Fresh air and fun for inner city kids

| 15/08/2008

(CNS): Kids from some of New York City’s most disadvantaged communities, who have excelled in school, were given an opportunity to seelife differently from what they are used to with a trip of a lifetime to Cayman. Nine inner-city children and their chaperones stayed with five host families here for one week as the Department of Tourism and Cayman Airways teamed up with the Fresh Air Fund.

Between 28 July and 3 August the kids experienced true Caymanian hospitality, encounters with Cayman’s wildlife and a little dose of local history and culture. The first trip was to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, allowing for a morning of flora and fauna. A mock archaeological dig was arranged through the Mission House and Pedro St. James, where they delved into Cayman’s rich history through a tour of the “castle”. Additional activities included a visit to Stingray City and Rum Point, a trip on the glass-bottom Oculus with the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a cultural dinner and cooking demo with Cayman Traditional Arts, a visit to Boatswain’s Beach, and of course enjoying our beaches and snorkelling in our pristine waters.

 The kids also took to the air in a Cayman Airway’s twin otter headed for Little Cayman where they toured the small island and feed the green iguanas at Mahogany Estates as well as visiting the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and the Booby Pond.

 “Joining forces with the Fresh Air Fund is an amazing partnership that not only acts as a means of community outreach but also acts as a tool to market our islands to the city of New York, and ultimately, the United States,” said Department of Tourism’s Acting Director, Shomari Scott. “The Fresh Air Fund chose these kids because of their outstanding achievements in school and we are happy to welcome them to our home as a result of their hard work. Leaving a lasting impression on them is the best marketing tool we could ask for and we look forward to hosting them again in subsequent years.”

 Last year, Fresh Air Fund brought eleven children between the ages of 14 and 16. The first of an annual trip to take place, it was received very well by the local community and two host families from last year were chosen again to host kids this year.

 Again this year, many industry partners joined forces with the Department of Tourism to provide complimentary services or gifts for the kids, including movie tickets, beach bags, t-shirts, ice cream and island activities. This year’s sponsors included Red Sail Sports; Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort; Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa; Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; Dairy Queen; Boatswain’s Beach; Camana Bay; National Trust, Grand Cayman; National Trust, Little Cayman; Little Cayman Beach Resort; Pedro St. James; and Say Wha’ Designs.


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