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© Pousada Fazenda Almada/Markus Mauthe
© Pousada Fazenda Almada/Markus Mauthe

respect_NFI conversation cycle: How personalities shape sustainable tourism

Get to know the changemakers of tourism's sustainable future! In the online respect_NFI conversation cycle we will embark on a journey around the world and feature outstanding tourism professionals who are putting their visions and ideas for a fair and sustainable tourism into practice.
Our first stop was in Brazil. We visited Juliana Mauthe de Cerqueira Lima, owner of the Fazenda Almada in the Brazilian state of Bahia, and her husband, photographer, author, and environmentalist Markus Mauthe. They gave us an insight into how they bring together tourism, cocoa cultivation, agroforestry, and the protection of the Atlantic rainforest.

Familie Mauthe
The Mauthe Family © Pousada Fazenda Almada/Markus Mauthe


The history of the Pousada Fazenda Almada

Juliana's family founded the cacao farm in 1855, the region of Bahia was one of the largest exporters of cacao in the world. In the 1980s, a fungus was introduced that attacked the cacao plants, many cacao farmers gave up, Juliana's family also had to struggle hard.


Karte Fazenda Almada
Location of the Pousada Fazenda Almada

When Juliana came back to Bahia in 2015, she wanted to preserve the farm, the only question was: how? Cocoa cultivation was to be continued, specialising in high-quality organic cocoa. However, it was not possible to live solely on the income from cocoa farming - tourism was to become the second pillar. Together with her husband Markus Mauthe, she built up a sustainable, identical tourist offer in connection with traditional cocoa cultivation in the Atlantic Rainforest.


Gespächszyklus Brasilien
Screenshot NFI, Photo © Markus Mauthe


The 160 year old main house was gradually converted into a tourist residence. "You can imagine the accommodation like a farm in 1960s Germany," Markus Mauthe tells us. "No TV in the room - TV detox!"
The local communities are involved in both cocoa cultivation and tourism. The tourists can produce chocolate themselves, the farm workers (who do not speak English) guide them through the fields and let them participate in the entire process - from harvesting, fermentation and drying of the cocoa beans to the chocolate. In the guesthouse, locals take care of the tourists.


Gesprächszyklus Brasilien
Screenshot NFI, Photo © Markus Mauthe


Tourism & awareness raising

"What we are doing today is based on the experience we have gained over the past decades," says Markus Mauthe. "We made this decision years ago and are consistently following the path." The Mauthes are convinced: in order that people appreciate the natural beauty of our planet and also preserve it, they need to experience it, they need to be touched emotionally. The Mauthe family's farm is a "living school", so to speak, where guests can learn and experience a lot. "Every tourist is a message spreader," says Markus Mauthe. And the project of traditional cocoa cultivation not only supports the protection of the Atlantic rainforest, but also the local population: 14 families earn their living with it.


Gesprächszyklus Brasilien
Screenshot NFI, Photo © Markus Mauthe


Where do the guests come from?

Many guests come from Germany. During the pandemic, more domestic tourists have also "discovered" the Fazenda; for them it is a different kind of holiday, a kind of experience holiday in their own country, as Juliana explains.
More informations about the Pousada Fazenda Almada:
Instagram: fazenda_almada