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How to stop deforestation?

Sustainable tourism as an alternative source of income for communities

The Canto de la Selva Jungle Lodge project arose out of the Galacia ejido members’ concern with conserving the natural ecosystems and remnants of the tropical forest, together with their growing interest in diversifying their productive activities and enhancing their income without destroying the rainforest’s natural richness. To achieve these objectives, the Canto de la Selva project was launched, with assistance from Natura and Ecosistemas Mexicanos and financing from Fomento Social Banamex, the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, Pemex and the WWF-FCS Alliance.

The area adjacent to the hotel, known as El Jolochero, is a well-preserved fragment of rainforest, crucial to the establishment of biological corridors between the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve and the rainforest areas of the municipality of Marqués de Comillas, meaning that its conservation is essential.

As part of the regional perspective on rainforest conservation in Marqués de Comillas and as a means of preserving the vegetation corridors in various ejidos, other attractive ecotourism activities are also available.

Montes Azules BR

Tropical rainforests are the world’s richest, most diverse terrestrial ecosystems. The Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve has an area of 331,000 hectares covered in evergreen forests, with major freshwater ecosystems, such as the Miramar and Lacanjá lagoons and the Negro, Tzendales and San Pedro rivers; in the south and southeast, it is bounded by a major tributary of the Usumacinta, the Lacantún river.

The Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve is part of the ecosystem known as the Lacandon Rainforest.

The entire ecosystem, currently preserved in over 280,000 hectares, has seen the recovery of animal populations formerly considered at risk of extinction, such as the jaguar, tapir, white-lipped peccary, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and scarlet macaws. Satellite images show that although the Lacandon Rainforest has lost three-quarters of its original vegetation, in protected natural areas, the rainforest has been preserved in excellent condition.

Montes Azules BR
Area: 331,200 acres
Location: Chiapas, Mexico
Population: 26,220 population

Other projects

In this section you will find other projects that help Marques de Comillas’ population diversify economic activities in the region in order to curb deforestation.



This student camp site has extremely comfortable, clean facilities. Tamandúa creates 15 permanent jobs and provides economic benefits at the local and regional level. It has also helped diversify economic activities in the area.



The El Pirú ejido boasts a visitors’ center, where ejido members offer ecotourism services: meals and kayaking down river rapids to enjoy the scenery, wildlife and adventure offered by the Lacandon Rainforest.

La Casa del Morpho


A group of ejido owners have set up a WMU based on the cultivation of butterflies in the wild, in other words, extraction in a context of conservation and a management program for their sustainable use and the production of handicrafts made from their multicolored wings.

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