Home #WHERETONEXT Caribbean See The Bahamas through the eyes of the locals!

See The Bahamas through the eyes of the locals!

The Bahamas through the eyes of the locals

Whether you are swimming with stingrays, sampling some Bahamian cuisine or relaxing on one of the many pristine beaches, the best way to discover The Islands of The Bahamas is to experience it like a local. A Bahamian knows the hidden gems, the do’s and don’ts, and the hotspots and not-spots that make this Caribbean gem truly shine. Guided by the simple truth that locals really do know best, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has continued to operate the “People-To-People Program,” enabling curious travellers to go beyond the guidebooks with a trusted and friendly guide. 

This engaging experience began in 1975 and has since become one of the most popular and exciting programs the destination has ever hosted. It features over 800 Bahamians who volunteer their time to share their knowledge and love for their home with visitors. The participating Bahamians will always give the best recommendations, as they want you to walk away impressed and dazzled: chalk it up to hometown pride! 

These volunteers, also known as People-To-People Ambassadors, act as personal hosts to visitors and are not in any capacity employed or reimbursed for their services. They genuinely enjoy meeting people from all over the world and want the visitors to be immersed in their culture and traditions. These ambassadors are screened and certified by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to offer visitors an excellent personalized itinerary for experiences far beyond the norm.  

This immersive program is exemplary and free of cost, matching visitors with a Bahamian ambassador based on their hobbies, interests, occupation and age. The experience is divided into four general categories: 

  1. Culinary – Ask a local and they will suggest the best and most flavoursome food to eat and where to eat it. A local Bahamian will take you on a culinary voyage which will fulfill your heart’s desire. Explore a treasure trove of places old and new with your host. If you are in luck, you could be invited over to enjoy a home cooked meal!  
  1. Culture – The Bahamian culture is a combination of enriched history mixed with a modern twist. The inquisitive can choose this experience as a unique opportunity to understand the many traditions these islands hold dear. 
  1. Natural wonders – Known as an ecological oasis, the islands in The Bahamas archipelago have many amazing natural environs to be explored. Your host will take you on a journey to the most remote beaches, national parks and many undiscovered places. 
  1. Family – The Bahamas has been a family-friendly location for quite some time. This is the perfect category to give your family, especially kids, an understanding of diverse cultures and daily encounters with sea creatures. Your host will show you the best family-friendly activities around the island. 

Ask anyone who has connected through the “People-To-People Program,” and they will tell you about some of the most spectacular and incomparable experiences they have had. Most locals know the island gems like the back of their hand. It is so much more exciting to feel like an insider and get exclusive insights from someone who lives in The Bahamas instead of finding something on the internet. 

Recently, we caught up with Captain Kwame Russell, a 10-year Ambassador of the “People-to-People Program.”  By profession, Kwame is an Air Traffic Controller and the CEO and operator of Pushin Tin Charters, a preferred boat charter company based in Nassau.  Who knew that he is also a Bahamian Mac & Cheese chef extraordinaire!  “I enjoy entertaining and particularly love having guests to my home,” said Russell.  “I make this Bahamian Mac & Cheese recipe at least once a month – it’s a family recipe and a favourite in our family and of visiting guests.” 

To access this amazing and delicious recipe by Captain Kwame Russel click here


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