Nestled deep into the Brazilian rainforests, we find a captivating and mysterious creature that has enchanted people throughout history—the Jaguar.
This top predator symbolizes strength, wonder, and toughness, yet, this remarkable feline faces significant challenges to its survival, from losing its homes to conflicts with humans.
To safeguard the spirit of this incredible animal, a powerful union has emerged, bringing together Acosta Tequila, El Pantanal, and AF Luxury & Lifestyle. Our shared goal is to secure the future of Jaguars in Brazil, Central, and South America.
El Pantanal’s Lasting Impact:
For three decades, El Pantanal has shine as a light of hope for protecting wildlife and promoting ecotourism in Brazil. Devoted to the survival of Jaguars, El Pantanal has embraced its role as a guardian, educating locals and visitors about the importance of this elusive creature.
Through their efforts, El Pantanal sparks a cultural awakening, creating a lasting respect for these magnificent cats.
Acosta Tequila’s Meaningful Journey:
Frank Acosta, the visionary behind Acosta Tequila, steps forward as a pioneer of change, carrying Mexico’s spirit within his brand. Driven by a deep love for animals and a passion to preserve their existence, Frank chose the Jaguar as the iconic symbol of Acosta Tequila.
This decision reflects his resolute dedication to giving back to Mexico and contributing to safeguarding this magnificent creature that echoes his soul and his brand’s mission.
A Coming Together of Purpose:
In a powerful display of unity, El Pantanal, Acosta Tequila, and us as AF Luxury & Lifestyle united our strengths. Together, we form an alliance that transcends their distinct fields, rallying behind Jaguar preservation.
This collaboration is more than a mere gesture; it is a rallying effort for change. Through shared stories and joint efforts, we aspire to create global awareness for preserving Jaguar habitats.
For the first time luxury joins hands with conservation, as we join the dedication of two visionary forces—Acosta Tequila and El Pantanal—to protect the mystical essence of the Jaguar.
In this first part of our enlightening interview, we explore the core motivations, strategies, and challenges that both Frank Acosta, and Eduardo from El Pantanal, embrace in their mission of Jaguar conservation.
The Interview, Part 1:
- Frank, the first question is for you, what led you to choose the jaguar conservation as a cause that you are willing to support with your your company? And what does it mean to you in a personal way?
F: So, to keep it very simple, the project was done out of the heritage of being Mexican.
Coming from a Mexican background, we needed to identify with something that was strong and something that would translate our brand not only as a luxury Tequila, but define us as a story, define our story. The jaguar not only represents Mexico, but all of Central and South America, and it is not only important to ecological development or food chain, It is very important to the indigenous cultures throughout Mexico, central and South America and their beliefs and their ideas.
So this is an extraordinary animal that represents strength, power and culture. Unfortunately, it’s becoming highly endangered, so it is something we want to address, before this becomes a problem.
Animals have always been important to me throughout my life. So this is a very emotional thing and a very passionate thing.
2. Perfect. So, Eduardo, can you give us an overview on El Pantanal’s mission and the dedication to the preservation of the jaguar? Specifically in Brazil, where you are based.
E: Okay, so, I’ll start saying that the jaguar is the most beautiful animal in the world.
For us, working with ecotourism is the best way for conservation. We needed to preserve these animals because this is very important for us, very important for Pantanaros, very important for local people, very important for tourists coming here; all because it employs many people, and many communities depend on these elusive animals to survive.
It is the main thing for our people and communities, it is like an umbrella that supports many things. In Brazil for example, he jaguar has always been very important, my family for example, started to work with these animals like 30 years ago and we have been bringing it more development and more attention.
The ecotourism here is increasing, increasing just because jaguars are well preserved here.
3. Eduardo, where would you say the highest percentage of the ecotourists are coming from? South America, North America or which countries?
E: Okay, very important, after the fire in 2020 and the Pandemic, many people stoped traveling to Brazil specifically to the Pantanal because there were no flights from outside Brazil, so Brazilian tourists exclusively were visiting El Pantanal during 2020.
Now, for example, we have around 30% or 40% Brazilian tourists looking for jaguars and 60% foreigners because many people saw how the Pantanal works.
Talking about foreign tourism, we mostly have Americans and Europeans. For example, 30% Americans, 30% Europeans and 30% Brazilians; and around 10% from Asia. This is very good for conservation programs and efforts because they are getting to know Brazil more and more every year which is a great way of promoting preservation and eco-tourism.
4. So, Eduardo, a lot of tourists go to El Pantanal due to the Jaguar preservation and the conservation programs that you have. So would you consider the Jaguar is a main tourist focus on El Pantanal?
