In Totonal we are committed to work for a sustainable development using tourism as a tool. We want to use travel as an instrument for local development and mutual understanding among people. Make travel an enriching experience for both the travelers and the host communities, always starting from an equal view of respect between one another and their cultures.

We are firmly committed to a better and more sustainable world through tourism and for this, we need the involvement of all, including our travelers! So, here we share a small sample of our commitment to responsible tourism.

Thank you for taking your time to read and collaborate with us!



To encourage the development of rural communities through the design, operation and sale of responsible tourism experiences.


Through trips that integrate rural cooperatives and cultural enterprises with the objective of offering trips that respond to the demand of travelers interested in living authentic experiences in a deeper México.


To be the leading company of responsible tourism in México, while creating bridges of prosperity for rural communities.


  • Honesty: Be fair with the prices for our customers and payments to our suppliers.
  • Sustainability: Promote tourism that does not degrade the environment and promotes benefits to remote communities.
  • Quality: Comply with what we promise, to meet the demands and requests of our customers in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Transparency: Truthfully communicate our actions in the implementation of sustainable tourism programs.
  • Teamwork: Always creating spaces where the whole team can express their ideas and develop strategies for a better working environment.

The clearest example of what we do, in a transparent way, appears in our complete document of “Sustainability Policy“, which we invite you to request, so that you can see in detail, the bases of our philosophy and values.

However, here is a small excerpt from it:

For Totonal, to travel represents means of union and understanding between different peoples and cultures. With the many negative impacts that badly planned or unplanned tourism conveys to the destinations and its communities, we see in the principles of responsible tourism the best way to travel and contribute to the sustainable development of local agents, and thus of destinations.

Totonal’s effort is to bring awareness to travelers into a fairer and sustainable tourism, encouraging the consumption of services provided by the local population and informing them about the good customs and guidelines of responsible tourism through the different available means, online and offline.

Totonal is committed to work for development using tourism as a tool. We want to use travels as an instrument for local development and mutual understanding among peoples. Make traveling for both who visits and who welcomes an enriching experience, always starting from an equal view of respect between one another and their cultures.

Trusting in the responsibility that the company has, as a reference to responsible tourism and the transcendence implied for the agents working in collaboration with Totonal, we are convinced of the real change than we can make in the tourism sector and with the commitment of those agents who are involved with us. This is why we need to work aligned with the objectives set out in this sustainability policy for sustainable development – socio-cultural, economic and environmental – by doing ethical, transparent and responsible management of our activity towards all the agents involved.

Our general goals are:

  • Continue raising awareness, promoting and disseminating responsible tourism among citizens. We consider responsible tourism that respects any society, helps development and is based on the values of sustainability.
  • Developing an activity that will provoke a positive impact on society, not only on the economy, but also on the culture and the environment.
  • Developing our activity, based on ethics, responsibility and transparency.
  • Assuming our responsibility regarding the possible negative impacts of our activity, and trying to reduce them.
  • Contributing to the local economic development, to the improvement of the life quality of the local communities, to the enhancement and preservation of the Natural and Cultural Heritage and to the creation of more human and fair relationships among locals and visitors.
  • Offering our clients top quality products and services, looking for innovation, creativity and professionalism, taking care of each detail in each visit or short trip that the travellers take with us.


We offer a high quality personalized service to our clients. We watch over every detail so each customer feels safe and well taken care of. We encourage our clients to respect the cultural and natural heritage of the country and we commit ourselves to transmit our passion for México and to discover its true essence beyond the folklore cliches.


We create and/or participate in educational programs in schools, universities, radio programs or others, in order to generate sustainability awareness in society. We care very much for the new generations that can help us become agents of change.


Through our tours, we contribute in the preservation of the environment, being responsible with the possible negative impacts that our activities may cause and working to minimize them. We also promote environmental awareness in interest groups and support various international associations working to protect the environment and animals.


