About RED

Travel changes us. It changes our view of the world and makes us rethink our own lives. Whether across the globe or in an unknown corner of your own home town, you can’t travel to a different place and meet new people and come back unchanged. At RED, we see travel as a vehicle for change, and through our projects create the space for that change to occur. Much more than a tour operator, RED links community development with wildlife and habitat conservation through tourism, implementing projects that go beyond sustainability to regeneration of habitat, communities, traditions and culture.

RED projects have made change possible for hundreds of individuals throughout Northwest Mexico. Click the map at the right to read about a few of our projects, and sign up for our Blog from the Field to stay posted on RED’s work.

What is RED?

RED is a hybrid social enterprise that combines a for-profit tour operator that offers world class Conservation Adventures, with a non-profit organization that provides training, small business incubation and technical assistance in rural communities throughout northwest Mexico. The two independent vehicles share the same objectives to:

  • Create sustainable employment alternatives
  • Generate direct benefits for conservation and natural resource management
  • Drive tourism development in Mexico towards more sustainable and regenerative models

To broaden our impact and transmit our knowledge and experience to other organizations, RED also provides sustainable tourism consulting services, from product development to market analysis. Click on the Consulting tab above to learn more about RED’s consulting services.

Linking tourism with management in Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas
Together with Mexico’s Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), RED develops tools to inform visitors, strengthen management and regulation, and increase tour operator awareness in parks and protected areas. RED’s goal is to make sustainable tourism a net plus for Mexico’s park system, acting as a driving force in developing regional and local economies, and a key contributor to management and conservation activities.

RED’ achievements

Since its inception in the final months of 2009, RED has evolved into a recognized leader in the field of sustainable tourism, winning ATTA’s young operator scholarship award for its innovative model combining socio-economic development with conservation through sustainable tourism:

  • Funded 50 sea turtle monitorings in Magdalena Bay
  • Created over 1,000 days of sustainable employment in fisher communities
  • Generated $100,000 in community revenue through sustainable tourism
  • Immersed 200 students in the region in 4-day academic adventures
  • Raised over $50,000 for conservation efforts


Chris Pesenti
Founder & Director

Chris is known in certain circles as the Ghengis Khan of community based conservation on the Baja California peninsula (not really). Chris launched RED Sustainable Tourism out of his decadelong efforts building up grassroots conservation organizations throughout the region. Along the way he realized that long term conservation would only be achieved by linking economics to conservation at the individual and family level, and leveraged his tourism experience in Ecuador and Costa Rica to start RED.
Luis Garduño
Director of Operations
Luis is a dreamer. He dreams of people having dignified jobs, working in harmony with their natural surroundings, and building up communities - starting with the children. RED is more than happy to serve as the canvas for Luis to paint his dream into a reality. He also happens to bring to RED over a decade of experience in tourism. If a job exists in tourism, Luis has probably done it (and done it well). The unrivalled quality of experience on RED adventures is a direct reflection of Luis's committment to professionalism and service.

Jaime Campos
Communications Coordinator

Growing up in the concrete jungle of Mexico City, Jaime developed a deep interest in social, economic and sustainable development. Finding interaction with the natural environment challenging in Mexico City's urban landscape, he took his passion to various lands and projects. Jaime finally settled down on the Baja California Peninsula, where he now is engaged with local communities and the environment through RED's programs. If you would like to know more about our projects and tours, Jaime is RED's point of contact.
Charlotte Vizzuett
Community Liaison Officer
With a degree in Sociology and a Specialization in Community Development, you can say that Charlotte is definitely fascinated by people. Her studies and interest placed her into a handful of projects in the state of Querétaro, working with the state government to create and implement social indicators and diagnostics, as well as design and monitor local development plans. Having met absolutely everyone in Querétaro, Charlotte traveled to Baja California Sur, working with partner organization Amigos para la Conservación de Cabo Pulmo, before joining RED Sustainable Travel as Community Liaison. Charlotte is coordinating RED's work in Cabo Pulmo, as well as applying her unique skillset to the full range of RED projects throughout Northwest Mexico.


This section is comming soon  


Conservation Partners:

- Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias (GTC) www.grupotortuguero.org
- Vigilantes de Bahía Magdalena (Magdalena Baykeeper)
- Niparajá www.niparaja.org.mx
- Amigos para la Conservación de Cabo Pulmo
- SuMar
- Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) www.ucsd.edu

Industry Partners:

- SEE Turtles www.seeturtles.org
- Adventure Travel and Trade Association (AT TA) www.adventuretravel.biz
- Solimar International www.solimarinternational.com
- Adventure Life www.adventure-life.com
- Baja Expeditions www.bajaex.com


RED Sustainable Travel takes its name "RED" from the Spanish word red which means net - as in a fisherman's net, or network, representing the network of fishing communities where RED got its start, working with organizations like the Grupo Tortuguero and Magdalena Baykeeper.

Where we work
RED works in rural communities throughout NW Mexico, each with unique individuals, natural wonders, and challenges. Check out our community briefs stories and learn more about:
Cabo Pulmo
Las Animas
Magdalena Bay
Punta Abreojos
Verde Camacho