Preserve the Pink Beaches of Sta. Cruz
The Great Santa Cruz Island in the coastline of Zamboanga City is a popular tourist attraction due to its unique pink coralline sand. In 2017 alone, the island was visited by more than 60,000 tourists and was recognized by the National Geographic as one of the 21 Best Beaches in the World.
The island is home to the Sama-Banguigui tribe who still lives in poverty despite the growing number of tourists who come to their community. Through our ‘Quest for Love’ initiative, ILOVE Foundation partners with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc. (YBH) in developing the Great Santa Cruz Island into an ecotourism site where everyone, especially the tribesmen and other locals, can have more sustainable livelihood opportunities.
The ecotourism program would also strengthen the efforts of the city government of Zamboanga in protecting the island’s natural wonders. Recently, illegal coral reef mining had destroyed some of the island’s vast coral reef population leaving the formerly colorful corals as dead reefs. This situation can be prevented by empowering the locals to protect their natural resources and use them responsibly.
In 2016, YBH supported the island’s inhabitants by providing paddle boats which are used to tour visitors around the island’s beautiful lagoon and mangrove forest. To continue their efforts in empowering the people of the Great Santa Cruz Island, YBH and ILOVE Foundation will use the funds raised through this campaign in providing additional yellow paddle boats, training the Sama-Banguigui youth as tour guides, and transforming the tribe’s village into a “Living Heritage Experience”.
Currently, the village, composed of shanty houses, do not have existing electrical, water, sewage, and waste management system. We plan to renovate these houses and transform them into a decent group of homes, which will be a tourist attraction in itself. The house is bahay kubo on stilts made of quality wood and bamboo, complete with proper water sources, septic drainages, and lighting. The whole village would be like a resort with accommodation facilities and pathways.
We hope that through this ecotourism program, more tourist will visit the island and as a result, its economy would be able to sustain itself.
Help ILOVE Foundation and Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc. in transforming the Great Santa Cruz Island into an ecotourism spot and protecting its natural beauty. Support this campaign by clicking the Give Now button. Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family. Plan a trip with them to enjoy the island’s pink coralline beach together!