Guatemala airport closed passengers stranded after volcanic eruption

Guatemala airport closed passengers stranded after volcanic eruption

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first_imgTags: Guatemala, Volcano Monday, June 4, 2018 By: The Associated Press EL RODEO — A fiery volcanic eruption in Guatemala has left more than two dozen fatalities in its wake and forced the closure of La Aurora International Airport, just outside of Guatemala City.Houses and buildings in the colonial town of Antigua, a popular tourist destination, are covered in ash.The Volcan de Fuego, or ‘Volcano of Fire’, exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon on Sunday, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash. Lava began flowing down the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m.Eddy Sanchez, director of the country’s seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius).Dramatic video showed a fast-moving lahar, or flow of pyroclastic material and slurry, slamming into and partly destroying a bridge on a highway between Sacatepequez and Escuintla.Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and soldiers, worked to help any survivors and recover any more bodies amid the still-smoking lava.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedGuatemala’s disaster agency said 3,100 people had evacuated nearby communities, and ash fall from the eruption was affecting an area with about 1.7 million of country’s 15 million or so people. Shelters were opened for those forced to flee.Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said he would issue a declaration of a state of emergency to be approved by Congress and urged people to heed warnings from emergency officials.Ash fell on the Guatemala City area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua, a popular tourist destination.Aviation authorities closed the capital’s international airport because of the danger posed to planes by the ash.One of Central America’s most active volcanos, the conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346 feet (3,763 metres) above sea level at its peak. Guatemala airport closed, passengers stranded after volcanic eruption Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Costa Ricas Chinchilla to join march against Daniel Ortega in Nicoya

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first_imgNo related posts. Facebook Comments Guanacaste voted to join Costa Rica in 1842.La Nación and crhoy.com reported Tuesday that Accessibility without Exclusion Party lawmaker Víctor Emilio Granados proposed suspending Thursday’s legislative session to free up lawmaker schedules so they could participate in the march.The Tico Times called the offices of Claudio Monge, José María Villalta and Edgardo Araya Pineda, leaders of the Citizen Action Party, Broad Front Party, and National Liberation Party, respectively, but staff responded that they were either unaware of or noncommittal about plans to attend the march.The Tico Times was still waiting for a response from Rodolfo Sotomayor Aguilar, leader of the Social Christian Unity Party, when this post went to press.This latest spat between Costa Rica and Nicaragua escalated quickly after Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo filed a complaint about Ortega’s remarks with the Organization of American States and the United Nations.Several news sources reported disturbances outside the Costa Rican Consulate in Managua. The Foreign Ministry announced that it would temporarily close that consulate on Sunday, following “xenophobic” acts by demonstrators outside new consular offices in Praderas de Las Colinas, Managua. Other consulate offices in the provinces of Chinandega and Rivas will remain open.In an interview with CNN en Español on Monday, Chinchilla said that Nicaragua was acting with “great hostility” towards Costa Rica. The president implored authorities in Managua to provide the necessary protection for Tico employees to enter and open the new consulate.Luis Castrillo, a press representative for the City of Nicoya, told The Tico Times that the mayor’s office was expecting up to 3,000 participants at the march and the round table on Thursday.Watch President Laura Chinchilla’s interview with CNN en Español’s Fernando del Rincón: The plaza in front of Nicoya’s iconic Church of San Blas will host a round table Thursday following the “March for the Motherland,” organized by the city’s mayor, Marco Antonio Jiménez Muñoz. Courtesy of the City of Nicoya On Tuesday afternoon President Laura Chinchilla confirmed her plans to attend a march in Nicoya against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s blustering statements about “reclaiming” the northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, according to Communications Minister Carlos Roverssi and representatives from the City of Nicoya, located on the Nicoya Peninsula.Several cabinet ministers plan to accompany the president, including Roverssi and Presidency Minister Carlos Benavides on the march from the city’s Court of Justice to Nicoya’s iconic San Blas Church starting at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. Speeches from officials and a round table will follow the march in the plaza.On Aug. 13, Ortega told an audience during an official event that he planned to appeal to the International Court of Justice at The Hague to “reclaim” the province of Guanacaste, long a nationalist rallying cry for some Nicaraguans.Nicoya Mayor Marco Antonio Jiménez Muñoz announced the demonstration on Aug. 14, soon after writing a letter to Ortega in which he called the president’s comments “an act of ignorance” and “disrespectful.”last_img read more

