent. Travel Weekly 50:16–17 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  • Cater, E.: Profits from Paradise. Geographical Magazine 64:16–22 (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  • Dedera, D.: Preserving a Paradise. The Lamp, Exxon Corporation, Houston, Texas, 1–7 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoover, J.: Mennonite Families Favor the Simple Life. Park City Daily News, January 9, pp. 1–2c (1983)

  • Jesitus, J.: Evolution of Ecotourism: Tourism Trend Requires Balance between Building and Protection of the Environment. Hotel and Motel Management 207:43–46 (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  • Lizama, J. et al.: Save the Rainforest Tropical Forest Ecoloqy Manual: Rio Bravo, Belize, Programme for Belize, Belize City, p. 90 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy, S.: Industry Sees First Steps Toward Rating Ecotours. Travel Weekly 51:44–46 (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  • Norris, R.: Can Ecotourism Save Natural Areas? National Parks 66:30–34 (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  • Petersen, A.: The Mennonites and Their Architecture in Southcentral Kentucky. Presentation to the Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Academy of Science 1988.

  • Petersen, A.: Professor of Geography, Department of Geography and Geology, Personal Communication, 1992.

  • Trapasso, L. M.: Deforestation of the Amazon: A Brazilian Perspective. GeoJournal 26:311–322 (1992a)

    Google Scholar 

  • Trapasso, L. M.: Saving the Other Rainforest: Fundação S.O.S. Mata Atlantica. Geography Section Proceedings of the Kentucky Academy of Science, 27–33 (1992b)

  • Walton, D.: A Life Some Never Left. Bowling Green Magazine 5:27–29 (1984)

    Google Scholar 

  • Warner, E.: Ecotourism a New Hope for Rainforests? Travel Weekly 97:37–45 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, M.: Consultant with University of Belize Library System, Librarian, Western Kentucky University, Personal Communication, 1992.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Trapasso, L.M. Indigenous attitudes, ecotourism, and Mennonites: Recent examples in rainforest destruction/preservation. GeoJournal 33, 449–452 (1994).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Indigenous People
  • Bravo
  • Conservation Effort
  • Ecuador
  • Amazon Basin