Waerebo

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Author : Ary Suhandi, Wita Simatupang. Rifki Sungkar, Farizky | Yayasan Ekowisata Indonesia (Indecon) | 2016

If someone were to show you a picture of the traditional village of Waerebo, a series of accolades would certainly follow because of the magical charm that the picture presents. The seven conical traditional houses of Waerebo create a picture of a peaceful idyll, in harmony with the mountain forest surrounding it. Once you really get there, you will be awed. Living in the mountainous region at the height of 1,100 m above sea level, in a remote village with limited access, the people of Waerebo always welcome their guests with smiles and open arms. The journey to Waerebo must be taken on foot through the hilly forest and lasts for three hours, but the effort will be worth it. The people of Waerebo still observe their age-old traditions, honour their ancestors and live in harmony with the surrounding forest, where a rich diversity of flora and fauna can be found. The forest also provides them with wellsprings, clean air and refreshing vista. The unique and genuine tradition of the people of Waerebo proves to be the main drive for the development of tourism in the area. Travelers nowadays have a different perspective on travel compared to the tourists of the old days. They want to have genuine experience and direct interactions with the locals. They are also more appreciative of the efforts by the locals to conserve their culture and nature. The book also described the long history of community effort to survive from poverty and remoteness, into cultural preservation and ecotourism development. In 2010, Waerebo people already lost some of their houses because the houses had been very old; however, utilizing ecotourism wisely and supported by some donors and INDECON, they were able to reconstruct the houses and further develop community-based ecotourism. In 2019, Waerebo hosted more than 7,800 visitors annually and had become one of Indonesia’s most authentic and well-preserved tourism village. The publication of this book has been inspired by the keenness of the people of Waerebo to conserve their culture and traditions. The book can also serve as an educative material for the travelers who come to the village.

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