Crime threatens to tarnish Tortugueros tourist industry

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first_imgA riverboat on one of the canals of Tortuguero. The robbery of 12 tourists on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, was a bold but rare attack on the rivers there. Many community members say that public and tourist buses are more likely targets.Alberto Font Days after masked gunmen robbed 12 foreign tourists and two Costa Ricans on a riverboat near the Caribbean town of Tortuguero, authorities have yet to find the culprits.Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Guápiles Assistant Chief Román Marchena told The Tico Times Thursday that they had detained two suspects in the case but had to release both because there was insufficient evidence to hold them.Marchena added that police did not interview the tourists, citing that several had left the area or Costa Rica. OIJ did interview Laguna Lodge manager Rebeca Gómez and the boat’s captain, according to Marchena.The tourists were from the United States, Spain and Switzerland. The U.S. Embassy in San José said that no requests for new passports from the U.S. victims had been filed.As the OIJ continues its investigation, hotel owners and guides in Tortuguero are wary about how perceptions of increasing crime will affect the economic lifeblood of the town: tourism.“Tourists are the perfect victims all over the world,” said Michael Kaye, president and founder of Costa Rica Expeditions, noting that tourists tend to carry cash, valuables and passports, and then leave the country.Karla Taylor, a guide with 16 years of experience specializing in the Tortuguero area and its eponymous national park, said that her family has been in the town since it was founded in the 1930s. “Tortuguero feels more unsafe every day,” Taylor told The Tico Times in a telephone interview. “I asked myself if I was going to have to change profession,” she said after hearing about the robbery Monday. “I travel that river every day.”Several community members have contacted The Tico Times since the robbery Monday, noting that buses — both public and tourist — traveling along the highway between Tortuguero and Cariari de Guápiles are favorite targets of thieves.Taylor said that she had been robbed at gunpoint while riding with her three children on a bus on that stretch of road.While the recent thievery caught national attention here, several hoteliers and community members told The Tico Times they believe the robberies are underreported.Taylor lamented that despite Tortuguero’s international reputation as a destination for turtle nesting, rare wildlife sightings and coastal canals, it was forgotten by the Costa Rican government.Juan Carlos Borbón, general manager of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), told The Tico Times in an email that ICT works with various other government agencies to help ensure tourist safety. Borbón added that the Public Security Ministry assigned 32 tourist police officers to the towns of Manzanillo, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Cocles, where the station is located, in southern Limón.Police in the southernmost part of Limón, however, can do little to ease the worries of Tortuguero residents and workers, who live on the northern Caribbean coast. There are 36 total Tourist Police officers for the entire province of Limón.In 2012, 92,552 tourists visited Tortuguero National Park, according to attendance numbers from the National System of Conservation Areas.Tortuguero National Park Administrator Elena Vargas opined that the park itself is not dangerous, but that there have been robberies.Vargas said the sprawling park’s small staff and difficult terrain mean that most of the park rangers are concentrated along the thin coastal strip most trafficked by guests, an area that is less than 1 percent of the park’s area.“The park needs to be safe, but security is not our main focus; it’s conservation,” she said.Costa Rica’s national park rangers won the right to carry firearms in August this year, a result of the greater dangers they face patrolling the country’s parks, especially from drug traffickers and illegal miners.“The Tourist Police have increased their visits to hotels at night to guarantee the tourists’ security, as well as to inform them so they are cautious during their trip,” Borbón said. In the case of an altercation, she said, those officers help victims file a complaint with the appropriate agency.Unfortunately, that did not happen this time. There is no OIJ office in remote Tortuguero. Tourists would have to travel to Guápiles to file their complaint with the nearest OIJ office, something many are either unaware of or unwilling to take vacation time to do, if they haven’t left the country already.Kaye said that the ICT has not taken the problem of crime in the area seriously and that it should muster a more thorough response to complaints and crimes against tourists.“Good destinations bring witnesses back,” Kaye said. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:National Police announce operation to combat crime wave in Costa Rica’s Northern Zone Costa Rica’s National Police beefs up security in San José With no police station, Nuevo Arenal is a target for criminals, say residents Israeli tourist caught smuggling cocaine at Costa Rica airportlast_img read more

Villalta calls budget deficit focus alarmist

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first_imgRelated posts:UCR poll: Araya, Villalta, Solís neck-and-neck as campaigns close The real communist threat in Costa Rica Villalta’s rise and Araya’s fall could upset 50 years of political dominance in Costa Rica Liberation’s Araya promises administration with ‘social face’ Costa Rican opposition presidential candidate José María Villalta says he’ll cut tax deductions and boost salaries of police and teachers if elected president, calling concerns about the country’s widening budget deficit “alarmist.”Villalta, 36, is seeking to force a second round vote with ruling party candidate Johnny Araya in the Feb. 2 race to succeed President Laura Chinchilla. Villalta has 26 percent support among likely voters compared to 39 percent for Araya and 18 percent for Libertarian Movement Party founder Otto Guevara, according to a Jan. 8-13 poll by CID-Gallup. A candidate needs 40 percent to win outright or face an April 6 runoff.Central America’s second-biggest economy was put on negative outlook by Moody’s in September, citing widening budget deficits, a rising debt burden and a failure to pass fiscal legislation. The strength of Villalta’s candidacy is making it harder for the government to pass fiscal reforms before a second-round vote, Citigroup economists Jorge Pastrana and Jeffrey Williams wrote in a Jan. 7 report.“It’s likely that the neoliberal economists who have led the country in previous years have blown the issue of the fiscal deficit out of proportion,” Villalta, who heads the Broad Front Party and is their only representative in Congress, said in an interview Tuesday. “But we do think it’s a problem that needs to be tackled in an holistic way.”Chinchilla’s government has spent the past year drafting a plan to limit the growth of public sector jobs and salary increases. The 56-year-old Araya, who stepped down as mayor of San José to campaign, said he’ll boost financing for young entrepreneurs and consider scrapping the country’s 13 percent sales tax and replacing it with a higher value-added tax.Moody’s said its negative outlook was justified by a fiscal deficit that climbed to an average 4.4 percent in the 2009-2013 period, up from about 1 percent in the previous four years. The ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product was headed toward 37 percent in 2013 from 25 percent in 2008, Moody’s said.“Large fiscal deficits and a rising debt burden remain Costa Rica’s main medium-term credit risk and ratings constraint,” according to the Sept. 23 report.Moody’s rates Costa Rica’s $45 billion economy Baa3, the lowest investment-grade level, putting it in the same category as Indonesia and Spain. Both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch rate Costa Rica below investment grade.Costa Rican dollar bonds have lost 2.1 percent the past six months, compared to a 1.6 percent return for Latin American debt, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBIG index. The economy grew 5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, up from 3.8 percent in the same period of 2012.As president, Villalta said he would seek to reduce tax deductions for companies and raise salaries for public sector workers near the bottom of the pay scale, saying senior managers in the government bureaucracy are overpaid at the expense of workers including teachers and policemen.“There is a great lack of balance between salaries,” Villalta said. “Many are underpaid.”Sitting in a sparse downtown office with a yellow party flag flying outside, Villalta said he wants to renegotiate parts of the country’s free trade agreement with the United States, Dominican Republic and Central America, known as CAFTA-DR, to improve intellectual property protections and labor rights and allow him to set price caps on medications.Voters in the country of 4.7 million people have grown weary of corruption scandals in the government and are ready for change after eight years of rule by the National Liberation Party, or PLN, Villalta said.Finance Minister Fernando Herrero resigned in 2012 after the daily La Nación said he avoided paying property taxes, a charge he denied. The transportation minister also resigned that year over alleged corruption on a road project. Last May, the communications minister resigned and Chinchilla fired her anti-narcotics chief and a deputy minister after questions arose about her use of a private jet to fly to Peru.Ahead of next month’s election, the PLN has started an advertising campaign telling voters not to “vote left,” saying a victory for more liberal candidates would put private sector jobs at risk.The 13-point gap between Araya and Villalta in the latest Gallup poll, which had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points, is wider than a December survey which showed the two candidates just five points apart. That bolsters the prospects of a victory by the ruling party, allowing for fiscal adjustment, Jefferson Finch, an analyst at Eurasia Group wrote in a report Wednesday.“Desire for change in the electorate is high, but it will be difficult for the fragmented and ideologically polarized opposition parties to build an electoral majority,” Finch wrote.Villalta dismissed the PLN’s campaign ads and said the surveys show relatively weak support for Araya after his two PLN predecessors won with over 40 percent support in the first round.“Those in charge of propaganda in the PLN saw a chance to distract voters from the corruption and mistakes this government has made,” Villalta said. “Campaigns based on fear never add votes. They’re done to destroy other candidates or boost abstentions and that’s what is happening in Costa Rica.”© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Caribbean residents square off with opposition lawmaker over highway expansion delays

