People from all over the world find a home in the Columbia River Gorge and from within those homes they build incredible opportunities for themselves and their families.
Ten-year White Salmon resident Brian Mullis, his wife, and their two children, who are adopted from the Gambela region of Ethiopia, are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
The Mullises will be spending the next two years in the South American country of Guyana, where he has been hired as the Director of Tourism for the country.
Mullis, originally from Alabama, has spent his life working in the tourism industry. From humble beginnings as a tour guide at National Parks to holding leadership roles in national and international tourism companies. Mullis founded his own company, Sustainable Travel International, in 2002. It focuses on tourism and sustainability, otherwise known as ecotourism.
Having worked in the private sector of tourism for so long, Mullis wanted a change and happened to find an opportunity in Guyana.
“I’ve always wanted to take what I’ve done in the private sector and make it work in the public. In international tourism, you’re constantly working with governments so being hired by the Guyanese government for this position is an incredible opportunity to do that,” said Mullis.
The core of Mullis’s job as director of tourism will be to market and promote tourism and lead destination development.
“When most people think of traveling to South America, they tend to travel to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. They don’t think about Guyana, so it will be my job to make people think about it,” said Mullis.
Which leads to the question of what is there for potential tourists in Guyana?
Guyana is one of the poorest countries in South America. Located on the north Atlantic coast, it is considered part of the Caribbean by some geographers. It is also the only country in the region where English is the primary language. Guyana gained its independence from Britain in 1966. Most of the population of the country is made up of Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese, descendants of the colonial slave trade, with indigenous tribes living in the natural untouched rainforests.
“It’s an ideal destination for people that are interested in having cultural experiences, studying the environment and have an interest in history,” said Mullis.