The community request for another Field Guide Training Program has been overwhelming as over 100 Maasai youth eagerly await an opportunity to join MERC for training and certification.
Although the demand is high, 15 guides will be selected by the Maasai community to attend the five-week training program where guides will learn in conjunction with Prescott College Global Studies students and engineering students from Arizona State University.
Students and guides will study broad topics, covering Kenyan history, contemporary issues in Maasailand, traditional ecological knowledge, conservation, tourism reform, sustainable development, and collaborative research.
MERC’s model of collaborative education and research shares power and resources with Maasai community projects, while giving U.S.-based students the opportunity to learn from activists in the global south. MGA members will be able to practice and refine their skills as tour guides, sharing the importance of Maasai culture for conservation and sustainable development in the Mara while U.S.-based students have access to information and research skills to help promote and develop projects that are significant to the Maasai community.
Last year’s Mara Guides Training Program brought life to the Dopoi Center with hard conversations about how to confront the challenges of life in the Mara, the kind of work MGA sees as crucial to the mission of the Association. We hope that, with the support of our partners, we can continue to grow as a movement for indigenous field guides to find just wages and see the Maasai Mara protected for future generations. We are eagerly waiting another summer full of the possibility that our collaborations bring.
MERC is still seeking funds for the baseline expenses of the training program. If you are interested and have the capacity to share resources, please consider donating.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding the training program.