We seek to contribute to local economic development, to the improvement of the quality of life of local communities, to the enhancement and conservation of the Natural and Cultural Heritage and to the generation of more humane and equitable relationships between locals and visitors. We give workshops to communities to develop them in different areas that help them achieve a better quality of service, safety and sustainability.


We look to offer opportunities for personal and professional development, offering stability, legality and ethics of work practices with equal conditions and guaranteeing ethnic equity and gender, team integration and a work environment where the employee feels that his voice counts, and grows with us.


  1. In Totonal, we do not participate in selling the heritage or plundering and we do not support corruption. We are committed to the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of our country.
  2. In Totonal, we do not include any activity where indigenous cultures are folklorised. We work to keep the experiences authentic and a respecful contact with the communities.
  3. We do not agree with any social prejudice situations, such as the discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, dress, or any cultural expression in a particular place.
  4. Totonal does not support the exploitation of children and adolescents in any form, especially sexual exploitation.
  5. We support appropriate local social projects with direct or indirect benefits to the host community.
  6. We strive to reduce poverty in receiving communities, through opportunities for economic growth with responsible tourism and other economic activities.
  7. We take measures to adapt and mitigate climate change, we offer walking or cycling routes for our tourist routes. These are alternatives that maintain a greater respect towards the natural and cultural environment of tourist sites.
  8. The company does not permit the sale, trafficking or display of native species unless it is the product of a legally established breeding and/or breeding program. It does not use or trade with threatened or endangered species either.
  9. We try to ensure that the lighting used does not affect the habitat or behavior of wild species. And neither generate excessive noise that alter the behavior of wild species.
  10. We invite our suppliers not to use exotic species (plants or animals) that can alter natural ecosystems.


  • Captive animal activities (with the exception of animal rescue in reserves for environmental education purposes), activities that encourage animal suffering and stress, and intrusive activities with wild animals in their ecosystem:
    • Elephant rides, visits to shrines and/or camps where elephants are forced to act or offer rides to tourists.
    • Whales and dolphins in captivity for public entertainment purposes.
    • Rodeos and stampedes.
    • Cockfights or any other animal fights.
    • Ostrich riding.
  • Volunteering with vulnerable children and adolescents.

The Earth Charter

The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century, product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. At a time when major changes in how we think and live are urgently needed, the Earth Charter challenges us to examine our values and to choose a better way. The Earth Charter provides a very valuable educational instrument. It encourages us to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is shared by an ever-growing number of people throughout the world.

Totonal has endorsed the Earth Charter, embracing the spirit and aims of the document.

The Promise of Cancun

The Cancun Promise for the business sector and biodiversity, brings together the commitment of companies from different economic sectors to highlight the importance of biological diversity and ecosystem services needed for life on Earth. The document reflects the importance of sustainable uses of nature to urgently address the loss and degradation of ecosystems in the world, through the transition to a sustainable economy.

Totonal is committed to the Cancun Promise, adopting the values presented in the document to conserve Mexico’s biodiversity.

Tourism Concern

The Tourism Concern mission, is to ensure tourism always benefits local people by challenging bad practice and promoting better tourism. Working for ethical tourism and fair trade, where people can contribute to changing things; doing campaigns, informing or giving support.

Totonal is a professional member of this NGO, representing Mexico as an ethical tour operator. We also appear as Mexico country experts on their website.

Ecoturismo Genuino (Genuine Ecotourism)

This is a Virtual Community of Consultants in Iberoamerica where experiences, knowledge and ideas are shared to promote a Genuine Ecotourism. It is an initiative built with more than 5 years of experience in the field collaborating in the development of genuine ecotourism in and around protected natural areas.

Totonal is a corporate member of this initiative.


It is a community of travellers and tourism professionals, dedicated to building a better, authentic and responsible tourism. Its objective is to promote the exchange of field solutions and best practices among tourism professionals. This is done by travellers, who collect and transmit good practices through a new participatory way to travel. These travellers, who must be sustainable tourism professionals (sales management, marketing or communication, among others), offer their services to a local tourism company or rural cooperative, in exchange for accommodation and food.

