Huaxteca Expeditions owner Ena Buenfil will share her experiences of running a certified drug-free rafting company in Mexico and how this new culture is being adopted across Latin America. Ena is one of the key note presenters at the inaugural International Rafting Federation World White Water Rafting Summit in Costa Rica from October 8 to 13, 2019.
Ena Buenfil is the owner of the adventure company Huaxteca Expeditions in Huasteca, San Luis Potosi, the first company in Mexico to certify its staff drug-free before a notary public. This they did in 2018, and in 2019, the multi-award-winning company implemented a Zero Tolerance to Alcohol policy to further ensure safety for their customers on their adventure tours.
“This is a problem all over the world in a lot of adventure tourism companies. The guides think they have to be like ‘hippies’ and use drugs. In our company, we didn’t want an image like that. We began thinking about security and safety for our tourist clients and we didn’t want that risk,” said Ena, who has been a raft guide for 20 years and is now an IRF raft guide instructor.
“We talked to all our guides and began a program to recreate a new culture without drugs. Our company is healthier and more like a family being drug free. And I feel more secure as a company owner. If an accident happens, I don’t have to worry that one of my staff was drugged or drunk,” she added.
Ena will share her experience of how she created a drug-free company in a panel discussion on dealing with drugs and alcohol among guides and clients on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at the World White Water Rafting Summit.
Since her company was certified as being drug-free, Ena said that many other adventure tourism company owners have contacted her to form a network of drug-free companies in Latin America. Ena is also the founder of the Hostel Pata de Perro in Ciudad Valles and the Selva Teenek feline wildlife refuge and eco-park.
Summit workshops cover important topics such as the future of IRF Guide Training and Education (GTE); advances in raft guide certifications; environmental risks facing rivers; how raft guides and adventure travel outfitters can transform their communities; rafting and world peace; dealing with drugs and alcohol among guides and clients; and, how to work with language barriers and engage in non-verbal communications.
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