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Interview with ecologic companies: HOTEL Ecological Finca Ixobel

12 May 2015

A sustainable oasis in the Guatemala jungle

For the redaction of The GreenWatcher it's important to know your stories; how did you approach the world of eco-sustainability and why is so important for you. Carole, the owner of "Finca Ixobel", answered to our question about her ecologic business! 
Finca Ixobel" is an ecologic hotel surrounded by the the jungle of Guatemala. This business makes many eco-friendly behaviour to improve his environmental sustainability: hot water for showers gets heated by solar energy, fresh spring water is provided with a ram pump system which does not use commercial energy, they make composting and constantly partecipate to a reforesting program

How was your business born, and why did you decide to start an eco-friendly activity?

Finca Ixobel today is a beautiful oasis in the Guatemalan Jungle. Its charm and uniqueness is now famous around the world. The well tended grounds and structures were all built from scratch. How did this all come about?

The year 1971 found two American adventurers, Carole and Michael DeVine setting out from California traveling through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala looking to buy land so that they could realize their dream of a farm. After months of looking at land, they settled for a piece of land in Peten, Guatemala. The land had several springs which gave them water. They are in continued use today. There was no electricity so in the evenings the light was by candle light. In those days the forest surrounding the farm was alive with lots of animals which was a beautiful thing to see.
In the early 1970’s, northern Guatemala was the least developed region of Guatemala. You had to fly into Tikal or take a chicken bus over the very bad, narrow and mountainous gravel road from Guatemala City. The uncomfortable trip could easily take 18 hours just to Poptun. Sometimes trucks and buses would be stuck for a day or two. It was not an easy trip.
Because of the long trip to Flores and Tikal the few tourists that were adventure some enough to take the bus were excited to know that there was an American couple that owned a farm and would let you spend the night and also eat with them. And thus Finca Ixobel was started.
Unfortunately, Michael DeVine passed away in 1990. His wife and daughter continue to run the business. Finca Ixobel has grown and changed since its humble beginnings all thanks to the many people from all over the world who have visited and those who continue to do so. Michael’s passion for the people, the animals, the jungle and the environment has always remained constant in our minds. Carole is involved in many reforestation, environmental and community projects.

What does "Ixobel" mean?

In the Mayan Mopan language "Ix" (Eesh) means “place of” and “obel” is a wild plant that grows here and is recognized by its heart shaped leaves. This plant has medicinal uses and we use it to make a delicious herbal tea. Ask our staff to show you the plant. So, “Ixobel” means PLACE OF THE OBEL.

Thank you Carole for your ecologic commitment! We really appreciate it! 
Now make your EcoAssessment on The GreenWatcher and scientifically demonstrates to your customers your environmental commitment!

If you have a similar sustainable experience tell us about it
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