Totonal facilitates these exchanges between travellers and rural cooperatives who need support.

FAADA- Advice and Action in Defense of Animals Foundation):

FAADA’s mission is to promote respect for animals by raising awareness of the importance of promoting respectful practices with any species and actively working for the welfare of animals.

Totonal has joined FAADA as an agency committed to responsible tourism and to spread its mission to achieve a more responsible and respectful world with people, the environment and animals. On the other hand, we do not sell experiences where there are animals in captivity or are exposed to stress and/or suffering.

Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International (STI) is a non-profit organization based in New York. Through its diverse programs like 10 Million Better or Travel Better Club, they seek to protect the cultural and natural beauty of the planet so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

To achieve their purpose, they empower and inspire travelers from all over the world. If you are interested in traveling creating positive impacts during your holidays, we invite you to take the Travel Better course to receive advice and benefits from sponsors and companies that support this cause.

Totonal offers programs with interesting discounts to Travel Better Club members, and promotes this valuable initiative to increase awareness of responsible tourism.

Alba Sud “Latin American Catalog of Community Rural Tourism”

ALBA SUD is a Catalan association specializing in research and communication for development. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of strategies, tools and interventions in favor of balanced and fair development, with a particular focus on the Global South, through studies and research as well as the production and dissemination of educational and communicative resources, skills and capacities builded by social organizations, universities and public administrations with similar purposes.

Totonal is part of the tour operators specialized in rural community tourism in the Alba Sud catalog and supports its cause.

The CETR – Spanish Responsible Tourism Center

The Spanish Responsible Tourism Center is a joint initiative of KOAN Consulting and PANGEA Routes, companies committed to the planning, development and operation of responsible tourism for more than a decade. It was born with the intention of bringing together initiatives, projects and responsible tourism professionals from all over the world, generating a space to share projects, experiences and knowledge. Experience in developing and operating direct tourism in more than 24 countries enables the CETR to connect consulting and training with the real responsible tourism market. International solidarity, global vision of problems, sustainable local business generation, gender focus, fair trade and attention to diversity are an essential part of the CETR’s philosophy.

Totonal is a member of the Spanish Responsible Tourism Center.

Agrotravel Responsible Tourism

Agrotravel is a responsible tourism travel agency, pioneer in Spain, founded by Susana Conde. They use tourism as a tool to create the mantra of sustainable tourism: “Better places to live and better places to visit”. It also aims to raise awareness and promote the message of responsible tourism at local level. The company is also a consultancy that provides help to any sustainable tourism project.

Totonal supports Agrotravel’s mission towards sustainable development through tourism. We work together on relevant projects and we are their receptive operator in México.

Kowabunga Ecoproject

Kowabunga Ecoproject is a Spanish ecotourism association based in Madrid and working in Mexico for the conservation of sea turtles through an ecotourism trip designed together with local communities.

Totonal works Kowabunga Ecoproject operating this wonderful experience in Oaxaca, combining sea turtle conservation and local culture in an authentic Mexican travel experience.

Sierra Gorda Ecological Reserve of Querétaro

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is an extraordinary example of the civil society and local communities commitment to join forces and protect the most eco-diverse natural area of México. But there’s still a lot to do. Many ecosystems where México’s most endangered species, such as the puma, margay or jaguar, are still at risk. In addition, the families of the Sierra Gorda, although entrepreneurial and hardworking, remain among the poorest in México and lacks access to essential services. They, and the generations to come, deserve the opportunity to create sustainable livelihoods while protecting their valuable natural resources.

Totonal is a member of Sierra Gorda through an annual donation to help protect this exceptional region as well as its inhabitants.

Cascadas Encantadas Ecotourism Center, Benito Juárez, Catemaco. The Tuxtlas. Veracruz

In a site owned by the Cascadas Encantadas Ecotourism Center de Benito Juárez, we join with Henry Otapia to participate in his reforestation program. We contributed by planting some trees with them, and named and dated some of the trees to follow up its evolution.

