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New Approach for our POP Program

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

In 2013, Roatan Marine Park (RMP) started the scholarship program “Protect Our Pride" (POP) with the main goal of generating job opportunities for Hondurans. Through the program participants were able to get certified from open water divers all the way to dive instructors! In this way, ensuring that Hondurans citizens can participate in one of the main economic activities of Roatan’s tourism industry.


In 2021, RMP expanded the program to another relevant area in the island: Tourist Guidance. This new approach will certify local guides who will eventually become ambassadors of Roatan, Honduras; as they interact directly with thousands of visitors annually, showing them our natural and cultural heritage.

It is important for tour guides to receive proper training, in order to enhance the profile of our country by providing excellent customer service , managing first aid knowledge, and most important educating tourists about the standards and regulations when visiting the Bay Island National Marine Park (BINMP). The initial training was developed and held in the coastal city of La Ceiba. The idea was to expose students to similar environments and community-based tourism initiatives, so they could be inspired to promote collaborations between the two destinations. A hands-on dynamic approach was applied, covering areas such as: Tourist Culture, Geography and History, Group Management, First Aid, Bird Watching, Guidance through Mangroves and Protection of Coastal Marine Ecosystems in the BINMP.


The idea was to expose students to similar environments and community-based tourism initiatives, so they could be inspired to promote collaborations between the two destinations. A hands-on dynamic approach was applied, covering areas such as: Tourist Culture, Geography and History, Group Management, First Aid, Bird Watching, Guidance through Mangroves and Protection of Coastal Marine Ecosystems in the BINMP.


Once all the training has been completed, the guides will be able to enter the National Local Guides Registry, managed by the Honduran Institute of Tourism (IHT), through its representation in Roatán, the Bay Islands Tourism Bureau. Until now, 50 Tour Guides with diverse levels of experience and backgrounds have been involved. RMP envisions that these guides will generate an impact at the level of their communities by carrying out environmental awareness activities as well as conservation and rescue of cultural heritage initiatives, shifting to more sustainable and community-oriented ways to do tourism in the island, followed by the program "Protect Our Pride". The process has been achieved thanks to the collaboration of the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) as a sponsor and the Association Pro Tourist Communities of Honduras (LARECOTURH) as a trainer and logistical advisor.




Written by: Diana Fajardo, RMP Project Coordinator




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Satélite León
Satélite León
Nov 23, 2021

Hola

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