Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Ecotourism and Conservation in Brazil

By traveling with Cheesemans’ to Brazil, you directly support the local community, as well as the people who work in ecotourism that are passionate about conservation. Our local operator, Daniel Rondon has long-lasting personal relationships with the owners of the lodges and private locations you experience on our Brazil itineraries. In addition to helping nurture these grass-roots relationships, he works with the local lodges to facilitate sustainable environmental practices such as water and sewage treatments, waste separation and recycling, solar power for hot water showers, and more. Our local operator also supports specific conservation projects by promoting and sending visitors to them and by organizing groups to take part in scientific research and donation efforts. It is Daniel’s passion and belief that tourism and conservation are not separate and thus symbiotic, and when done right, tourism is an effective tool to protect and preserve important ecosystems such as the Pantanal of Brazil.

Brazil’s ecotourism industry also gives local people sustainable job alternatives that help further conservation. For example, Daniel’s company is locally owned and operated and he chooses only handpicked guides and leaders committed to environmental and cultural values that are in line with their founders. With Cheesemans’, they work with Alexine of the Peccary Project to connect tourism to important conservation projects, and they are also involved with the Tapir Conservation Project, Giant Armadillo Project, Hyacinth Macaw Project, and jaguar specific conservation projects, Onças do Rio Negro and Onçafari.


Giant Anteater © Bravo Brazil Expeditions

Giant Anteater © Bravo Brazil Expeditions

Costa Rica’s ecotourism industry gives local people sustainable job alternatives that help further conservation. For example, Selva Verde Lodge hires 60+ people from the local community who otherwise may have to work for pesticide-using banana and pineapple companies, logging, poaching, or hunting (which was commonplace before the rise of ecotourism). Also, while Paco was born and raised in Costa Rica, many other companies send guides from their own countries instead of hiring someone local, which is detrimental to Costa Rica’s ecotourism economy. The more we empower local people to understand the benefits of conserving natural habitats, the more successful conservation can be.

Jaguar © Bravo Brazil Expeditions

Jaguar © Bravo Brazil Expeditions


How Can You Make A Difference?

How You Can Actively Contribute

  • Keep an eBird list for each outing – you don’t need to track EVERY bird you see. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Take GPS-referenced wildlife and nature photos, and upload to iNaturalist. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Give a talk about your experience to a local wildlife or nature group or host a virtual webinar to reach a much wider audience!
  • Share your experiences on social media so others can learn more.
  • Submit a written, video, or audio testimonial for Cheesemans’ to share with future travelers.
  • Support local vendors if you buy memorabilia to take home.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill rather than accepting plastic bottles. Paco carries water in the vehicle for you to refill while on the road in addition to the water the lodges provide for you.
  • Ask for the lodging to not replace your towels or bedding during multiple night stays.
  • Turn off lights and fans when leaving your room.
  • Bring biodegradable soap, to protect the world’s water and to save on waste from bottles hotels provide. Many hotels are switching to dispensers in the bathrooms.
  • We’d love to hear other ways you are actively participating, so please share that with us on our Brazil Facebook group.

Organizations You Can Support

  • SOS Pantanal – This organization is a private, nonprofit institution that promotes knowledge management and dissemination of information about the Pantanal biome to governments, opinion makers, large enterprises, farmers, and small landowners in the region, as well as the general public, to increase awareness and trigger positive impacts for the conservation and sustainable development of the Pantanal biome. Their Brigadas Pantaneiras program is structuring rural fire brigades throughout the Pantanal with the objective of early fire prevention to limit the incalculable loss of biodiversity.
  • IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas – This organization works all over Brazil developing and disseminating innovative models of biodiversity conservation that promote socioeconomic benefits through science, education, and sustainable business. They undertake an integrated action model with respect for community traditions and emphasize the transferring of knowledge and research results. Pantanal region-specific projects include Sustainable Landscapes and the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative.
  • ECOA – Ecologia e Acão – Formed by a group of researchers in 1989, this non-governmental organization’s objective is to establish a permanent space for dialogue and to develop projects and public policies for environmental conservation and sustainability in both rural and urban environments. It also participates in events, such as workshops to discuss emerging environmental laws, especially relevant to the Pantanal. Currently, the main lines of work are guided by the themes of community, climate change, conservation of pollinators, and funding agencies and their disbursements in the areas of infrastructure and energy.