This experience is currently being offered to our customers. It is very enriching and we totally recommend it!

Estampa Verde: Rancho Los Amigos, Sontecomapan Lagoon, Catemaco – Reserve of the Biosphere of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz

Estampa Verde is a Non-profit created by Rancho Los Amigos, to performed development projects. The multi-disciplinary educational proposal of Estampa Verde addresses different needs for protection and restoration of ecological balance while stimulating the development of skills and knowledge for resilience. In the Environmental Education program, different ways of approaching the habitat of certain animals are designed and to learn how to interact with agroecosystems in a holistic way. The reading of the landscape is accompanied by different tools of analysis and diagnosis and the culture of open knowledge is promoted facilitating the interaction and action in networks and alliances.

Through our experience of “Regeneration and Harvest in Los Tuxtlas”, we will begin to contribute 10% of the income received to Estampa Verde.

Hotel Taselotzin, Cuetzalan, Puebla

Masehual Siuamej Mosenyolchicauani is a cooperative of 100 Nahua indigenous women from six communities in the municipality of Cuetzalan. They began in 1985 with the purpose of selling their handcrafts at a fair price, to improve their quality of life by creating jobs for their families and in this way to avoid as far as possible that their people migrate to the city or to the US. They created a beautiful hotel in Cuetzalan called Taselotzin. These courageous women were trained to do the best weaving techniques, and with the help of counselors, they learned their rights as indigenous women, learning to reassess their customs and practices as indigenous people and how to see the world, respect for mother earth, the pride of being part of the Nahua people. They have also trained in different workshops, developing some economic and educational projects on the care of nature, health and sustainable development.

In Totonal we have not wanted to stay behind, and we have contributed a bit to this valuable initiative. We visited the facilities of Taselotzin to provide a workshop of ecological cleaning products based on natural raw materials. Easy and affordable while protecting the environment. We also gave them training on how to use Facebook and opinion websites like TripAdvisor!

Talks in Universities

With the goal of sensitizing young people about sustainable ways of traveling and going deeper into the concept of responsible tourism; its trends, its different forms and its importance, the Totonal team visits different universities to give talks on this topic. We enjoy this experience and we get lots of students participation!

Ecological workshops in schools and institutes

Recently part of Totonal’s team visited the Cisneros Institute, in Cholula de Rivadavia, Puebla, to talk to high school students about the impacts of waste on the daily lives of humans, animals and the environment in general. We talked about the terms: reduce, reuse and recycle, and held a workshop to create bracelets with reused plastic bottles. We plan to continue periodically this beautiful task on different schools and institutes.

Cápsulas en programas de radio.

En noviembre del 2015 participamos en Radio en Redes para hablar del Día Mundial del Turismo Responsable, donde hablamos del término “turismo responsable”, de la importancia la celebración de este día, y cómo viajar de forma más sostenible. Ahora retomamos este ejercicio en enero 2017 participando en una cápsula del programa de radio Tribuna, con Ana Montero, para hablar sobre el turismo sostenible. ¿Qué significa y conlleva la práctica de un turismo sostenible en México? ¿Qué significa este concepto? ¿Cuáles son sus objetivos y cómo podemos practicarlo? Es parte de la misión de Totonal poder ofrecer educación para la sostenibilidad y ser agentes de cambio.

The use of ECOSIA browser

Ecosia is an Internet search tool that works with the Bing search engine. Its slogan is to donate 80% of its earnings through advertising to a Tree Planting Program in Africa, its current beneficiary, The Nature Conservancy, runs the program, a reforestation campaign for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Atlantic Forest) which aims to plant one billion trees by 2025.

In Totonal we work with the search engine of Ecosia and the finder of LILO (see below) to participate in this cause.