Caribbean residents square off with opposition lawmaker over highway expansion delays

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first_imgRelated posts:On Afro-Caribbean Day, government promises new cruise ship terminal in Limón Tortuguero business owners form new tourism chamber Lawmakers could approve $395 million Chinese loan to expand Route 32 as early as this week Travel Alert: Route 32 through Braulio Carrillo closed over the weekend Limón residents angered by a delay in legislation to expand Route 32, the main highway connecting Costa Rica’s capital with the Caribbean coast, descended on San José’s Legislative Assembly Wednesday, and the target of their ire was Citizen Action Party lawmaker Manrique Oviedo.Protesters hurled insults at Oviedo, who they blame for delaying a roadway expansion bill, and accused him of filibustering the bill in the Assembly’s Financial Affairs Commission.Assembly security escorted the lawmaker to and from his office as vocal protesters began shoving Assembly staff members.Oviedo has argued the project’s $165 million price tag is too high, and exceeds initial cost studies.National Roadway Council official Marco Antonio Rojas fired back, saying “a price overrun does not exist.” What drove up the cost from initial studies was the addition of pedestrian bridges and bus stops among other features, he said.Oviedo reportedly aggravated the situation, however, by calling protesters “indios,” a derogatory term that means “indians.”Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker Walter Céspedes, a representative from Limón, reprimanded Oviedo for his use of the offensive word.The Financial Affairs Commission on Thursday began discussing 15 pending motions that must be cleared before the bill is sent to a vote.The highway expansion project was awarded in a public bid last October to China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), and will be financed with a loan of $395 million that lawmakers approved earlier this month.But critics are questioning irregularities in the loan package, as well as the manner in which it was negotiated with CHEC.The China Communications Construction Company, one of the companies that earlier merged to form CHEC, was included in a 2009 blacklist by the World Bank over fraud and corruption allegations concerning infrastructure projects in the Philippines. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Uber supporters say court case could legalize ridehailing service in Costa Rica

Uber supporters say court case could legalize ridehailing service in Costa Rica

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first_imgCosta Rica’s highest court agreed to hear a constitutional complaint this week that advocates of the ride-hailing service Uber believe could legalize it and similar services in Costa Rica.The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, known as the Sala IV, issued a statement Friday saying that it would review a 2015 complaint filed by Libertarian Party lawmakers Otto Guevara and Natalia Díaz, and libertarian economist Juan Ricardo Fernández. While Sala IV debates the case, punishment for providing private transportation deemed illegal under Costa Rican law has been suspended.The complaint alleges that the National Assembly made a parliamentary error when it passed a reform creating the Special Taxi Service, or SEE Taxi, a private car service separate from licensed taxi drivers. These private chauffeurs are commonly known as porteadores.Guevara and the other complainants claim SEE Taxi constitutes a public monopoly on private ride services (the government grants SEE Taxi permits). They also allege that the SEE Taxi reform violates the Central American Free Trade Agreement, according to the complaint.While Sala IV justices deliberate the complaint, the Transit Police and the Public Services Regulatory Authority cannot collect fines, impound vehicles or strip cars of their plates for providing unlicensed transportation services.The Public Works and Transit Ministry has previously said that Uber drivers could be fined more than ₡100,000 — roughly $200 — and have their vehicle impounded for providing what the government considers an illegal transportation service.Guevara told the daily La Nación that the court could take more than a year to decided the case, theoretically giving Uber and other unlicensed transportation operators at least that long to do business without fear of seizure or fines.Taxi union leader Rubén Vargas told Channel 7 TV News that he doubted the case would give Uber the green light to start operating in Costa Rica. If the court does rule in a way that legalizes Uber’s operations, Vargas said taxis would strike. Facebook Comments Related posts:Taxis protest as lawmakers present bill that could legalize Uber Uber rival Cabify coming to Costa Rica Uber gets $200 million for international expansion Uber Costa Rica pulls out of job fair over security concernslast_img read more

