Members of the board of directors of the McClenaghan Center of Hospitality Training at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio visited the island last week upon invitation from Patty Arceo, member of the international board of directors.
Board members of the center met in San Pedro to formulate a program which will provide island residents the opportunity to receive hospitality training courses in the tourism sector (hotels, restaurants), in particular tour guide and eco tour guide training.
Cynthia Baden, board member, told Ambergris Today Newspaper that the program will be called ‘College at Work’ as participants will be obtaining their Associate’s Degree once they complete the entire course.
“We are planning to start the program later this year, in the fall,” commented Cynthia. “The program will work along with the students as it will allow them to continue working in their current job and take the courses after working hours. We will be bringing down instructors from the US, but we will also use the services of local trained professors here on the island who are qualified to teach the courses.”
In addition, Cynthia explained that people with access to computers and the internet will also be able to take the course online, something much more convenient. Scholarships will also be available for those wanting to go study at Hocking College.
During their visit to Belize and San Pedro the members of the board of directors had the opportunity to tour our magnificent country visiting the Lamanai Maya Ruins, snorkeling at Hol Chan, cave tubing and even gliding over the rainforest on the zip-line tours.
“We had a fantastic time on all the tours and I have to say that Belizeans exemplify hospitality,” pointed out Cynthia. “The people of this country are wonderful, very friendly and hospitable.”
On Saturday, April 22, the board members were hosted by Patty at her restaurant El Fogon where they held a small ceremony and presented Patty Arceo and Billy Leslie with special awards. Patty, restaurateur, was handed an award for ‘Distinguished Services’ and Billy, a tour guide, as given the award for “Excellence in Hospitality” both in their respective fields.
Cynthia Baden plans to come back to San Pedro to finalize the College at Work program and will have further updates on this great opportunity for San Pedro.
Billy Leslie and Patty Arceo receive honorary hospitality awards by Cynthia Baden and Richard Brandt of Hocking College.