'Community-Based Sustainable Tourism within Conservation Areas: A paradigm for environmental and socio-economic alleviation of Mexicans?'
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This research examines the role of community participation in the implementation of a project of sustainable tourism within a conservation area in México. It aims to illustrate the value and challenges involved in promoting community-based participation, and seeks to propose a method that can be easily used by diverse Mexican communities eager to conserve their environment without compromising their wellbeing. The field research and project took place in a Mexican oil worker community. Community members, agencies and the President of the municipality were engaged in defining the issues and my research agenda. Closing the open-air garbage dump was the major concern that the community wants to address. The analysis included: a literature review; policy analysis; formal and informal interviews with an open-ended questionnaire, analysis of an Ixhuatlán de Sureste community-based project initiative; stakeholder identification; a sustainable tourism project proposal; concluding with an evaluation of the possible conflicts that the rural community could develop if following this alternative state government initiative. This project proposal contributes to the understanding of the Mexican environment policy as a new tool of land regulation and suggests the minimum aspects which need to be achieved when implementing a community-based sustainable tourism project.