Kalinago Territory-based Barana Aute has copped the ‘Heritage Protection Award’ at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)-TravelMole Sustainable Tourism conference.
The award was announced during the closing ceremony of the conference on Wednesday evening in Guyana.
The aim of the facility is to showcase and preserve the cultural heritage of the Kalinago people and according to its Manager Kevin Dangleben the award speaks volumes for the efforts being made so far.
“Kalinago Barana Aute is the only facility in the Caribbean that gives a truly Amerindian experience and the award shows that we are being recognized in Dominica and the region,” Dangleben told Dominica News Online.
He pointed out before the facility existed visitors simply drove through and were told they had visited the territory. “But since we came into existence five years ago visitors are being given a more structured package to interact with the people,” he noted.
He said the facility, in addition to preserving the heritage of the Kalinago people, is also an income generator. “We do not preserve for the sake of preservation only but we also generate revenue and as a matter of fact we are the main income generator in the community,” Dangleben said.
He noted additionally a Home Stay program has been initiated and discussions are underway, in collaboration with the Discover Dominica Authority, to have Kalinago craft items sold on visiting cruise ships and to have traditional accommodation at the facility itself.
He thanked the Discover Dominica Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, the workers at the facility and the community for making the award a reality and said it will go a long way because Kalinago Barana Aute will be given publicity in all CTO mediums.
Kalinago Barana Aute was able to beat its competitors to meet the following criteria:
– efforts to pass on cultural and intangible heritage traditions and skills to younger generations
– documentation and/or copyrighting of local heritage related materials
– innovative promotion of local heritage to locals and visitors
– sustainable financing of local heritage conservation
– engagement of local communities, public, NGO and/or private sector entities in preserving and promoting local heritage