We are hard at work here in Altagracia!
We discussed a lot about professionalism, and cultural differences between Europe, the US, and Nicaragua. Stereotypes and exceptions to stereotypes, machismo and sexism, being there to assist vs. harassing passersby - there was a lot to discuss. These guides are somewhat self-selected, of course, so those who attend trainings are often already aware of cultural differences. But some things die hard. For example, at the end of the workshop, they wanted to ask one of the female guides to serve the juice and donuts provided. That made for a teachable moment about how in the US, it would be unethical to specify that they want a woman to do the serving in a work setting. So they put the question out there, and of course the women volunteered. But at least there was a discussion!
Another repeat visitor to the island who had toured with Arlin, the president and founder of the group, had come back with five pairs of quick-dry hiking pants as a donation. They drew names from a bag to choose who got them, and the winners were pretty happy:
Soon, our friend and coworker in the Everglades, Jen Lopez, is coming to visit for about a week and a half. We'll be putting her to work, for sure.