When Yossi Ghinsberg wrote of his near-death experience in the Amazon Rainforest in 1981, little did he know he’d open the door for generations of adventure seekers to recreate his experience and transform the natural area he first voyaged. Stories similar to his, found in guidebooks and novels, inspired a new wave of tourism, with some of the most untouched places being overrun and tarnished by tourists. Meanwhile, local communities face a fine line between economic opportunities and preserving natural resources. With money being the primary focus, our natural environment is often seen taking second place; and, the speed at which it is changing has been amplified beyond what most thought imaginable.
In thirty years’ time, director Pegi Vail, gives viewers an absorbing look at the tourism industry in her film, “Gringo Trails”. Woven into her theme of untouched places first discovered by those who followed the unpaved road, Vail unearths a new wave of travel and introduces the need for sustainable tourism. As part of the Sustainable Film Series, “Gringo Trails”, will be featured at Loaded Joe’s in Avon on March 6th. The Sustainable Film Series is a project of Walking Mountains Science Center and is intended to raise awareness and encourage community dialogue about pressing issues impacting our environment.
“Gringo Trails” perfectly captures the striking contrast between the traveler who wants to learn and experience the cultures and environments of the places they visit, and the traveler who visits to be entertained. The film offers working solutions, recognizing both the need for local communities to implement rules and regulations, ensuring their local environments remain the same, and for travelers to plan adventures in a way that ensures beauty and culture is not destroyed. Vail reminds us that we are all visitors on the “gringo trail” and calls for audiences to consider impacts of their presence, so the integrity of the environment is not altered and travel is thoughtful, purposeful, and impactful.
To view the entire line-up of the series, visit www.walkingmountains.org/films.
IF YOU GO…..
What: “Gringo Trails”, part of the Sustainable Film Series
When/Where: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 6th at Loaded Joe’s in Avon and again at 6:30 p.m. Mar. 20th at the Dusty Boot, Eagle
Cost: $5 suggested donation
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