18 members of Rastafari Indigenous Village (RIV) and two members of the Montego River Gardens community in Jamaica participated in a 10-day interactive training programme in Tour Guide Skills, facilitated by the Tourism Product Development Company. Members will also gain certification in the national tourism training programme Team Jamaica. The training will support the RIV community in further developing and delivering their unique and informative tour.
Below, we hear from RIV members involved in the training programme…
“The training is very important! It has helped us build our professionalism. It is very informative and has made us more knowledgeable of our country, ourselves and even our Village, because there are some things I didn’t know about the Village, such as the history of the Labyrinth garden and its value to finding yourself and your centre.” ‘Queen B’ Izeeta Berham (Cuisine/Labyrinth garden tour guide/housekeeping)
“The training has been very wonderful! It is good to have everyone in the Village participate. It creates a harmony. Makes it easier to ‘wake up’ (yoga term for experiencing an awakening) and you want to be present. Definitely a lot of laughter in every class and everyone is enjoying the sessions. The Jamaican cuisine day was special..great sharing food with everyone that everyone had created.” ‘Hado’ Mark McFarlane (yoga wellness coach/cuisine/housekeeping)
RIV members have also participated in a formal tour at the 5-star ‘Croydon in the Mountains’ attraction to experience an existing guided walking tour. This activity helped sharpen their guiding skills and provided an opportunity to critique an established tour based on the new body of knowledge acquired in their training sessions.
It is hoped that the revised RIV tours will be available to customers from early 2015. Keep an eye on the Travel Foundation website for further information.