Outstanding artisans: Even Nisbett, Dezra Jefferson, Eustace Merchant, Noelie Sampson and Katrice Thomas are traveling to Colombia where they will learn leather craft skills during a two-week internship.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– Five outstanding leather craft artisans who completed a week-long leathercraft workshop sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, were recently selected for internships in Colombia to broaden their knowledge in the craft.

The leather craft artisans traveling to Colombia are: Even Nisbett, Dezra Jefferson, Eustace Merchant, Noelie Sampson and Katrice Thomas.

During the Sept. 10 to 14 workshop, participants practiced useful craft skills and gained valuable knowledge and skills about leather craft production. They studied pattern design; lacing and braiding; assembling and finishing leather.

Each of the top five participants in the local class received a two-week scholarship to learn advanced leathercraft skills. They received internships in Colombia, sponsored by National Services of Apprenticeship (SENA). The programme provides airfare, accommodations, meals, medical coverage, a translator and transportation.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, said the journey to Colombia will benefit both the artisans and the Federation.

“When five of our residents go to Colombia to train all of us benefit, when they complete their internship and return to St. Kitts and Nevis, they will be willing to share what they learned,” she said. “They will be trained to become trainers themselves. When we hold future workshops, they will be able to share the skills they learned while in Colombia.”

Mrs. Henry-Morton gave the five participants sound advice.

“Make the best of the time you spend in Colombia,” Mrs. Henry-Morton said. “Take notes at all of the areas they take you to, ask questions, and practice during hands-on leather-crafting experiences. Come back filled with information, techniques and strategies to share with fellow crafters when you return to St. Kitts and Nevis.”