Ironman competition to be held in Costa Rica for first time ever

Ironman competition to be held in Costa Rica for first time ever

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first_imgPlaya del Coco in Guanacaste will play host to Costa Rica’s first-ever Ironman competition one year from now, the triathlon brand announced Thursday. The Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica will take place on June 18, 2017, giving contestants the chance to earn one of 35 qualifying spots for the world championship in the United States.Costa Rican Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura noted how important hosting a qualifying event for the world’s most recognizable triathlon could be for the country’s travel and sports scene.“Alongside the private sector, we’ve been able to turn the country into an authentic destination for sports and tourism to co-exist successfully,” Ventura said in a Thursday news release. “We’re showing off our niche as a place for sustainable tourism in the public eye with such an important competition like this one that will motivate participants and the general public to visit Costa Rica.” The Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica race will begin with a 1.9-kilometer swim through the Papagayo Gulf, followed by a 90-kilometer bike ride across the green landscapes of Guanacaste, and will conclude with a 21-kilometer run that ends on the sands of Playa del Coco.“We’re sure that this event will turn into a classic when the participants cross the finish line in such a magnificent location that will help assure them their effort was worth the pain,” said Wilber Anderson, the CEO of Miami Tri Events and Colombia Tri Events, which own the event’s licensing operations.The Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica race will be part of 90 similar Ironman 70.3 events across the world next year. The Costa Rican version of the race will offer $15,000 in prizes, as well as the chance to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, which will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee.To register, those interested can do so at the official Ironman web page until Thursday, June 23, at 8:30 a.m. Costa Rican time. Facebook Comments June 2017, race in a tropical paradise at the just-announced IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica!Info: https://t.co/mAxpDTZy32 pic.twitter.com/Bm1K2GRW4J— IRONMAN Triathlon (@IRONMANtri) June 16, 2016center_img Related posts:Costa Rican triathlete Leonardo Chacón finishes sixth at Xterra World Championship Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador surges to 2nd place in Giro d’Italia Colombia’s Luis Mejía claims second straight Ruta de los Conquistadores title Costa Rica’s Laurens Molina wins Los Angeles Marathonlast_img read more

How to help pets and other animals displaced by Hurricane Otto

How to help pets and other animals displaced by Hurricane Otto

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first_imgMiguel Vinicio Rojas Araya took this picture of a sloth hanging from a pole at a bridge in the Caribbean province of Limón. The picture quickly went viral on Friday. Facebook Comments ¡NO LOS OLVIDAMOS! Aunque ellos no hablan, necesitan nuestra ayuda y los estamos evacuando a un lugar seguro. #EmergenciaOtto #HonorDeServir pic.twitter.com/VuiB8WYJa5— Juan Jose Andrade M (@j_j_andrade) November 23, 2016 See also: How to donate to Hurricane Otto relief in Costa RicaFarm animals and pets were also among the victims of Hurricane Otto’s passage through Costa Rica. On Friday, in the aftermath of the storm, government agencies, animal rights groups and private companies launched campaigns to receive donations over the weekend in order to help a large number of stranded animals currently at shelters and others that are still in damaged areas.The Agriculture Ministry’s National Animal Health Service (SENASA) will open its 16 offices in all provinces to receive donations Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. SENASA stated on its website that it will be receiving collars, harnesses, leashes, cages, bowls, feeders, blankets and food.In addition, staff and volunteers from World Animal Protection will receive food, medicines and other supplies on the main floor of Paseo de las Flores Mall in Heredia from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m both days. The group will continue collecting donations from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 at their offices, which are located on the fifth floor of the mall.The non-governmental organization reported that it will coordinate with SENASA a donation of food for 1,500 cattle, 300 pigs, 900 dogs and 200 cats.Veterinarians from the National University, along with a group of volunteers from Upala, Bagaces, Matina and Pococí, will provide veterinary care and medicine at the university’s Veterinary Medicine School and also at four mobile clinics coordinated by SENASA officials.Various veterinary clinics and pet shops will also be receiving donations in the coming days. Here’s a list of some of them:In San José:Veterinaria Dr. Brenes, at Plaza Los Colegios Mall in Moravia. Phone: 2240-8262Tienda Dovals in Desamparados. Phones: 2219-1500 / 2219-8976Veterinaria Dr. Lutz in San Pedro. Phones: 2225-6422 / 2225-7233 / 2225-4575Clínica Veterinaria Multipark in Guachipelin Escazú. Phone: 2215-1474La Vete in Escazú. Phone: 2228-5252Veterinaria Avenida Mascota in Curridabat. Phone: 4700-9389Vida Animal Costa Rica. Facebook profileIn Alajuela:Vet-Medical in Ciudad Quesada. Phone: 2461-7575La Vete in Alajuela. Phone: 2440-0160In Heredia:Clínica Veterinaria San Francisco de Asís. Phone: 2589-2171 Related posts:UPDATE: Hurricane Otto makes landfall in Costa Rica Hurricane Otto weakens to category 1, moves to the Pacific More than 3,000 evacuees remain at shelters as rains continue over Costa Rica Deaths, disappearances in northern Costa Rica in aftermath of Hurricane Ottolast_img read more

