|We are mainly the widely scattered, independent
hosts who have developed the small-scale ecotour proposals you can see by clicking through
our site. You can meet each EarthFoot host at his or her Biography Page, which is reached
through a link on each Program Page.
Of course, someone also had to initially develop the EarthFoot idea and physically put the site together, so now let's talk about them.
In a manner possible only in cyberspace, this site has its beginnings with two middle-aged fellows leading very different lives in very different parts of the world. One is Jim Conrad, a professional naturalist and writer in his 60s. The other is George Meijer, a successful businessman and native Dutchman living in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jim and George have known each other since 1968. The EarthFoot partnership (initiated in 1998) has worked pretty well since Jim has a compulsion to write and teach, which this site has needed a great deal of, but he is useless with regard to finances and all aspects of business realities. George, on the other hand, knows these latter matters very well, and he also knows how to direct, with a light hand, otherwise wandering creativity.
As unconventional as the relationship between Jim and George, is EarthFoot itself. By no means is EarthFoot a corporation, an organization, or even a department with a regular office. EarthFoot is a virtual presence, more an evolving manner of thinking about what it means to be a mobile human on the face of the earth, than a business venture. What you see at this Web site, that is EarthFoot...
You may be interested in how the EarthFoot concept came about.
As you can see on our biography pages, both of us have traveled a good bit, especially in "developing countries." Everywhere we have gone we have seen things that disturbed us, but we have also seen the potential for local improvement. We have seen vast natural and human resources squandered, and we have seen many heartbreaking social disruptions and much poverty. But we have also seen that wherever we go there are always very well informed, energetic local people doing their best to improve local conditions. Usually these individuals have very limited means and support -- and often their efforts are opposed by other interests.
EarthFoot, then, is our modest gesture to support these local people as they work to protect their own natural and cultural heritage. We want to help them to guide the traveling public toward a better understanding of their local habitat and customs and to confront the threats endangering their communities.
The EarthFoot concept directs tourism monies from your pocket to them directly, to support them and their local communities.
EarthFoot is now a landmark on the Internet. It provides you with the opportunity to make direct contact with people in their local environments. We recognize that our program is just one small answer to a very great problem, but it is the answer to which we dedicate ourselves. We are proud that the UN has recognized the EarthFoot program as being useful for encouraging sustainable travel in the context of certain small economies.
If you are intrigued by our ideas, you might be interested in what our vision is.
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