When traveling to developing areas, giving money or gifts isn´t always the best way to make authentic connections with locals. Eco hotels like Genesis Eco-Oasis have a responsibility to protect and enhance social as well as environmental values although thoughts about how to do that vary from one to another. Lee, a 15 year resident in the Maya village of Ek Balam, believes that fair exchanges are more empowering than charity. One of her roles at Genesis is matching the traditional skills, knowledge and craftmanship of local artisans with the interests of guests. Locals become the teachers, and visitors, the students. Knowledge and skills, rather than trinkets, are traded for economic benefit. That way, connection with the community occurs on a more equal footing through the gift of friendships and partnerships.