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Dear folks,


As you know interpretation is an established profession in the United States and a handful of other developed countries. But for the rest of the world, where interpretation has been heard of at all, it is generally regarded as an avocation or add-on to guiding much like preparing a meal in the field. Even more many non-English practitioners have very little access to updated information or news.


With that context and given my work in international development and biodiversity conservation as well as being an interpretive trainer, planner, and writer, I have started a Facebook blog on international heritage interpretation, bilingual in Spanish which currently has members from 15 countries and growing. If you're interested in helping me help developing country interpretation, please follow the page. Or have a discussion here about the theme.


Thank you.


Jon Kohl

Costa Rica

Views: 552

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Jon this is interesting.  Feel free to invite international heritage interpreters to join RecLink to enrich the discussions and networking.

thanks for adding this post.

Hi John,

I don't have actual data on how many do and how many don't, but many US cities and States and some foreign countries REQUIRE tour guides (interpreters) to be trained and certified.  Therefore, one could argue their professional standards are more rigorous than ours.  Commerical tour operators understand the success of their businesses depends on high quality visitor services and guiding.

Hi Kristen, thank you for your comment. You are very correct that tourist guides are very often required to be trained and certified in other countries. Where I differ is your equation of guides and interpreters. I often distinguish between naturalist (or cultural) and interpretive guides. Most countries with which I am familiar that require standards almost always focus on information and knowledge about attractions, about history, about geography, about touristic service provisions. Some also require some skills such as first aid and driving, but I know of no countries that actually have meaningful requirements in heritage interpretation. I don't mean a superficial understanding of interpretation as confused with education or information provision, but interpretation that requires themes and provokes thinking rather than passive informing. Thanks again for obliging me to clarify because you're right that I wasn't clear in the earlier post. Jon

In 2011, I announced in this space the existence of my international heritage interpretation blog. I have been away from Reclink for a while and now I'm back and the blog is still going but has a different URL now which is I published my articles in both English and Spanish. Good to be back.


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