E: Yes, absolutely! Many tourists are visiting El Pantanal because it is considered the area with more conservation programs, because we have more forests, we have more nature.
El Pantanal is the best place in South America to see jaguar in the wild, because we preserve the jaguars, we preserve our land, we preserve our nature. And this makes us happy because now we have more jaguars which translate in more visitors who are interested in the wildlife.
For example, we have 700 acres of land exclusively for the jaguar, we made this huge reserve for our jaguars with the sole purpose of conservation. The jaguar is the highlight in the pantanal and tracking more attention to them is the best way to preserve them.
5. Eduardo, now that a lot of tourists and also local people are constantly co-existing with the Jaguars, how can we educate visitors on how they can correctly live along with the jaguars? Both when they’re locals or if they’re coming from foreign places?
E: Teach through sustainable tourism, for example; throughout these 30 years, we have developed a program at our reserve for volunteers in which we teach English to locals so they can become guides and we can employ people from the Pantanal.
These Pantaneiros now are working on ecotourism. This is the first educational approach, as we educate local people that the Jaguar is very important for our local community because by preserving them we attract more tourists.
Most of the times we have this approach to locals, basically, the more jaguars we preserve, more tourists will be coming, and we can assign this money to keep taking care and protecting Jaguars.
6. And how do you teach those tourists to be respectful or why are you conserving the Jaguar? How do you teach foreigners?
E: So, we are always teaching them that they should and must have total respect when approaching jaguars, although all of them are habituated with tourists, we must not cross the lines we already settled.
For example, we have a limited distance, we don’t talk too much when we are close to the jaguars; we also teach the tourist to be very quiet, don’t go very close and respect the jaguar. If the jaguar is hunting don’t talk too much because we are in the jaguar habitats, we are their guests, so we need to give them total respect.
Sometimes we have had up to 30 boats with only one jaguar and everybody is standing still and keeping silent, everybody respects the jaguar territory.
7. Frank, Eduardo; you both are conscious that education plays a crucial role on the people’s attitudes towards wildlife, in this case, specifically the Jaguar. So, how do you plan to use social media to create consciousness and awareness about the jaguar conservation?
E: Social media and Online platforms are crucial for El Pantanal, the most tourist coming here, usually they discover us via social media, and also they make the most videos and photos, so they are giving us more exposure so we can keep educating.
We also have many channels like BBC magazine, National Geographic and now you guys coming and helping Pantanal with jaguar conservation in Brazil; so we can definitely agree on how important online platforms are to both educate and create awareness about the Jaguar and the preservation of this species, and wildlife in general.
Media Presence helps us showcase all over the world how we preserve the jaguar, how we preserve nature. Because like I told you, jaguars are like umbrellas, if you have jaguars you will eventually preserve the rest of the species in order to preserve the complete ecosystem. If we don’t have other animals to create an environment, we don’t have jaguars and vice versa.
F: I found El Pantanal through social media, so, clearly I think they have the ability to create impactful content because they’re constantly planning great content on what’s currently happening. They attracted me because I feel like they have an understanding, they had an immediate understanding of the jaguar. I believe they have the best social channel out there right now, honestly.
And for me, what I want to do is, working with Mike, “The Real Tarzan” who has 7 million followers is getting this content and conveying it in a way that is attractive in a different light where we have a tequila and it’s a different category than animal conservation, we can be in both of those categories and we can share light in a different branding viewpoint than what the currently doing.
So we get more channels of people to view this content to see what we’re working towards.
I think that’s where we’re trying to really make a message, attract different people with different interests into the same objective, with a collaboration like this, people will inadvertently become exposed to the initiatives, so conveying this education into the United States, conveying this into luxury markets and things of that nature is what we would love to do and will make a difference…
As we wrap up this eye-opening conversation, the purpose driving Acosta Tequila and El Pantanal become more apparent. Frank Acosta’s commitment to his roots and the iconic Jaguar speaks volumes about the cultural importance of this creature.
Eduardo’s tireless work within El Pantanal highlights the power of ecotourism for preserving nature and educating people, an approach for peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.
Stay tuned for the second part of this interview, where we delve deeper into the minds of these visionary leaders. We’ll explore how they’re using social media, education, and innovation to raise awareness and foster change.
In a world where luxury harmonizes with nature, we invite you to be part of this transformative movement. Every choice, every sip, and every action resonates with the roaring promise of a brighter future for the Jaguar and our planet.
Written by Founder & Head Editor: Anton Fernandez.
In collaboration with: Frank Acosta, Founder and CEO of Acosta Tequila, and Eduardo, Representative and Leader of El Pantanal.