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Tourism pioneer Joanne Jardim passes at 88

Published:Tuesday | November 10, 2020 | 12:16 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Joan Jardim
Joan Jardim

Western Bureau:

One of Guyana’s most respected tourism industry pioneers, Joanne Jardim, has passed away.

Jardim, mother to local businessman Brian Jardim of Rainforest Seafoods, transitioned at their home in Montego Bay last weekend.

The 88-year-old, who developed and operated Guyana’s Shanklands Rainforest Resort, fought a good fight, said Mr Jardim.

“As always she was graceful under pressure, taking her difficult diagnoses in stride, as she did every other challenge in her storied life,” her son told T he Gleaner.

“She left us peacefully, surrounded by the love of family,” he added, describing her as a beautiful soul, with a happy heart. Someone who gave unconditional love.

“She lived a remarkable and full life, touching so many along the way, and will always be remembered as that special lady who cared.”

Celebrated in the southern Caribbean country for her role in the growth of the tourism sector, Mrs Jardim, with the help of her husband, Max, in 1980, began the arduous task of turning 98 acres of tropical rainforest on the Essequibo River into Guyana’s a world-class eco-resort.

By 1990, Shanklands began operations, with its gingerbread cottages providing “an opportunity for Guyanese to enjoy the beauty of our country and the magnificence of the Essequibo River”, as Mrs Jardim recounted.

Thirteen years later, Mrs Jardim was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation at their 50th anniversary celebration in New York for pioneering tourism in Guyana.

Lauding her outstanding contribution to the sector, immediate past president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Patricia Alphonso-Dass, spoke of a woman who lived with grace and love.

“Like many, I am forever grateful for the stories she shared with me, which reflected her strong spirit of determination about what can be achieved through hard work, collaboration, and a commitment to beautiful Guyana.”

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com