Tour guides get international certification
While they pour over the paperwork, a group of enterprising Belizeans are happy to take home the paper that deemed them to be qualified. Belizean tour guides Deland Gongora and Leticia Magana, both employed by Calypso Train Tours, are the first to be internationally recognized for the knowledge, experience and standard of professionalism they displayed during a recent training and certification program offered by Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence. The Tour Guide Excellence Program, for members of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, is designed specifically to teach operators and guides about the cruise industry around the world. While the pair took an online course for several weeks, a brief ceremony was held today in recognition of the achievement. The president of Aquila, Beth Kelly Hatt, came to the Jewel to share in the celebration.
Beth Kelly Hatt, President, Aquila
Beth Kelly Hatt
“In Belize we’ve done two different things. Just now we did two hours with the operators and also Calypso Train Tours has registered their tour guides in our international program that’s online and two of their guides just received international certification today. So they are the first in the country.”
“What are some of the skill sets that you have learned during the course of this training program that you are now prepared to employ in the field?”
Deland Gongora, Internationally Certified Tour Guide
“Well the training itself was basically, it wasn’t something new to us, to myself that’s in the industry already for ten years but it’s actually things that they enhance your skills in doing. For example, for the ten years I’ve been in the industry I’ve met a lot of people, some of the elderly people especially, sometimes on a rainy day people come here and they feel a little grumpy because of the rain. The training itself actually teaches you or enhances your skill on how to approach these people and how to look at it in a different way not because the training is going to be a bad day or a bad tour. It’s basically just getting them to see it in a different way. They are here to enjoy themselves and that’s basically how things we learn throughout the course, so it’s just enhancing the skills that most tour guide training already have.”
Leticia Magana, Internationally Certified Tour Guide
“It means a lot to us and now we can even train other tour guides as well and this isn’t anything new to us since I’ve been in this industry for twelve years now. I really enjoy being a tour guide, you know, meeting new people, different people everyday, different circumstances, situations that you learn how to deal with. So, I’m very proud and thanks to Aquila as well for giving us the chance in taking this course.”
Deland Gongora and Leticia Magana now join internationally certified tour guides in more than fourteen countries within the Caribbean and Latin America.