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Craft vendors can learn Spanish at Simon Bolívar cultural centre

Sunday, September 09, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Craft vendors and business operators in downtown Kingston are being encouraged to take advantage of Spanish language training being offered at the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre, 10-12 North Parade.

Centre manager, Nadine Boothe-Gooden, 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 told JIS NEWS.

“Even if you are not fluent in the language, just being able to say a few words, such as 'Como estas?' or 'Buenos días' 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 under a cooperation with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) 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 money-maker for that country,” she added.

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

It houses a library, an interpretation room, a language laboratory, a multi-purpose room for lectures and performances, and administrative offices.

The facility offers an afterschool programme for children ages 6 to 16, involving Spanish lessons, Latin dance, music and guidance and counselling.

It hosts a Latin dance night for adults on the last Friday of every other month from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

There is an exhibition on the life and work of Simón Bolívar and his famous letter, Carta de Jamaica (Jamaican Letter), which he completed on September 6, 1815, while in exile in Jamaica.

Persons wishing to take part in the programmes at the centre can call 876-967-0378 or email simonbolivarcentre@gmail.com.

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