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San Jose de Caldas de Puertas Abiertas

A homestay platform that matches people in search of an authentic immersion experience with the rural families and their locatl techniques. A social business that empowers the rural women and that benefits the whole community.

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Written by DeletedUser


This social business idea consists in creating a platform to link people interested in living a unique rural experience inside San Jose de Caldas rural community with local farmers of the region.
In this platform, each host family gives a brief description of their life, explaining their interests, hobbies or any special skills they might have and they use in their daily lives. With that in hand, the potential visitor can choose the family that best matches his interests, and he can decide on how to rettribute the family’s hospitality, either paying a fee or offering a service in exchange. This service could go from teaching a class in local schools to helping with the harvest of their crops or constructing the new communal workshop space.
In addition of the stay, the visitor can participate in the families activities such as making honey, learning the local art crafts and so on. They will be able to dive in a truly authentic experience.
The main objectives of this social business are empowering the women of the community, since they are the main caregivers of the family and the ones involved in the care of the farm; generating extra income to the community and its families and promoting the exchange of knowledge and experiences between different realities and cultures and thus improving the overall education of the community.
As it goes, the platform will also show in each family profile the feedback of past visitors. This mechanism will also stimulate a healthy competition between the hosting families, as if a family gets more stay requests, it means that they are doing something special and will the others want do better as well.
To balance the overall experience for the whole community, part of the revenues generated will go to the hosting family and part to a community fund.

How do you envision this idea making money?

The home stays are paid either with money in the case the visitor is only interested in a cultural experience or together with voluntary work like harvesting in the high seasons, temporary medical, nutritional and teaching services and anything else that may be of the community’s interest. To promote the home stays the best strategy is to use specialized magazines to advertise the platform amongst a socially conscious target. Attention has to be paid to avoid the massification of this experience, loosing its authenticity and transforming the idea into a conventional tourism format. Some initial investment will be needed to improve the hosting infrastructure and the additional costs generated by each stay are related to the extra meals and energy consumed. An additional source of income can be generated through the sales of local products made by the women such as honey, jams, art crafts.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

The extra income can be used to better the overall living conditions of the hosting families and the community. A more steady source of income will allow these women to invest in better nutrition, better health care and better education for their families. Also, it will bring external contribution to the work on the fincas (farms) and to the local schools in the community through the voluntary work.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

From the moment when the visitor has the first access to the platform where he can get in contact with the social challenges and opportunities of the community, passing through the election of what could be the best match for his stay and thus generating a peer to peer health competition between the hosting families, to the empowerment of the local women as the main actor of this business.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

- Development and implementation of the web platform, - Assessment of the families in San Jose interested in participating in the service and the creation of a database, - Training of a local woman that will manage all the online reservations, local operations and logistics of the service. - Partnership with local Government to gather momentum within the community and to create the network. - Partnership with local transportation companies that will provide the transfers to the remote rural areas. - Initial small loan to each family that is interested and qualified to become host- this will be used to any infrastructure improvements.

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DeletedUser

thanks guys for posting this!

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