By David Andres Ortegon Martinez
Sustainability Director Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Jamaica is a unique mix. The current Jamaican culture is the product of a mixture of cultures that settled on the island at different times in its history. This culture reflects a variety of languages, traditions and customs of the Taino Indians, Spanish settlers, English missionaries, African people brought by the colonizers and finally the Hindu and Chinese communities who most recently settled on the island.
At Azul Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma, experiencing local culture and sharing it with our guests, is very important aspects of our Gourmet inclusive Experience. These activities,which can be enjoyed with friends and families, enrich our guests’ stay by sharing new and genuine insights into the destination,.
- Patois Classes (Local Language: Mixture of English, French, Spanish & African languages) for children and adults.
- Rum Tasting: In which the manufacturing process of Rum is explained by our staff members, while a great variety of cocktails are prepared and the sale of local rums is promoted.
- Traditional palm leaf hats and baskets making
More recently, the staff of Naay Spa has taken up the challenge of promoting Jamaican culture through the “Spa moment”, an activity in which Deidra, one of the most charismatic staff members of our spa, wears traditional Jamaican clothes depicting Mrs. Louise Bennett-Coverley (1919 – 2006). Miss Lou, as she was better known, was an important poet, writer, activist and promoter of Jamaican culture, and is recognized nationally and internationally as a living legend of local folklore.
As Miss Lou, Deidra, shares with our guests key aspects of language, customs, history, environment and everyday life in Jamaica, while promoting our great variety of spa experiences highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits.
Deidra along with 20 other employees of the hotel are part of a leadership group who have been trained by the Jamaican Ministry of Industry & Tourism under the “Team Jamaica” program. The program aims to highlight the most important components of tourism in the Caribbean and teaches course participants to communicate effectively with our guests and visitors, and promote a more sustainable destination.
By sharing the local culture with our guests, we communicate the positive aspects of the destination, offering authentic and unique activities during their stay and promoting the purchase of local products inside and outside the hotel.
These initiatives are an important element of the “Passion for Sustainability” program at Karisma Hotels & Resorts, as through them, our company generates positive impacts on the economy, culture and local environment by promoting knowledge of local folklore & culture in Jamaica.