Craft vendors urged to learn Spanish

September 10, 2018
Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre Parade, downtown Kingston.
In this 2015 photo, members of the Stella Maris Dance Company performing during the official opening ceremony of the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre in downtown Kingston.

Craft vendors and business operators in downtown Kingston are being encouraged to take advantage of Spanish-language training being offered at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre, 10-12 North Parade.

Nadine Boothe-Gooden, centre manager, said the lessons will better enable them to benefit from business opportunities provided by the port calls at the Kingston Harbour by Spanish cruise lines.

"With the ships coming to the harbour now, people are becoming more interested in learning some Spanish," she said.

"Even if you are not fluent in the language, just being able to say a few words, such as 'Como estas?' or 'Buenos dias', might help to break the ice and bring a customer to you," she pointed out.

Boothe-Gooden said the centre recently conducted a Spanish-language training course for craft vendors in collaboration with the Tourism Product Development Company and the Venezuelan Embassy, which was well-received.

She said it is important for people to be prepared to benefit from the developments taking place in the downtown area.

"I am looking forward to downtown Kingston becoming a buzzing city, a cultural-heritage city where people recognise that this is a place to be. Every major city in the world that I go to where there is a waterfront, it is a moneymaker for that country," she added.

The centre, named in honour of Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar, was donated to Jamaica by the government of Venezuela with the objectives of promoting and developing cultural programmes for both children and adults and deepening Latin American and Caribbean ties.

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