It is important that today, more than ever, we focus not on what divides us, but rather what unites us. What makes us human. Taking it further, we must work to be inclusive of those who have historically been marginalized. Tourism is an industry that has much room for improvement. Yet it’s also a one-of-a-kind opportunity to advocate equity and inclusivity in the destination spots. Bodhi Surf + Yoga is committed to practicing inclusivity and continuing to grow and improve in this regard.
Inclusivity vs. accessibility
Inclusivity is the “intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities”. Notably different than accessibility: “the quality of being easily reached, entered, or used by people who have a disability”. In short, inclusivity refers more specifically to socially marginalized people, whereas accessibility refers to having an accessible space for those with physical disabilities.
Is Bodhi Surf + Yoga inclusive?
We certainly strive to be. Bodhi welcomes people from all over the world, of different races, religions, ages, sexual orientations, and income levels. We do not practice discriminatory hospitality. Bodhi is inclusive in our hiring and training, and is proud to offer our staff a safe workplace and equitable remuneration to our staff. We work in our community to ensure that it is a great place for all to live, work, and visit. Bodhi has donated vacation packages to many different nonprofit organizations over the years that work in various areas (responsible travel, marine conservation, and outdoor education). We also give away a vacation package annually to the winner of our environmental contest. This achieves the dual purposes of rewarding pro-environmental actions and gives the opportunity of travel to individuals who may otherwise be financially unable to visit.
Bodhi Surf + Yoga is proud to be a Certified B Corporation. We have been audited by a global third party nonprofit (B Lab), and have been found to meet its rigorous standards. This audit examines these five impact areas:
Bodhi Surf + Yoga has excelled in the community category (being honored with the Best for the World accolade in both 2017 and 2018), and is working hard to improve in the other impact areas! We are participating in the Inclusive Economy Challenge in order to assess our current practices and set metrics to improve.
Is Bodhi Surf + Yoga accessible?
There is a more complicated answer to this question. What we offer here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp is week of vigorous physical activity, recommended for individuals who are physically fit and capable. We were a surf and yoga school before we even had a physical space, and so lodge was designed with these activities in mind. We are located in a corner of the world that is still very rural and could be difficult for individuals with physical disabilities to visit. Furthermore, we have neither the training nor the equipment to teach individuals with physical disabilities. However, these facilities and instructors do exist around the world. We are be more than happy to point any individual with interest in participating in surfing or yoga in the right direction. We know firsthand how therapeutic (both physically and mentally) they can be!
How we want to improve
In the tourism industry
Tourism is a privilege that, unfortunately, is not able to be enjoyed by all due to a number of barriers including economic hardship, disability, and social injustice. Bodhi Surf + Yoga is committed to doing what we can to remove some of those barriers by:
- Continuing to support causes and nonprofits that work globally on causes such as responsible travel and environmental justice
- Donating vacation packages annually in exchange for environmental action (instead of money) via our Ocean Guardian Contest
- Translating our website into different languages to welcome guests who may not speak English
- Weaving inclusive and welcoming language into our website and other online profiles
- Ensuring that people of different genders and races are represented in our visual marketing
In our own home
Near and dear to our hearts is championing inclusivity in our own workplace, community, and country. We will be doing the following to improve in this respect:
- Adding various trainings throughout the year on diversity, inclusion, equity, cultural awareness, and intercultural conflict for all staff
- Including a statement of inclusion, diversity, and equity in our staff booklet (given to employees during the hiring process)
- Contributing to community development projects that aim to raise the standard of living for everyone in our community through infrastructure, security, and education
- Supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Costa Rica to support climate justice (as it is the most disenfranchised among us who suffer climate change’s effects the most)
We also encourage others in the tourism industry to work to make their businesses more open and inclusive to all. Travel is but a vehicle for growth, inspiration, and education for all parties involved. As for Bodhi, through self-reflection and goal-setting, we are eager to continue to improve and promote inclusivity and justice for all.
Learn more about why Bodhi Surf + Yoga is proud to be a Certified B Corporation.