Photo Credit: Stéphane Warin
Maison Carib: The Black Woman-Owned Travel Business Empowering Local People In Martinique
Maison Carib is a Black woman-owned travel business connecting travelers with locally run businesses in the Caribbean island of Martinique. Founder Frederique (Freddie) Stephanie founded the company with the insistence that exploring the island should not mean harming local communities.
By creating experiences that “reveal the fabric” of Martinique, Maison Carib creates a space for curious travelers interested in genuine interactions while getting to know Martinique. Maison Carib plan and curates community-facing trips for visitors hoping to have a beneath-the-surface experience of the island.
At the very heart of Maison Carib lies community, authenticity and sustainability. On the website, a key ethos is to honor the land and minimize the negatives that tourism often brings.
Frederique (Freddie) Stephanie spoke with Travel Noire about the intention behind her thoroughly community-centered vision.
“I was introduced to the negative impact tourism entitlement can have on our island, from the environmental harm to the exploitation of locals. I founded Maison Carib to help responsible and curious travelers who want to get beneath the surface to have a great time while respecting local customs. I built Maison Carib around the belief that exploring our island is a wonderful experience and that tourism can have a positive impact. My mission is to empower locals to share their stories and to create more human connections” explains Frederique Stephanie.
By promoting locally owned accommodation and sourcing activities that put local people at the center, Maison Carib helps visitors to truly explore Martinican life in a conscious, respectful manner.
“Be a traveller, not a tourist. Travel is like sharing; you bring money from one country and spend it in another. You can strengthen small communities around the world simply by doing what you love.” she added.
“The idea is to make locals feel included and feel good about you being there. You must adapt to the local life rather than expecting locals to adapt to your style of living and expectations.”
Adding to the abundance that Maison Caribe represents, the empowering company also offers “personal or group fitness classes including yoga and meditation along with healthy local eating options and outdoor experience.”
Mindful travel and human connections are undeniably what Maison Carib stands for, so much so that in 2021 the company was awarded the MMGY Global Black Travel Organization Grant for their generous work in the community.
Experience Martinique for yourself while empowering locals and getting a true sense of the lesser-known histories and wonders of the island by contacting Maison Carib. Follow more of their work on Instagram.