Positive Impact Travel: Meet the Locals

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Written by
Emily Opie, Keith Jarman, Alex Carey & Katie Holmes

Published on: October 31st, 2018

Last modified: November 25th, 2019

At Jacada Travel, empowering local communities is an important part of who we are, and we hope to pass this on to our guests. We actively seek out experiences that ensure Jacada travellers have a positive impact on the people and the communities you visit.

With the majority of our partners working with local guides and drivers, there is plenty of opportunity to meet the locals on a Jacada trip. By taking steps to ensure that we involve as many local people as possible, the money spent on a Jacada trip provides a tangible economic benefit to local populations across the world.

Wherever you travel with us, getting up close and personal to the local community is sure to provide you with a wealth of great experiences that you’ll want to tell your friends and family about for years to come.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite Jacada experiences that are centred around local people.


Social innovation in Colombia

In recent years, Medellin has undergone both a social and cultural transformation as a result of its move towards peace. On our Colombian Art, Culture and Cuisine tour, a local guide will show you around the barrio that has undergone the most extreme transformation – Comuna 13. You’ll get an insight into the country’s complicated past whilst you meander through graffiti lined streets. 


Ending with a visit to the centre of hip-hop and urban art, this walking tour highlights the positive impact of tourism on young people and their artistic expression. With income from tourism helping to transform Comuna 13 from a complicated barrio to a cultural haven, your money goes a long way.


Truffle hunting in Tuscany

In Tuscany, wake up your taste buds with a tantalising truffle hunt at a local farm. You’ll head into the woods alongside trained dogs who’ll help you sniff out the truffles. Your local farmer turned guide will explain the techniques used to locate truffles. After a successful forage, you’ll sit down to a well deserved truffle tasting and light lunch. More and more Italians are flocking to large cities in search of corporate jobs, as finding long term employment in rural areas is a struggle. By engaging in experiences such as this one, you’ll be supporting local livelihoods and helping to keep a local Italian tradition alive.  



Cook with locals in Rajasthan

There’s no better way to experience India’s world famous food than by cooking it with the localsIn Rajasthan’s Udaipur, Minakshi and Mahipal Singh make a living from hosting cooking classes in their kitchen. First, they take travellers to the local market, where they’ll give you a whistle stop tour of Indian vegetables and spices. Then, it’s back to their kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson followed by a feast of your creations for lunch. In a country with a population of over one billion people trying to make a living, both your stomach and your conscience will thank you for contributing to the positive impact of tourism in India. 


New Zealand's Maori legends

In a country with three times more sheep than people, it might come as a surprise that modern New Zealand still offers opportunities to interact with indigenous Maori people. On our Best of Australia and New Zealand tour, you’ll be able to spend time with native people as you climb Mount Tarawera in Rotorua.


A member of the Ngati Rangitihi tribe, (a tribe locally known as the ‘Guardians of the Mountain),’ will drive you part way up the mountain before accompanying you on a hike to the 1111m summit. As you scale the mountain, enjoy your guide’s colourful Maori tales. With the original settlers now only making up only 14% of New Zealand’s population, your Mt Tarawera excursion contributes to keeping Maori culture alive.


Weaving workshops in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to many indigenous groups, including the people of Otavalo. Travellers after an in depth exploration of Ecuador can spend three nights in Otavalo getting to know the region’s people and their customs. Stay at Hacienda Zuleta, a working hacienda that has been upholding the local way of life since 1940. The property preserves traditional livelihoods, such as embroidery and cheese production, for example, by encouraging visitors to explore local weaving workshops.. Tourism here directly contributes to the local economy – profits from tourism allow the working hacienda to continue with its daily activities.



After enjoying a short hike near the stunning Cuicocha crater lake, visiting the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation is a fulfilling way to end your day. The foundation is a non-profit agency that sponsors projects conceived to improve living standards of the Zuleta community. The foundation has gained recognition thanks to its promotional work for the region’s weaving industry, one of the most important craftworks in the country and an important piece of Ecuador’s culture.



Feeling inspired? Get in touch with one of our expert travel designers to start planning your community-focused vacation.