Tag Archives: Critical Divide

Chris Pickard elected chair of the Anglo-Brazilian Society

6 Aug

Critical Divide’s, Chris Pickard, has been invited and elected to chair the Anglo-Brazilian Society.

The Society was established in London back in 1943 to help to promote close and friendly relations between Brazil and Britain and to increase Britain’s knowledge of Brazil and its culture. The Society, which is based in the Embassy of Brazil in London, is a registered UK charity that is passionately committed to raising funds for worthwhile Brazilian projects, especially those that address the needs of underprivileged children and their families.

Chris also currently chairs the LATA Foundation, but will stand down at the AGM in September after ten years as a founding trustee and two as chair.

You can read more about and follow the activities of the Anglo-Brazilian Society on its website, Facebook or on Twitter @anglobrazsoc

Advertisements

LATA Palace of Westminster Reception 2019

14 Mar

The annual All Party Parliamentary Group for Latin America and the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), held its annual reception in the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday, 12 March 2019.

Sir Alan Duncan

Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister at the FCO responsible for the Latin American region, who had come straight from the Brexit vote in the House of Commons, made a very entertaining speech; Hilary Bradt MBE (Bradt Guides) was inducted into the LATA Hall of Fame; and Claire Wilcox, was recognised with LATA’s ‘Special Recognition Award 2019’ for her role as co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ at the V&A. Mark Menzies MP, chair of the All Party Group, and Colin Stewart, the LATA chair, were the hosts, for the evening.

Hilary Bradt & Colin Stewart

Claire Wilcox of the V&A and Colin Stewart

On presenting the awards Colin said: “At LATA, we are honoured to recognise the contribution of Hilary Bradt and Claire Wilcox for driving public awareness and interest in the LATAM region. Their contribution has had a significant part to play in the recent growth and success of the region and we are delighted to be able to recognise these achievements.”

Chris Pickard

LATA Foundation chairman, Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard, had the opportunity to update members of the Lords, Commons, and LATA, as well as the Latin American diplomatic community in London, on the Foundation’s recent activities, including the support in 2019 of core projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa, Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Honduras, Panama and Peru. Chris also name checked and thanked many of the companies present for their support of the LATA Foundation that had allowed it over the past decade to touch and change for the better the lives of thousands of people in just about every country and corner of Latin America.

Ending by quoting from Monty Python’s “The Bright Side of Life”, Chris said he hoped that the  LATA Foundation could continue to help people less fortunate in Latin America to be able to “laugh and smile and dance and sing” again.

The Latin American Travel Association is a membership organisation that promotes sustainable travel to the region. The membership is made up of tourist boards, airlines, hoteliers, tour operators, local tour companies, lodges & other travel and tourism related entities that operate to and around Latin America.

LATA Foundation Projects for 2019

14 Feb

The LATA Foundation has confirmed its 2019 charity initiatives focusing on conservation, poverty relief, education and community development. A selection of at least ten core projects will be supported throughout the year as well as one-off contributions to other essential causes.

Last year the Foundation supported projects in ten Latin American countries thanks largely to its key sponsors including Las Iguanas, Journey Latin America, Jacada Travel, Imagine Travel, Sunvil, British Airways, Belize Tourism Board and Last Frontiers(among others). LATAF also raised funds for emergency appeals such as providing nebulisers to those in need following the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

At the start of 2019, the LATA Foundation will be supporting nine core projects with further projects planned for the rest of the year, as well as providing support for one-off causes.

Core projects for 2019 include:

Abriendo Mentes: Meaning ‘opening minds’ in Spanish, Abriendo Mentes is a small community-based project which aims to empower individuals from two rural coastal communities in Costa Rica. The charity provides innovative and engaging education programmes and activities including English and computer lessons, Zumba classes and lacrosse. These skills are critical in obtaining employment, particularly in the local tourism industry, which dominates the local job market.

