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Ron Mader



His Bio

Ron Mader's work catalyzes communication about environmental conservation and travel.

Ron's professional background includes a wide range of media, including hosting the website and serving as Latin American correspondent for Transitions Abroad magazine. He is the author of Mexico: Adventures in Nature and contributed to the Responsible Tourism Handbook.

In Mexico Ron works with colleagues and co-created the Mexico Ecotourism Network and the Oaxaca Options roundtable. Online he has created a number of e-conferences, including the Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference and the Ethical Travel Dialogue. See the calendar for news about upcoming workshops and events.

Ron Mader can be contacted here.



Why Mexico?

Perhaps no other country in the world is as friendly to tourists as Mexico. The country has an excellent system of ground, air, and sea-based transportation, tens of thousands of hotel rooms, and a cuisine that is world-famous for its flavor and diversity.

However, environmental awareness and tourism have yet to tread the same path. Sometimes it seems as though environmental tourism in Mexico is like the famed Copper Canyon, a gorge in Chihuahua deeper than the Grand Canyon in the United States. Conservation is marooned on one side, tourism on the other. Sometimes it appears that there's no bridge across the abyss.

Perhaps it's the hybrid origin of "ecotourism" that makes each side distrust the concept. Conservationists shudder when tourism leaders brand amusement parks as ecotourism destinations. Likewise, when environmentalists devise complicated eco-trips that tour operators can't book, the operators see ecotourism as nothing more than utopian whimsy.

Until recently, most of Mexico's protected areas and biosphere reserves were simply off-limits to tourism. Either the government tried to keep areas "tourist-free" because of the lack of park guides, or the areas themselves were too remote from the main tourism corridors to attract visitors.

In the 1990s, though, organized tours and individual travelers discovered and raved about the natural wonders of Mexico. Whether to watch birds or whales, people began visiting the great outdoors to experience the diversity and beauty of nature. Tourism providers discovered the accompanying economic benefits of offering natural history tours, and communities themselves began to see that "ecotourism" offered the potential to diversify their income base.

Mexico: Adventures in Nature is the first and most comprehensive guide for the individual traveler who wishes to explore the natural diversity found in Mexico.

Mexico: Adventures in Nature is widely available in U.S. bookstores or you can pick up a copy online via the Barnes and Noble bookstore.

Ron Mader can be contacted at online.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ron Mader © 2008
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