Recognizing Excellence in Practitioner Anthropology:
THE 2011 PRAXIS AWARD COMPETITION
WAPA is pleased to announce that Amanda Stronza has won the 2011 Praxis Award for her competition entry: Posada Amazonas: A Partnership for Ecotourism in the Peruvian Amazon.
Posada Amazonas is a community-based ecotourism lodge in the Peruvian Amazon. It was built in 1996 as a joint venture between the Native Community of Infierno, a village of 150 families, and Rainforest Expeditions, a private tourism company. The partners split profits and agreed to co-manage the lodge for 20 years. Community members work not only as boat drivers, cooks, and guides, but also as directors, owners, and decision-makers in the company. Successes to date include substantial economic returns for the community, local stewardship of forests and wildlife, and a variety of social benefits, including strengthened community organization and local autonomy. For nearly two decades, Stronza has collaborated closely with both partners to gauge economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts. Few ecotourism projects have been so carefully documented using the tools of anthropology. Stronza has shared the story of Posadas Amazonas in the popular media, public presentations, and a documentary film. In 2003, she directed a series of tri-national workshops with indigenous leaders in similar community-based ecotourism in Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as Peru. For its achievements in connecting conservation and development, the Posadas Amazonas project has earned many international awards, including recognition by the United Nations Development Programme Equator Initiative.
Amanda Stronza is Associate Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, and she co-directs the Applied Biodiversity Science NSF-IGERT Program, at Texas A & M University.
At the time of winning the 2011 Praxis Award in October, Amanda Stronza was conducting field research in Botswana, and she was not scheduled to return to the United States until August of 2012. Therefore, her Praxis Award certificate and $1,000 check were mailed to her.