Heinz suggests it invented salsa rosada internet explodes

Heinz suggests it invented salsa rosada internet explodes

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first_imgRelated posts:Chifrijo-Gate moves forward as Costa Rica court to hear lawsuit against 49 businesses Toward a more distinctive Costa Rican cuisine Rodrigo Brenes wants to take over the world, one ice cream cone at a time PHOTOS: How to make a real tortilla The quote of the day, if not the week, came fromcomedian Gabe González on Twitter: “We may have different names for her (Mayo-Ketchup, Salsa Golf, Fry Sauce, Salsa Rosada), but we all pray to the same sauce. This blasphemy from Heinz will not stand.”His was one of hundreds of responses to Heinz, which set off a firestorm Thursday when it announced that if 500,000 people voted in favor of “mayochup,” a combination of the company’s ketchup and mayo, it would release the apparently new product to “you saucy Americans.”Just hours later, the company was clearly overwhelmed by the “fierce” reaction, not to mention dozens of spinoff debates among defenders of mayo-ketchup combos in its various forms and names.“Puerto Ricans bathe in it,” wrote one Twitter user. In Puerto Rico, the sauce is called mayoketchup; in Costa Rica and in a few other Latin American countries, the ubiquitous combo, of course, is known as pink sauce, or salsa rosada. And yes, it’s available in bottled form in many parts of the world.In Utah, it’s called fry sauce, and people from that state were just as fiesty as the boricuas in their online defense against Heinz usurpation.According to The Washington Post’s chronicle of MayoChupGate (ok, that may not be a keeper), “legend actually places the origins of the condiment in the 1920s in Argentina, where it’s often referred to as ‘salsa golf.’ According to lore, a teenager named Luis Federico Leloir was eating prawns with friends at the Mar del Plata Golf Club in the coastal city of Mar del Plata when he decided to try an experiment, Ozy recounted. Joking around with his buddies, he mixed mayonnaise and ketchup to accompany the prawns, christening the sauce ‘salsa golf.’”Leloir went on to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but joked that he would have made more money if he’d patented the sauce, the Post reported.It seems Heinz executives reconsidering the name for their version (and probably delighted by the obviously enormous demand for pink sauce). We’ll turn back to Gabe González for the last word. “There is a market for this,” he wrote. “We have been here. It is disgusting and wonderful.” Gabe González via Twitter Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Bono to present Amnesty award to Suu Kyi in Dublin

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first_imgDUBLIN (AP) – Organizers of an Irish tribute concert for Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi say Bono will present her with Amnesty International’s highest honor when she’s in Dublin next month as part of her first international tour in 24 years.Suu Kyi is scheduled to visit Dublin on June 18 a day after collecting her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel in 1991 and Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience award in 2009, but was unable to claim either honor in person. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Top Stories Bono, who announced the Amnesty honor at a U2 concert in Dublin in July 2009, says Suu Kyi represents “grace” triumphing over dictatorship. He says it “will be such a thrill to meet her in person.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Parents, stop beating yourself up Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

Report Jordan biased over Palestinians from Syria

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first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Human Rights Watch has called on Jordan to treat Palestinian residents of Syria the same as Syrian refugees.But Maaytah insisted that Jordan does not discriminate against the Palestinians coming from Syria.“There are hundreds of them in the northern area in Jordan. They are provided with all the living needs, just like the Syrians,” he said.“They’re given residence, food, health and other services. All the conditions that apply to the Syrians, apply also on all others, including the Palestinians. Nobody was deported, interrogated or detained. Jordan is allowing them in on humanitarian grounds. “____Associated Press writer Jamal Halaby contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements ErrorOK ErrorOKIt also claimed that since April, Jordanian authorities have automatically detained all Palestinians who enter Jordan illegally without the possibility of release.Jordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah dismissed the allegations as “totally baseless.”“Jordan did not close its doors in the face of any refugee from Syria. Part of those I’m talking about are Palestinians who carry travel documents,” he told The Associated Press.HRW’s report could not be independently verified. The Palestinians are living in a heavily-guarded housing complex near the northern border, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the Jordanian capital.Jordan already hosts 2 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants who fled or were driven out of their homes in Arab-Israeli wars.HRW researcher Gerry Simpson said a dozen Palestinians, including women and children, were detained recently for months with no possibility of release. Nine others said they or relatives had been deported or threatened with deportation.“There can be no excuse for deporting people to a situation where there is a real risk to their lives,” Simpson said. “The authorities should issue clear orders to security officials on the border to protect anyone crossing from Syria who is seeking asylum in Jordan.” The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Associated PressAMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Jordan is discriminating against Palestinians seeking refuge from violence in Syria by forcibly returning new arrivals and threatening others with deportation, a rights group said Wednesday, prompting denials from Amman.While the New York-based Human Rights Watch praised Jordan’s admission of some 140,000 Syrian refugees, the report said that officials have arbitrarily detained Palestinians in a holding center without any options except to return to Syria. Top Stories last_img read more

