We are now all back home after an exhausting 24 hour journey from the Falklands and having split up in Panama to catch our final flights.
As we sleepily said goodbye I felt a great satisfaction in the way things had gone over of the past week. Particularly the truly cooperative spirit that our diverse group of journalists brought to the trip.
On the penultimate day our journalists were interviewed by Falklands Radio and Falkland Islands Television. It was interesting to listen to their commentaries about what they had experienced. They all shared the view that there is so much more to life on the Islands
than the conflict with Argentina. The journalists came away from the visit appreciating that the people of the Falklands have their own identity and the right to choose which path they take.
Luis Alberto Valasquez of the Prensa Libre in Guatemala said, “The only news that we hear about the Falklands is about the conflict with Argentina. This trip opened a door for us to learn about the human side of life here and get a fuller perspective.”
The future of the Falkland Islands looks promising. The tourism industry there is about to enter a new phase of development and it was exciting to learn how the scientific research in the British South Atlantic territories is being expanded by the UK’s Environmental Research Institute.
We are now looking forward to the reporting the journalists will publish on their trip in Panamanian, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan and Guatemalan media outlets. We are busy editing the film footage
we took during the trip for the journalists to use in their media outlets. In the coming weeks we will be releasing a documentary film about our experiences on the Falklands.
The main purpose of organising this trip was to allow the people of Central America to learn about the lives of the people who live in the Falkland Islands through the words and reports of their own countrymen and women. But a secondary, and just as important, benefit from my perspective was that the Falkland Islanders also had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about Central America and its people. I can only hope that this type of cultural exchange visit will be the start of much more contact between our respective parts of the world.
See photos from the trip here