One of the main requirements all over the world for being an ecolodge is your support for the local community. Before the agriculture revolution 10,000yrs ago it was communities that made the human race thrive and evolve into where we are today. Everything was based on the whole of the community. If one person was hungry the whole community did not eat until that person was fed. This is easily seen in ancient indian traditions that nobody ate at a ceremony until everyone had their food, something that modern day societies find hard to make a reality.
With respect for the community comes respect for the land. Communities of many years ago lived on current sunlight. It was the sunlight that hit the land, that produced the food, that fed the families. Without respecting the land they would have all starved.
With a real ecolodge you see this respect for community in a much deeper sense. Community service of an ecolodge is complete respect for the whole of the community and not just the employees, hotel books, or food of the guest. It is concern for the community inside the ecolodge grounds and outside of the ecolodge grounds including the people from young babies to the elderly. This can be seen in working in school projects to inviting elders to be part of certain activities and decisions in the community.
Another community service which should take an important role in any ecolodge is the food supply. In a world that has an addiction to fossil fuels and much of this being the transport of food, it is very important that ecolodges use local food and involve the community as everyone can be part of organic farming. The community service of teaching local residents about growing without pesticides is just as valuable as teaching English which can also be a positive community service project.
While teaching English can be important in an ecotourism country like Costa Rica it is just as important that ecolodges are advocates for preserving local cultures, languages, and forms of medicines. Many ecolodges are located in areas where older cultures are dying and in need of preservation. An ecolodge can play an influential role in a community by promoting the local cultures which often includes a particular dialect, herbal medicines and cures and a love for the Earth.
Being part of an ecolodge involves community service and more important the ecolodge must not be invovled in the community but be a part of the community as an educator and a student of many of the magical wonders that are outside of the ecolodge. The greatest service to a community is living with respect to it’s members and the land that supports the life of the community.