Israel ushers in solemn Jewish holiday

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first_img Check your body, save your life Parents, stop beating yourself up In Israel, the country virtually shuts down for Yom Kippur. Businesses, restaurants and offices close, and television and radio stations go silent. Airports close and buses and trains stop running. Highways and roads become eerily quiet, devoid of vehicles.Yom Kippur is unique in Israel because it touches almost the entire country. A high portion of the secular population observes the fast _ and even those who don’t fast tend to refrain from eating in public, and quietly watch movies or rest at home.Many secular, mostly younger, Israelis ride bicycles and skateboards through the empty roads in some areas.The Israeli military closed crossings with the West Bank for the holiday, which starts on Friday evening, citing “security assessments.”Israel has imposed West Bank closures during most Jewish holidays in recent years due to concerns that Palestinian militants could take advantage of the occasion to carry out attacks inside Israel.This year, the holiday marks 40 years since the 1973 Arab-Israel War, which Israelis call the Yom Kippur War because of the surprise attack launched by the Egyptian and Syrian armies against Israel that year.The war is etched deep in Israel’s collective psyche due to the heavy losses sustained in the fighting and because of the country’s lack of preparedness. For Israelis, it is one of the most traumatic events in their history. Personal accounts of Israelis who participated in that war or who were scarred by its occurrence filled newspapers and talk shows ahead of this year’s holiday. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) JERUSALEM (AP) – Israelis ushered in the holiest day of the Jewish calendar at sundown Friday as nearly the entire country ground to a halt for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s day of atonement, observed with a 25-hour fast and long prayers.Jews traditionally spend the solemn day fasting and asking God for forgiveness at intense prayer services in synagogues. It caps a 10-day period of soul-searching that began with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year holiday. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   The holiday also comes amid the crisis over reports of chemical weapons use in neighboring Syria’s civil war.Israel is warily watching as the international community decides how to respond to the use of the deadly munitions that allegedly killed hundreds near Damascus last month. Washington and its allies say the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad fired warheads in the Aug. 21 attack with a nerve agent, most likely sarin.Israel has said it doesn’t want to get involved in the fighting but has also warned it will not tolerate chemical weapons reaching violent groups sworn to its destruction, such as the Iranian backed Lebanese Hezbollah group or the al-Qaida affiliates fighting in Syria against the regime.For devout Jews, Yom Kippur is the most solemn day on the calendar where according to tradition, God weighs people’s deeds and decides their fate for the next year.On Thursday night, thousands of Jews attended pre-Yom Kippur prayers in Jerusalem at the Western Wall, a remnant of the biblical Jewish Temple compound and the holiest site where Jews can pray.Those observing the holiday refrain from food and drink and adhere to prohibitions that ban work, using electricity or operating any kind of machinery. The ban on drinking is especially tough in Israel where meteorologists have predicted the holiday this year will be the hottest in decades. Medics are on alert around the country to deal with emergencies. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Report Violence inmates rule in Mexicos prisons

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first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The report, based on visits and interviews at 101 of Mexico’s most populated prisons, found that 65 of the facilities are run by inmates, not authorities. That’s an increase from the commission’s report last year, which said 60 of 100 prisons surveyed were run by inmates.“We’re finding a dynamic that we’ve been decrying for years now,” Plascencia said. “The government puts much force into fighting organized crime, as it should. But it doesn’t take care of the places where they incarcerate the members of organized crime, who are corrupting and taking control.”Federal government security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez did not respond to several requests for comment.But Sanchez said in a September meeting with foreign journalists that prison breaks and prisoners controlling facilities have become a thing of the past since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office last Dec. 1.“A good part of the jails were controlled by inmates,” he said, referring to the previous administration of former President Felipe Calderon. “That no longer occurs.”The human rights commission said that not only do such problems continue, inmate deaths and injuries combined have increased this year, though escapes are down from 261 last year to 67 through mid-October. Plascencia said the prisons controlled by inmates are in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa and Zacatecas, all states heavily affected by drug violence. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Earlier this month, six inmates died in a prison fight in the city of Reynosa in Tamaulipas state across the border from Texas.In late October, seven inmates were killed with makeshift knives in a fight in one cellblock in the coastal city of Altamira, also in Tamaulipas. Thirty-one prisoners died in a riot at the same prison early last year.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk How men can have a healthy 2019 The report said 109 prisoners died in 119 incidents so far this year and 224 were injured. In 73 incidents during all of last year, 154 prisoners died and 103 were injured. It did not give a breakdown of the types of incidents.The report was based on interviews and visits to prisons that house 80 percent of Mexico’s nearly 250,000 inmates. The overcrowded system has an official capacity of 200,000.Calderon stepped up the offensive against organized crime when he took office in late 2006, with military and police crackdowns that resulted in thousands of arrests but no new prisons. Many of Mexico’s facilities became overcrowded, and inmates accused of drug crimes were mixed with locals accused of petty crimes.Fights among rival cartels are not uncommon, and cartel members sometimes enter prisons to facilitate breakouts. It’s also not unusual for prison directors and guards to be fired or arrested after such incidents, charged with colluding with the criminals.In one of the worst incidents in 25 years, 44 inmates died in a prison massacre in February 2012 in the northern state of Nuevo Leon. After the incident, three top prison officials and 26 guards were accused of helping inmates escape in the confusion.center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies MEXICO CITY (AP) – Cases of violence and inmates controlling Mexican prisons are on the rise, symptoms of the corruption and lack of resources that plague the country’s corrections system, the National Human Rights Commission said Tuesday.Riots, homicides, prison breaks and other incidents have increased from 52 for all of 2011 to 119 through mid-October of this year, commission President Raul Plascencia said in releasing the report. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

