By Admin. Updated 9:52 a.m., Sunday, March 7, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
In June 2018, sixteen-year-old Joslis Chaz Chyel Hinds and her brother Cenus Hinds thought there was not much to do on mainland St. Vincent.
On June 7, 2018, they both introduced water-based activities for locals and tourists, giving birth to their company Cariway.
Now, nearly three years later, Cariway has met the recreational needs of nearly 200 customers and is registered to operate tours. The company’s startup was self-funded.
Joslis, age 19, is a student of Computer Engineering at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Technical Division, while Cenus is a technician at a university here. As such, they both operate their tour business part-time.
Currently, Cariway offers kayaking tours targeting both locals and tourists, young and old. One of their main selling points is providing clean fun.
Plans are in place, however, for expansion.
“Hopefully, we will progress from water-based to inland. To offer services such as horseback riding and target shooting and fishing,” Joslis told One News SVG in an interview.
The siblings work very closely together, both being heavily involved in conducting tours.
“I am very involved in the tours, Cenus and I usually go by ourselves but depending on how many people would be on the tour, we would hire one or two others,” Joslis said.
The 19-year-old said she learns as she goes along and when faced with unknown information “I tend to consult Cenus Hinds”.
When asked, Joslis said that so far, she has not faced any stereotypes as a female offering tours.
She said her most memorable moment so far “was my first official tour by myself with two locals, even though I was pretty nervous everything went smoothly and they even requested for me on their next tour”.
Everything has not been smooth sailing for the youngsters, however.
“Since we deal with water-based activities, besides Covid-19, we are always depending on the weather and the tides for the day,” she said.
She also thinks that more can be done to develop the tour sector.
“More nature sites needs to be cleaned and rebuilt with safe and easy access instead of being fully enclosed,” she said.
In terms of youth and female empowerment, Joslis said she sees the tourism sector as a way to empower women as it would “most definitely help with someone’s confidence and there’s also a lot of physical independence”.
She said women thinking about getting into the tour business “need to be strong-willed and strong-minded because there might be a few setbacks or things might not go exactly how intended to be and also confidence is key”.
Joslis thinks it is important to celebrate international women’s Day in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines “because there are a lot of ladies with a dependent mentality instead of an independent mindset, so talking about women employment would hopefully open the eyes to more opportunities than being inside waiting for things to be handed to them”.