Azuero Earth: Founded by ecologist Ruth Metzel, Azuero Earth Project is a conservation initiative based in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Dedicated to reforestation, habitat restoration, sustainable land management, and environmental education, the project aims to ensure the future of the Azuero environment, wildlife species, and local communities in this area that is fast becoming one of Panama’s tourist hot spots.

Buena Vida: The Buena Vida Foundation is an Argentine NGO that supports rural local communities to develop sustainable tourism initiatives and help generate local employment. Buena Vida nurtures and supports local cultures to hep preserve traditional forms of craftsmanship and attract revenue through community-based tourism initiatives.

Calicanto: Based in Panama City, Calicanto provides support to vulnerable women living in poor urban communities. Calicanto’s flagship programme is a seven-week course which provides essentials skills and training to help women-in-need. The final two weeks of the course consist of vocational training aimed at getting these women ready for work in either the hotel or restaurant industries. In 2018, Calicanto set up its own restaurant in collaboration with well-known Panamanian chef Mario Castrellón. The restaurant, called La Sexta, is staffed by participants of the CAPTA programme and all proceeds go back into funding the project.

Condor Trust: Based in Quito, Ecuador, the Condor Trust is an educational initiative enabling young Ecuadorians from low income families to attend secondary school and/ or have access to higher education. The ultimate aim is to support children and teenagers so that they can complete their education, find a job and break the cycle of poverty. The LATA Foundation provides funds for the provision of uniforms, books and school materials. Now some of the first students taken on during the early years of the project have graduated from university and flourish in professional jobs, demonstrating how successful the whole cycle of support can be.

Friends of Alalay: Friends of Alalay directly supports the Alalay Foundation, which was started in the early 1990’s by a 19-year-old Bolivian student who passed street children every day on her way to university and was determined to do something to help. Alalay rescues these children from the streets and offers them a loving environment living together in family cabins. Alalay also feeds, clothes and educates the children and encourages them in their future working lives. Since it started, the Alalay Foundation has helped over 10,000 children and adolescents and works with over 1,000 children annually, in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT): The LATA Foundation, works with the GCT to reduce the damaging effects of plastics in the Galapagos Islands.  With over 20 years of experience working with communities and local organisations, GCT are teaming up with Grupo Eco Cultural Organizado (GECO) to deliver a youth-led campaign to reduce plastic bag use on San Cristobal island by 50%. The project is based on a holistic approach to tackle this issue by raising awareness in the local community, working closely with local businesses and utilising the LATA connection to communicate with the tourism industry and tourists so we can all play our part in being Plastic Responsible.

Picaflor: Picalor House is an educational charity working in the small town of Oropesa and other villages in the surrounding rural area 25km outside of Cusco, Peru, to provide after-school support to students and families. Picaflor also supports the local community through hygiene programmes, taps for teeth washing and stoves for local families, having a far-reaching positive impact on the wider community.

Vidancar: Vidarte Space has several projects to help underprivileged children from the favelas of Rio de Janerio. Their main project, the Vidancar Dance School, is located in the Complexo do Alemao favela. It began in 2009 as an initiative to offer children from the favelas the opportunity to express themselves through the art of ballet. In recent years students have gone on to study and perform at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet, the ballet of Rio’s Municipal Theatre and the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Dança. Around 180 children benefit from this project on a daily basis.


The LATA Foundation is a 100% volunteer-run organisation and all proceeds raised are invested directly into its charitable projects. The LATA Foundation is proud to work with a strong network of volunteers, largely from the travel sector. In 2018, the Foundation increased the number of trustees to 12, from just eight in 2018. It is hoped that that the increased number will bring new skills and contacts to the group to help drive forward the fundraising efforts.

Learn more about the LATA Foundation at: www.latafoundation.org

Follow Critical Divide on Social Media

3 Apr

You can now follow Critical Guide on Facebook. To find the page, http://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalDivide/, Click Here and like.

You can also keep up to date by following Critical Divide’s various Twitter accounts. These include.