Swedens Princess Madeleine to give birth in NYC

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first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Madeleine and O’Neill wed in June in Stockholm.The younger sister of Crown Princess Victoria, Madeleine is fourth in line to the Swedish throne.Sweden has a constitutional monarchy in which the royals primarily serve as figureheads. King Carl XVI Gustaf is the country’s head of state, but his powers are limited to ceremonial duties.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Sweden’s Royal Palace says Princess Madeleine and her American husband, banker Christopher O’Neill, have decided that their first child should be born in New York City.The palace said Saturday the couple had decided to do so after “careful consideration” and consulting with her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. The baby is expected in late February.last_img read more

House passes bill to add flexibility to fishing law

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first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Defying a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House on Monday approved a bill to give regional fisheries managers more power to set local fishing levels in federal waters.The bill, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, would remove a 10-year timeframe for rebuilding depleted fish stocks and allow fisheries managers to consider the economic needs of fishing communities in setting annual catch limits. Sponsored Stories President Barack Obama and other Democrats objected to the bill, saying it could lead to overfishing and roll back successful efforts to rebuild some stocks depleted by overfishing.Obama said in a May 19 statement that the House bill would “undermine the use of science-based actions to end and prevent overfishing” and would “interfere with the tremendous success achieved in rebuilding overfished fisheries by setting rebuilding targets that are not based on sound, credible science, and that unnecessarily extend the time to rebuild fisheries.”A 2013 report by the independent National Research Council found that federal efforts to rebuild depleted fish populations have largely been successful, but said pressure to overfish some species remains high and some fish stocks have not rebounded as quickly as projected.Forty-three percent of fish stocks identified as being overfished were rebuilt or showed good progress toward rebuilding within 10 years, the time limit required by the Magnuson-Stevens law, the report said. Another 31 percent were on track to rebuild if sharply reduced fishing levels remain in place, the report said.More than a quarter of overfished stocks continued to be overfished, due to ineffective enforcement and errors in fish stock estimates that led officials to set catch limits that were too high, the report said. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Republicans said the bill would added needed “flexibility” to the fisheries law while still protecting against overfishing. Democrats said it would roll back an important requirement that has ensured the recovery of many fish populations.The House approved the bill, 225-152.Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, called the vote “a win for the consumer, a win for the industry that puts food on our tables and restaurants, a win for the recreational fisherman, a win for better and more transparent science and a win for the American taxpayers.”The bill would reauthorize the four-decade-old Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the top law regulating fishing in U.S. oceans, and give regional fisheries managers greater flexibility to shift catch totals as ocean conditions and science change.Young said the bill was “written for fish and communities — not interest groups” and would ensure that “the needs of our fisheries resources are balanced with the needs of our fishermen and coastal communities.”Young said the provision allowing local managers to consider the economic needs of fishing communities in setting catch limits was crucial to the health of fishing communities from New England to the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska. The bill also would revise the fishing law to more closely reflect the current science, management techniques and knowledge of local fishermen and regional management councils, Young said. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img The report said the 10-year timeline to rebuild fisheries can help ensure that rebuilding occurs at a reasonable pace, but said it also can create inefficiencies that could in turn cause economic hardship.New England fishermen and some members of Congress in the region have blamed the 10-year rebuilding requirement in part for drastic cuts in fishing for cod, haddock and other species.Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, opposed the House bill, saying it would allow some fishermen to catch more fish in the short term but have “devastating long-term consequences.” Science-based regulations have resulted in species such as haddock and pollock “beginning to make a comeback,” she said.“Now is not the time to abandon these efforts,” Pingree said. “The only way to guarantee healthy fishing communities over the long term is to rebuild the fish stocks using science-based methods.”The bill would amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens law through 2019, at an annual spending level of nearly $400 million.The measure now goes to the Senate.___Follow Matthew Daly: https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDCCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   last_img read more

The Travel Corporation JTG announce premium preferred partnership

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first_imgThe Travel Corporation brands now have preferred partnership status with all of Jetset Travelworld Group brands following a joint agreement between the two companies. Travel Corporation brands, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Creative Holidays, Uniworld, AAT Kings, Busabout and New Horizons have confirmed a Premium Preferred relationship with both Harvey World Travel’s Phoenix Program and Travelscene American Express’ Quantum Program. The Travel Corporation will also continue its successful Diamond Preferred Status with the Jetset Travelworld Network via their Partnership Reward Program. Commenting on the alliance, which covers all travel from January 2011, The Travel Corporation chief executive, John Weeks said:  “We are extremely pleased to have secured this exciting new development to align our brands with such a prestigious program. “Both The Travel Corporation and Jetset Travelworld Group share a similar vision and consequently, I am confident of mutually-beneficial success not only for this year, but also for our long-term relationship.”Before the preferred partnership, Contiki and AAT Kings were the only Travel Corporation brands to be part of the Harvey World Travel Phoenix Program. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Travel Indochina offers clients creativity

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first_imgIn response to the growing number of people looking for online deals, Travel Indochina has launched a Handmade Holidays program that offers consumers control over tour content. The group’s general manager Paul Hole told e-Travel Blackboard that people are visiting travel agents with iPads and iPhones to sit there and pick apart quotes. “Aggressive, independent travellers who really want to control and design their own holiday are sitting across from agents with their Smartphones telling them what to add and what to take out,” Mr Hole told e-Travel Blackboard. “So we are offering a Handmade Holiday where it is a bare skeleton holiday and consumers can take creative control over the package.” Mr Hole added that although the group does not offer 50 seat tours, travelling in smaller groups offers an intimate experience. “We want to offer our consumers the opportunity to get their hands dirty during the day but at the same time experience a holiday,” he said. “If a client is looking for a unique destination then a small group is how to get that experience.” Time Fly’s Travel agent Gillian Williams told e-Travel Blackboard said the group’s tailor made products are put together with “expert knowledge and offer value for money”. Travel Indochina held its Asian Roadshow last night at the Establishment Rooms III. Click here to see images from the lion dancing, festive evening. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Clean Sweep for Big4 Holiday Parks at State Tourism Awards

