Our story in Guinea Bissau
In 2009 we embarked on an exciting enterprise on a beautiful island in Guinea Bissau inhabited by a people called the Bijagó. The island’s dense mangroves, lush vegetation and pristine beaches of fine white sand were also home to countless birds, giant turtles and hippos living happily in salt water. There was also a small hotel that wanted to show the world the region’s natural beauty and ancient culture by means of genuine ecotourism. However, the island and the hotel were in great danger of being taken over by commercial interests with no respect for biodiversity or interest in preserving the island’s cultural wealth.
To put an end to this threat, the Associaçao Guiné-Bissau Orango took over the management of the small hotel, which we have called the Orango Parque Hotel. Our aim is to secure the economic resources required to implement cooperation projects carried out together with the island’s inhabitants that also help to preserve their natural environment. Such projects are crucial to ensure the survival of the environmental and cultural harmony achieved sustainably over hundreds of years.
Right from the start, this initiative has focused on making ecotourism compatible with the conservation of nature. Development cooperation and environmental projects are essential to conserve the national park, as well as for the Bijagó people living there. Since then we have constantly evolved, continuously adding new projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations.
The hotel invests its profits in micro-projects of development cooperation that contribute directly to improving the welfare and quality of life of the local population in the Orango National Park, mainly in the areas of health and education.