|Escape to Valencia Eco Resort |
By SEETA PERSAD Thursday, October 4 2012
This country is blessed with many beautiful, breathtaking natural landscapes that are a photographer’s dream. Local and foreign visitors alike can relax and recharge while taking in the view of hills, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and the trees while bonding with nature.
A destination that can provide all this with the peace and comfort of the countryside is the Valencia Eco Resort. This place is ideal for those seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle of work, traffic and daily chores.
Nestled in the foothills of Valencia, the resort is a piece of “heaven” as the fresh air and the lovely fruit trees add to the ambiance that is truly a dream come through. Waking up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping, looking at the mist coming off the pond and looking at the sun rise just over the hills is almost like connecting with God and feeling his presence in nature.
Valencia Eco Resort provides all this and much more for couples, families and friends wanting to enjoy the romance and peace associated with this venue. Owned and operated by businessman Vishnu Tiwarie, the resort is located on Cumaca Road on ten acres of land. It features over 800 fruit trees (95 varieties), swimming pool, carat sheds, tilapia fishing pond, cabanas, hall, kitchen, gym, playing field and river.
The producers of the televised talent competition, Mastana Bahar, lead by producer Khayal Mohammed recently held auditions at the resort recently and hundreds of guests who attended the recording session were treated to the luxury of the resort all free of charge sponsored by Tiwarie.
Mohammed praised Tiwarie for giving guests the opportunity to visit and enjoy the resort’s beautiful setting. “The tassa drums and the songs are sounding even better in Valencia,” Mohammed said. He thanked Tiwarie for inviting the production, saying that he had contributed to the development of Indian culture by binging Mastana to his resort.
Tiwarie said when he started working on the resort, he had many ideas for eco tourism, including extending a water settlement area to a Tilapia farm; a butterfly farm based on those he saw in St Martin and Costa Rica; a walk-in aviary; and carat sheds for outdoor cooking. There are also cabanas for overnight guests and a central kitchen and multi-purpose hall for conventions, retreats, weddings, and other receptions.
Tewarie who owns Saffire Engineering Company, manufacturers of Saffire gas stoves outlined his dream of creating the ideal environment for complete relaxation.
To accommodate visitors arriving in buses and cars the main gate leads the way down a curve with an office to the left and the butterfly farm on the right.
Tewarie said that the idea for a butterfly farm was born during a business meeting in Costa Rica. “A group of businessmen were taken on a tour of the farm,” he said, “and looking at the expressions of their faces, their fascination with the butterflies made me realise how much these people value the tropics and exactly how being close to nature made then feel.”
He said the businessmen eagerly snapped photographs to show their families back home. “I knew immediately that I had to set up a butterfly farm in Trinidad,” he said. Today he has installed several flowering plants which thrive in readiness for the butterflies.
A large shed covered with netting to secure the butterflies, provides a habitat to over 300 local varieties. Speaking about the future of the resort Tiwarie said he wants to work as economically as possible. “We had to be innovative in everything we do. This was not difficult for us as we have a history of creative and innovative work,” he said.
In 2002, one year after Saffire started operations, Tiwarie won two Prime Minister’s awards including Most Innovative Company and Most Innovative Product.
For the resort he decided not to use any contractors, consultants or architects as he planned to do the work slowly on his own employing the people of Valencia and surrounding communities.
He said it was necessary to purchase a backhoe and to train people to farm the fish and butterflies. He designed and constructed a swimming pool that is considered one of the major highlights of the resort.
Tiwarie revealed that he plans to make the resort is a “one hundred percent recycling facility.”
One of the major problems he forsees, however is the reduction or elimination of styrofoam products as their secondary uses are limited. Styrofoam does not degrade in landfills and cannot be easily recycled. He encourages the use of reusable products for all outdoor activities. “The other waste products can be easily handled by us include paper, fruit, vegetables waste, metal cans and glass bottles for recycling,” he said.
Tewarie is a UWI graduate with a BSc in mechanical engineering. He founded Saffire Engineering in 2001.
He is looking for a good name for his dream project and for now is working with, “Valencia Eco-Tourism Resort”.