April 30, 2009

Ramona's eco-friendly retreat

Tribe envisions reservation as new eco-tourist hotspotThe roughly 10-member Ramona Band of the Cahuilla Indian Tribe is working with a contractor to make its desert home a model for eco- tourism.

Anaheim-based Catalyx Inc., which brings new technologies such as eco- friendly energy and sewage systems to markets, will be working with the tribe as part of a project that will be paid for by the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

“We want to create a truly natural retreat which mirrors our ancestral heritage of living in harmony with Mother Earth,” said Joseph Hamilton, the tribal chairman.
And:Creating an eco-tourist destination is also a goal, he said, adding that the band envisions 38 cabins, a restaurant and a meeting center.

“There are a lot of eco-friendly resorts out there, but they are not truly off-grid,” Jangbarwala said.

The cabins will be built in the traditional Cahuilla “Kish” style—round yurt-like structures, Gomez said.

Once completed, the reservation plans to operate as a retreat, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of the tribe.
Comment:  For more on Native eco-tourism, see Navajo View Hotel Is Eco-Friendly.

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