Critical Divide: @CriticalDivide

Brazil The Guide & Rio The Guide: @RioDiary

World Cup The Guide: @WC_Guide_2018

St Helena: @StHelenaFocus

Ronnie Biggs: @RonnieBiggsNews

And don’t forget our various web sites that cover Rio, Brazil, the World Cup, the Oscars,  and Ronnie Biggs, to mention just a few.

Critical Divide to produce World Cup Guide

4 Dec

Due to public demand, as they say, Critical Divide will once again produce a quick and easy guide to the FIFA World Cup.

Critical Divide offered a guide to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil linked to Brazil: The Guide and Rio: The Guide, and over 300,000 people used the guide over the period of the tournament.

What was to be a one off, has now been extended to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the site – World Cup: The Guide – has been full updated – most importantly with the schedule by date, team, venue and even TV. You can also follow on Twitter @WC_Guide_2018

World Cup: The Guide

Brazil: The Guide

Rio: The Guide

Returning to the Critical Divide

7 Aug

With a change in the direction of the wind Christopher Pickard, just like Mary Poppins, has decided that the time has come to move on to the next challenge and in October he will return from the South Atlantic Island of St Helena, where he has been director of tourism since 2015, to the UK and Critical Divide.

Chris has chosen not to extend his contract as director of tourism for St Helena when it ends in late September. In his view St Helena Tourism is now well positioned to handle the arrival of tourists in greater numbers once the scheduled air services begin later in the year from South Africa. The key going forward, he says, is for St Helena and its residents to embrace tourism and the arriving visitors, and offer them the best possible experience at a level that today’s international tourists demand and expect, while keeping true to the island’s rich heritage.

“Since my involvement with St Helena we have, despite the delay to the start of scheduled flights, been able to position the island as an exciting new destination with leading tour operators, the media, and the more adventurous travelling public. St Helena is now much less of a secret than it was when I landed in 2015,” explains Chris. “By the time I leave, St Helena Tourism and the entire Enterprise St Helena team will be prepared for the arrival of visitors by air as we continue to fine tune what the island has to offer and can offer in the future. The next step is to start to close potential sales with the final consumer and the tour operators who have been waiting on the start of air access. I have always believed that it is the Saints themselves who are best suited to this role of selling and promoting the island.”

Chris will continue to watch with interest the developments on St Helena from a tourism and economic development perspective, and he looks forward to catching up with his firends and colleagues from St Helena Tourism at up coming travel shows and events.

Chris Pickard sets sail for St Helena as Director of Tourism

3 Sep

IMG_5868

Christopher Pickard has been appointed as the new Director of Tourism for St Helena. Chris will be on a two-year contract, and will take up his post on arrival at St Helena on 14 October 2015.

Chris will be working with Enterprise St Helena and the Tourist Office and will build on the work already started in expanding, developing and enhancing St Helena’s tourism industry to be on par with best practices globally and for the benefit of the Saint community, the tourism sector and investors alike.

St Helena Rio

Chris said of his appointment:

“The opening of the Airport and start of scheduled flights next year will mark the beginning of what should be a new and very exciting chapter for St Helena. I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to play my small part in this developing story and will be trying to help St Helena and its residents to build and create a sustainable travel and tourism sector – a sector that should bring very real and tangible benefits to the majority of the Island’s population.

“I look forward to learning about everything that the Island currently offers to its residents and its visitors and, in conversation with Saints, I want to understand how they would like St Helena to develop. By applying my global travel experience and contacts, I will then aim to achieve these objectives through tourism.”

Island Sattelite

Chris is former chairman of the Latin American Travel Association and is a founder and trustee of its charitable foundation. He set up the Brazilian government’s first overseas tourist office, and has been the director of communications for the World Travel & Tourism Council. In his career, including with Critical Divide, he has worked very closely for and with a number of tourist boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotel companies, destinations, as well as tour and ground operators.

He has also written extensively about travel and tourism and has authored and contributed to a number of guidebooks and travel publications.

Lourens-Malan-at-South-West-Point-rocks2