Clean Sweep for Big4 Holiday Parks at State Tourism Awards

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first_img2011 Tourism Awards BIG4 Holiday Parks can verify its claim of being Australia’s favourite holiday park provider, after a clean sweep at the 2011 State Tourism Awards held across the country throughout November.At each of the seven awards nights, BIG4 Holiday Parks were recognised as the best in the sector, taking out the highly competitive ‘Caravan and Tourist Park’ category, which recognises holiday parks that offer the best overall tourism experience.The State Tourism Awards are held each year to acknowledge tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success throughout the year. The following BIG4 Holiday Parks were recognised as this year’s elite accommodation providers:BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort (QLD)BIG4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park (SA)BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park (TAS)BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park (NT)BIG4 Beacon Resort (VIC) BIG4 North Star Holiday Resort (NSW)BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park (WA) BIG4 Beacon Resort was also inducted into the Victorian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, after winning the award for the third time.Many of BIG4’s Parks are also regularly praised on interactive consumer websites such as Trip Advisor, confirming BIG4’s popularity amongst Australian holiday enthusiasts, and the industry as a whole.BIG4 Holiday Parks CEO, Ray Schleibs, says the State Tourism Awards provide recognition for those Parks who work extremely hard to uphold the standard that sets BIG4 apart from its competitors. “These awards reinforce BIG4’s position as the leading holiday park operator in Australia, which sees us building a national home grown brand Australians can be proud of. These seven award-winning businesses are testament to the quality of Parks in our family and we are very proud they wear the BIG4 badge,” Ray adds.Those wanting to enjoy the BIG4 experience for themselves can start their journey and book at BIG4.com.au, now available as a fully bookable mobile site on all mobile platforms including Smartphones and tablet computers. Source = BIG4 Holiday Parkslast_img read more

Intercontinental Fiji Named Best Resort

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first_imgTravel experts in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific have voted InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa as the best resort in Fiji.Voted by industry colleagues and travel peers, the HM (Hotel Management) Award recognised the 271-room resort as the best in Fiji for hotel and accommodation excellence.InterContinental Fiji was also awarded the top honour for its service to the community. The hotel’s extensive Community Care program has seen it transform the local Malomalo Primary School, rebuilding the exterior and providing essential learning tools, such as books, computers and toys, to students.InterContinental Fiji is now looking to expand its community service efforts to other local schools, in support of the Fijian Government’s initiative to alleviate poverty and help make Fiji a knowledge-based society.“We are thrilled our fellow peers hold InterContinental Fiji in such high regard” said general manager, InterContinental Fiji, Scott Williams. “The guest experience is always at the forefront of everything our team undertakes and it is a great honour to be recognised as the best in the country.”Overlooking the only white sandy beach on Fiji’s main island, InterContinental Fiji offers four swimming pools, its own on-site dive centre, yoga deck, Spa InterContinental and a dedicated kids club, all set across 35 acres of tropical gardens.InterContinental Fiji is also home to the island’s only resort within a resort, Club InterContinental, which features 55 luxurious hilltop suites and offers use of a private infinity pool and lounge area.Club guests can also enjoy complimentary all-day refreshments and evening canapés and cocktails, among other benefits. Overnight stays in Club InterContinental start from FJ$1615 (approximately AU$869) per room, per night*. IC Fiji Golf Resort & Spa Club Lounge pool Source = InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spacenter_img IC Fiji Golf Resort & Spa Community Carelast_img read more

Planeterra unveils Intl Voluntourism Guidelines

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Streamlining standards in the sector, G Adventures’ non-profit organisation, Planeterra Foundation has launched the first ever International Voluntourism Guidelines.Unveiled this week in conjunction with The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and an international advisory committee, the new initiative was developed in response to growing interest in the sector and designed to identify a global ethical standard of practise.Covering a range of issues; from selecting and working with volunteers to financial reporting and local engagement, Planeterra co-executive director Megan Epler Wood explained the Guidelines would help transform “good intentions” to be in the voluntourism sector into actual “tangible benefits” through “ensuring the community’s benefit is a priority for all those involved”.“Balancing the desire for travellers to make a difference in the communities they visit, and giving back to local peoples and environments to create a lasting positive impact requires a clear vision of the long-term objectives of the project, and a very good understanding of community needs, along with consistent monitoring of volunteer projects,” Ms Epler said. Also assisting tour operators in planning and managing programs in a responsible manner, TIES chair Kelly Bricker added that the “comprehensive tool” would serve as a positive contribution to the field.“… we believe that by collaborating with a diverse range of voluntourism practitioners and industry leaders, we’ve been able to gather and utilise some of the latest research, practical knowledge and applications in the field that will help voluntourism providers plan and manage their programs in a responsible and sustainable manner,” Ms Bricker added.The Voluntourism Guidelines cover a variety of topics including:Is Voluntourism Right for You?Communicating to Travellers about the WHY of Voluntourism ProgramsSelecting and Working with VolunteersDefining Success and Measuring ImpactTransparency in Financial ReportingTransparency in Non-Financial ReportingBenefits for Communities and Local EngagementManaging Social & Economic Impacts and Maximizing BenefitsSupporting Biodiversity Conservation and Heritage Preservationlast_img read more