The use of LILO search engine

LILO is a browser that donates more than 50% of its advertising revenue to social and environmental projects that the user can choose. Each search done with Lilo allows the user to earn a drop of water and choose which project to donate these drops of water. Part of this 50% goes to carbon offsetting. They have already supported projects such as: Huertos Compartidos, Oasis de Colibris, Unidos, NSF-BCN comparteix el menjar, Obsidiana TV, Adrisud Internacional, Leka, Refugio La Candela, Som Energía and many others.

In Totonal we work with the LILO search engine and the Ecosia search engine (see above) to participate in this cause.


Interjet was the first airline in Latin America to make a Biodiesel flight in April 2011 called ECOJET. Bio-turbine was produced from Jatropha vegetable oil grown by Mexican producers in the State of Chiapas, México, which generates various sources of employment and environmental benefits. In addition, it joined Huella Azul, in which it motivates its passengers to donate $10 mexican pesos per person, to invest in innovative forestry practices in México, contributing to mitigate the carbon emissions that are an inevitable aspect in our way of life and thus balance the impact to the environment. It also directly supports rural communities to thrive.

Totonal, whenever we have the opportunity, we book internal flights, with Interjet (or Volaris, depending on the routes operated by each airline), in order to cooperate with the “Huella Azul” program.


Volaris is the first airline to sign an agreement with the Méxican Carbon Platform for the purchase of carbon credits and is part of its strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and reaffirm its commitment to environmental care with the “Cielito Lindo” campaign. This campaign has initiatives and programs designed to compensate the environmental footprint and to contribute with actions against global warming, including reducing the consumption of electric energy and recycling garbage in its corporate offices and reducing emissions of gases into the atmosphere at the aircraft dispatch.

Totonal, whenever we have the opportunity to book internal flights, we purchase with Volaris (or Interjet, depending on the routes operated by each airline), and make a contribution to the program “Por un Cielito Limpio“.

Or as we prefer to call them “TRAVELER’S RESPONSIBLE TIPS”!


  1. When traveling, take security measures such as not carrying a lot of cash or valuables at sight.
  2. On day trips, do not carry all the money and documents in the same place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents, leaving the originals at the hotel.
  3. Always keep your luggage and valuables close, especially in crowded places.
  4. If you get a rental car, travel by day and on main roads. Familiarize yourselves with local traffic laws and check the vehicle before leaving. Taxi rides will be only on authorized and identified taxis.
  5. Carry the contact numbers of your embassy or consulate and medical or life insurance.


  1. We must contribute reducing the greenhouse effect and gas emissions to help stopping the climate change (see more details on climate change in the next section). Choose tours on foot or bicycle in our tourist routes. These are alternatives that maintain a greater respect towards the natural and cultural environment of the tourist sites. Routes in quads, motocross or 4 × 4 cause soil erosion, as well as acoustic and atmospheric pollution.
  2. Make an efficient use of water and energy during your stay. It is a very precious commodity and its production is expensive and causes serious impacts in the natural environment.
  3. It is necessary to generate less waste on our trips. Refuse products with unnecessary wrapping and packaging. If the places that you visit have recycling or sustainability related programs, try to support them during your stay.
  4. Take extreme precautions to prevent forest fires, disturb the marine and terrestrial fauna or leave our garbage by depositing it in the places designated to that purpose or by taking it to the hotel. Many animals die from drinking bags, bottles, straws, or cigarette butts.
  5. Natural protected areas were created to preserve sites and species with great ecological value and in many cases, in danger of extinction. Many have reception offices and interpretation centers that provide the necessary guidance to assess its importance and to enjoy more of the visit. We recommend that you visit them!
  6. Please respect the native species in the green areas you visit, as well as cities, rural communities and in general.


