Following our incredibly successful 3rd Annual Reef Cleanup Event, we sat down with Carlos Lopez, General Manager of the Grand Roatán Resort to find out more about the resort’s Social Responsibility Program.
Why does the Grand Roatán Resort, under your leadership, engage in a Corporate Social Responsibility Program?
Engaging in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program instills progress; not only for the hotel, but for the communities of the island. We are concerned about the quality of education children receive, and the constant damage the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef is undergoing.
Protecting the beauty of Roatán and reinforcing literacy on the island is important to the Grand Roatán. I engage in social responsibility because the island is in need and we are here not only to receive but to also help in whatever way we can.
What are the Grand Roatan Resort’s current Social Responsibility initiatives?
We are focused on three areas: Green Improvements, Reef Conservation, and Education.
Our “No Plastic” program is leading the way for all island resorts to reduce or eliminate offering plastics to their guests. We no longer offer plastic straws or styrofoam to-go containers. We know this is making an impact because fewer plastic utensils were removed from the reef during the annual cleanup event. We have stopped providing plastic water bottles to guests. Instead we provide aluminum, reusable bottles with water refill stations in each room.
The Grand Roatán is committed to conservation and protecting the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef. We invest in a reef patrol. His name is Rodney Torres and he works to keep people from standing on or touching the reef. This is important because we have found most people visiting the island are not aware coral is a living organism and home to marine life. We share the Top 10 Ways to Protect the Reef with our guests in an effort to prevent reef damage.
Our Books for Roatán Students initiative is designed to promote literacy on the island. We encourage Grand Roatán guests to bring books with them when they visit the island, and support local students. View our Books for Roatán Students Wish List here.
How do you engage your staff in your Corporate Social Responsibility program?
I engage my staff to volunteer their time and energy by painting in schools, reading to students, and providing meals to a program in Coxen Hole.
What does the future hold for the Grand Roatán Resort’s Social Responsibility program?
We plan to expand our Social Responsibility program by implementing a program to engage our guests with the communities on the island, particularly Los Sueños , and providing them with an overview of the Abundant Life Foundation and the connection between our two organizations. We are expanding our support to local soccer teams with uniforms and equipment. Also, along with the Roatán Marine Park, we would like to invest in additional reef patrol to protect the reef.
The Abundant Life Foundation is proud to work with the Grand Roatán Resort, the Roatán Marine Park and the Forest Conservation Institute to protect the Loggerhead Turtle eggs recently laid on the beach of the Grand Roatán Resort. Stay tuned as we wait for the hatchlings!
The Abundant Life Foundation thanks the Grand Roatán Resort for partnering with us as we build vibrant futures in Roatán.
Marketing Associate, Abundant Life Foundation – Roatán