MTEC visits Da’ok Academy before COVID-19 shutdown

Posted on Nov 08 2021


Marianas Tourism Education Counci board member Catherine Perry discusses safe travel with students Da’ok Academy in Koblerville, Saipan last Oct. 28, 2021. (MTEC)

Students of Da’ok Academy in Koblerville, Saipan, learn about tourism and the Marianas Visitors Authority on Oct. 28, 2021. Pictured are students, Marianas Tourism Education Council acting chair Vicky Benavente, second from left, and other MTEC and MVA representatives. (MTEC)

The Marianas Tourism Education Council and Marianas Visitors Authority squeezed in one school presentation on tourism at Da’ok Academy last month before Saipan schools were shut down due to community spread of COVID-19.

MTEC took its message of “Safe Travels & Marianas Tourism” to the Co-op Education Class of teacher Joan Reyes on Oct. 28, 2021.

“The timing is ironic,” said MTEC acting chair Vicky Benavente. “The unfortunate but necessary closure of schools underscores the pertinence of our tourism message this year, making a safe Marianas for visitors and residents, alike. We hope to be able to finish our presentations as soon as schools reopen so we can engage more students on how tourism, safety, jobs, and their futures are all connected.”

MTEC board member Catherine Perry shared an introduction to Marianas tourism, general standards visitors look for to feel safe visiting a destination, an overview of the Tourism Resumption Investment Plan program, and what students can do to support tourism. MVA Community Projects specialist Jack Aranda detailed the overall responsibilities of the MVA in promoting The Marianas.

MTEC will host a meeting this month for advisers of school Marianas Youth Welcome All Visitors Enthusiastically, or MY WAVE, clubs. MTEC encourages each school to form a MY WAVE Club and conduct activities to engage their members with tourism, such as conducting beach cleanups, offering cultural performances for visitors, exploring careers in the travel industry, or others. Clubs will be eligible to send representatives to the MTEC Tourism Summit scheduled for next spring.

To support MY WAVE Clubs, MTEC offers adviser incentives for clubs that meet certain criteria and offers other club support upon request. In addition, MTEC will offer two high school scholarships this year to graduating seniors who have been a member of a MY WAVE Club for at least one year during high school and who meet other criteria. Schools interested in starting a MY WAVE Club may contact Aranda at or 664-3200.

MTEC presents annually to public schools and is targeting 10th grade in school year 2021-2022. Other MTEC board members are Martin Duenas (Marianas Visitors Authority), Galvin Guerrero (Northern Marianas College), Larry Lee, Naomi Nishimura (CNMI Public School System), Gordon Marciano (Pacific Development Inc.), and Glenn Policare (Kanoa Resort). Dr. Yunzi Zhang of the NMC School of Business also volunteers with the council. (MTEC)

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