  1. All the places where we travel have a history, a culture and natural and local values: let’s inform ourselves about these aspects before the trip, and by that we can avoid how our attitudes or behaviors may cause prejudice towards them and we can all have a respectful attitude during the trip.
  2. Protect cultural heritage. We can appreciate the architecture, monuments and valuables without affecting them.
  3. Consume and buy natural and artisanal products from the area. In addition to enjoying authentic local gastronomy and crafts, you will contribute to family economies and support small businesses and local entrepreneurs. Try not to haggle and pay the fair price these products are worth; These are created by hand and many of them take hours or even days of work.
  4. Allow yourselves to live a great experiences without disturbing the order and without violating the permitted noise level. Let’s enjoy the place without affecting the integrity and tranquility of its residents.
  5. When visiting an indigenous community, let us first inform ourselves about their customs and traditions, as well as their rules of conduct.
  6. And above all, respect the manifestations and customs of the locality. Let us show solidarity, understanding, tolerance and respect for the community. Let us look for a human and “equal to equal” approach, that allows an authentic cultural exchange.

We trust in the practice of your responsibility as a good traveler!

What is climate change?

Climate change is the global variation of Earth’s climate, due to natural causes and also to the action of man. This occurs at different time scales and on climatic parameters such as: temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, etc.

And what does the term “greenhouse effect” refer to?

It is the retention of the Sun’s heat on the Earth´s atmosphere by a layer of gases. Without them, life as we know it would not be possible, since the planet would be too cold. Industry, agriculture and fossil fuel combustion release gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, and the concentration of these gases has increased 30% since the last century due to the industrialized world. Without human action, nature was in charge of balancing this emissions.

Who is affected by climate change?

Climate change affects us all! The potential impact is huge, with predictions of lack of drinkable water, major changes in food production conditions and an increase in mortality rates due to floods, storms, droughts and heat waves. There are also phenomena such as ocean warming, cyclones and hurricanes of greater strength, change of pattern with precipitation and winds, melting glaciers, and warming of the surface of the ocean, which contributes to sea level rise. It is not just an environmental phenomenon, but deep economic and social consequences.

Can we stop it? What can we do?

Here are 10 measures to help stop the climate change:

  1. Replace the bulbs: replace traditional bulbs with low consumption ones (save more than 45 kg of carbon dioxide a year).
  2. Turn off the TV and computer: just turn off the electronic devices when they are not in use, we will prevent thousands of kilos of CO2 from entering the atmosphere (do not leave them on stand-by as they consume 40% of the total energy). Do not leave the charger plugged in, as it continues to consume electricity.
  3. Drive less: walking, cycling, using public transportation. We will save 30 grams of CO2 per 4.5 km. Each liter of fuel that burns the engine of a car releases an average of 2.5 kg of CO2.
  4. Check the tires: If the pressure drops 0.5 bar, the car will consume 2.5% more fuel and therefore release 2.5% more CO2.
  5. Recycle: We can save more than 730 kg of CO2 per year if we recycle half the waste produced at home.
  6. Avoid packing too much: let’s buy products with little packaging. For example, a 1.5 liter bottle generates less waste than 3 half liter. Use reusable bags and avoid wet paper wipes. We can avoid the emission of 1,100kg of CO2 if we reduce the waste by 10%.
  7. Let’s use less water in general and less hot water in particular: a lot of energy is needed to heat water; Wash with warm or cold water to save 150 kg of CO2. In addition, to use less water, install a water flow regulator in the shower to avoid the emission of more than 100 kg of carbon dioxide per year. Let’s take showers instead of baths (we’ll spend 4 times less energy), lock the key while we brush our teeth, make sure the keys do not leak.
  8. Keep an eye on home appliances: if we cover the pots while we cook, we will save a lot of energy. Pressure cookers and steamers save 70% energy. We only use the washing machine and the dishwasher when they are full and with low temperatures. Do not put the refrigerator and freezer near the boiler / stove / fires, or you will consume much more energy. Periodically defrost if they are old. Do not put hot food in the refrigerator.
  9. Adjust the thermostat: the 2°C oscillation in winter or summer saves more than 600 kg of CO2 per household in a single year. If you leave a small opening to ventilate the house, all day, the energy needed to keep the interior warm for 6 months of cold, will be almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.
  10. Plant a tree: a single tree absorbs a ton of CO2 throughout its life!