[Above: A Sierra Gorda panorama. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot]
Featuring Sierra Gorda, Querétaro, Mexico
We chose the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve as the international pilot for this series because of one organization’s well-established success in their approach to conservation: Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda. In the videos, our two millennial hosts enjoy exploring the region as they discover how Grupo Ecológico has achieved its success.
By working closely both with the local rural population, many of whom live at subsistence level, and with a succession of state and local governments, Grupo Ecológico has helped protect a wide variety of natural habitats while gradually making northeastern Querétaro into a scenic paradise for international travelers seeking an authentic Mexican experience.
You can now see and link to the Sierra Gorda videos on our YouTube channel, World’s Inspiring Places. There are three versions:
- Full-length short-form documentary (13 minutes)
- Travel focus (5:16 minutes)
- Stewardship focus (4:30 minutes )
Subscribe to the channel to see additional videos about Sierra Gorda and shooting World’s Inspiring Places pilot.
The World’s Inspiring Places is a short-form online travel series created by Erika Gilsdorf, owner and producer of South Shore Productions, and Jonathan Tourtellot, director of the Destination Stewardship Center, both based in the United States. The series aims to showcase stewardship success stories around the world where people are working to help conserve or preserve the cultural and natural heritage of a destination, or creating a unique travel experience the supports and builds on that heritage.
Destinations do not pay for the videos; we look instead for external support free from local conflict of interest. In the case of Sierra Gorda, we are grateful for generous support from Freightliner.
The mission of World’s Inspiring Places is to encourage travelers to visit, enjoy, and appreciate authentic destinations that protect their nature, culture, and sense of place; to help individuals, businesses, and governments care for these places and the people who live there; and to inform and inspire leaders to secure a solid economic future through wise destination stewardship.
For two reasons, we encourage you to enjoy the Sierra Gorda videos and link to them through your own social media, blogs, or websites. First, Grupo Ecológico’s work is truly a model for the rest of the world, worthy of dissemination. Second, we seek new topics for World’s Inspiring Places and, of course, ongoing sponsorship support for a series that will, we hope, showcase the world’s best examples of great stewardship and rewarding travel.
Our thanks to Grupo Ecológico for their help with our six-day shoot this past August, and with my own visit in October. Our appreciation also to Freightliner for their financial support and to Antonio del Rosal of Experiencias Genuinas for his assistance in serving as our Mexican liaison.
If you have a proposal for the next World’s Inspiring Places, please see our page on how to apply, or contact us to begin a conversation.
Contact us, too, if you would like to download your own copy of a video, including a high-resolution version for audience presentations and the like.