A sustainable tourism project that promotes both community training and the formal sector
With more than 2,000 hectares in the Dominican Republic’s northern seaboard and nearly seven miles worth of coastline, and views to the Atlantic Ocean, Playa Grande is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The crown jewel is a mile-long beach of the same name, a near-virgin territory of great natural beauty framed by a set of mountains that meet in a plateau of rolling hills, with lush native trees and royal palms; this beach is followed by a more intimate spot, Playa Preciosa. The surrounding area is pristine and uninhabited, featuring underground springs that provide plenty of fresh water.
Built atop the unique topography of this picturesque setting, Playa Grande Club & Reserve is fast becoming one the ultimate luxury destinations in the Caribbean, spearheaded by the development of Amanera Resort, which will be set alongside the world-class Playa Grande Golf Course redesigned by Rees Jones, the son of Robert Trent Jones Sr., the legendary designer in charge of the original setup.
Committed to the ultimate expression of design, service and a high sense of responsibility towards the community where it is located and other nearby residents, while respecting the original natural context, Playa Grande is defining a new standard in terms of high-quality residential resorts.
Given the development and the future opening —November 2015— of this leisure project, with its many components and, especially, the creation of Amanera Resort, a high-end resort, operated by the prestigious Amanresorts chain, a series of details are required within and around this exclusive resort: the quality in customer interactions and the high level of service needed in order to operate properly, as well as the development of a destination aimed at catering to a special type of visitor.
In order to meet these goals, a proper level of English was required from the hotel’s employees in particular and the community in general. This is why Playa Grande Club & Reserve engaged in an interagency collaboration process with INFOTEP —the Spanish acronym of the National Institute for Technical and Professional Training—, in which Quiroz Santroni, as advisors to the development group, outlined the plan together with the institute. They also contributed in the outline of the methodology and actions needed to carry out this interesting process which, beyond its positive impact on the resort itself, promotes community training and prepares its members for new jobs in the tourism sector.
The primary goal of the agreement was to have INFOTEP provide English language training to communities in Cabrera and Río San Juan, located in the Dominican province of María Trinidad Sánchez.
Indeed, the invitation to participate in the English program was open to all; the “Inglés para Todos” (English for All) classes are free of cost, and they are being supervised by INFOTEP, with logistical and economic support from Playa Grande. The project was officially launched on May 21 of this year, in an opening act with the participation of Rolando Fernández on behalf of Playa Grande and its Director, Mr. Nicholas Pipilis, Rómulo Clark and Kevin Almeida from INFOTEP, and Romina Santroni and Guily Shemer from Quiroz Santroni Abogados Consultores. They were accompanied by community leaders and the community itself, with more than 500 guests in attendance.
After the opening ceremony, the team carried out a presentation with information on the upcoming classes; the event closed with a signup initiative, which provided the incumbents with information on the content of the classes and the levels of English to develop.
As a program, Inglés para Todos provides logistical support for English classes in the communities that comprise Playa Grande. This support includes renting the venue where classes are taught, lodging —in case instructors should stay overnight in the area—, the dissemination of the classes within the communities and assistance when coordinating with local leaders and authorities, among other actions.
Playa Grande Club & Reserve, along with Amanera Resort, is a project and holding from foreign investors who believe in the Dominican Republic, in its biodiversity and natural riches as a place to develop and build a first-class tourism project that will attract an international audience, favoring the country’s positioning in a highly competitive sector and providing an economic boost, via the direct and indirect jobs created by the tourism sector, as well as the training activities within the communities. These joint actions aim to optimize the services and the standards of living of the project’s employees and their relatives: 380 students from both communities are already readying themselves to start.