Community powered tourism in Fond Gens Libre

The Fond Gens Libre Development Committee (FGLDC) in conjunction with the SLHTA recently conducted a Tour Guides Skills and Training Assessment of a cadre of community based tour guides.

They have been trained to provide a new visitor experience being introduced this winter.

Sitting at the base of Gros Piton, Fond Gens Libre is home to descendants of Saint Lucia’s Freedom Fighters who rejected slavery hundreds of years ago, and even the community’s name which translates to Valley of the Free People, celebrates this freedom.

The community seeks to share its unique culture and history with visitors through a model of Sustainable Community Based Tourism that is developed from within the community.

To date this initiative has received tremendous support from the General Manager of the Piton Management Area (PMA) who has oversight for Saint Lucia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives, through its Forestry Division and the GEF SGP UNDP (Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme United Nations Development Programme)

Social Entrepreneur/Photographer Kirk Elliott, has mentored the community since 2015 having been invited by the PMA’s General Manager to help the community develop a tourism product that would gain international awards of excellence like his St Lucia Photo Tour has done.