Indigenous communities across the Caribbean are accessing tourism markets and welcoming visitors to encounter their traditional ways of life.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) highlighted this important development in a general session at the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development that took place 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The panel titled “Indigenous Conversations – Celebrating Our Past, Embracing Our Future” looked at the changing composition of local livelihoods and demonstrate how the region’s indigenous people have a tangible role and stake in the Caribbean tourism value chain.
Indigenous communities are utilizing tourism markets to embrace expanded entrepreneurial opportunities, adding new dimensions to their sources of income, and create niches that are increasingly sought after.
Session speakers included Uwahnie Martinez, the director of Palmento Grove Garifuna Eco Cultural & Fishing Institute in Belize, a private island retreat owned and operated by local Garifuna people; Colonel Marcia “Kim” Douglas, colonel of Jamaica’s Charles Town Maroon Community; a representative of the Indian Creek Mayan Art Women’s Group of Belize and Rudolph Edwards, the toshao (chief) of Rewa village in Guyana, a small Amerindian community of about 300 people, mostly from the Makushi tribe, who founded the Rewa Eco-Lodge in 2005 in an effort to protect their land for generations to come.
Source: eturbonews ETN