CONVENTION

AATF

Highlights of the AATF Convention
Martinique, July 18-21, 2018

The theme of the next AATF convention, which will take place from July 18-21, 2018 in La-Pointe-du-Bout, Martinique is “Créolité et environnement aux Antilles francophones.'”  Proposals will be accepted through December 1 at [www.frenchteachers.org/convention/proposal]. We will try to confirm acceptances as soon as we can after a proposal is submitted.

Information et conseils (please read all information carefully)

Travel to Martinique can be expensive and, if you have a connection and are not traveling from the West Coast, will almost certainly require at least one overnight stay en route. We have looked into options for a charter flight, but it has proven cost prohibitive, and unfortunately, the low-cost airlines such as Norwegian only fly during the winter months. We encourage everyone to be flexible in their travel plans in terms of dates and departure points. We have added a number of pre- and post-convention activities so that attendees can extend their stay and learn more about the people and culture of Martinique. The cost will be comparable to flying to Europe, and it will increase the longer you wait.

There are non-stop flights to Martinique from Miami (Air France and American Airlines) and Montreal (Air Canada and Air Transat) as well as from Paris (Air France). If you are planning to be in France this summer, consider organizing your travel through there. Those in New England may want to drive to Montreal and fly from that city. Attendees can connect for the final leg of their trip on Air Antilles through San Juan.

We are working with our partners, Carib Congrès, the Martinique Promotion Bureau in New York City, and Vámonos Tours, to organize hotel, travel, excursions, and cultural activities that will allow members to extend their stay and profit fully from what Martinique has to offer.   Click here to view airlines serving Martinique (note: not all are year round).

Carib Congrès will handle all hotel reservations at La-Pointe-du-Bout, airport transfers, and registration for the post-convention overnight excursion to Guadeloupe. If you are planning to participate in this excursion, you may wish to consult with Carib Congrès regarding return travel to Martinique vs. departure directly from Guadeloupe to the U.S. (Air France only). For more information, go to the website they have set up [www.aatfconvention2018.com].
The AATF will handle all other arrangements, including convention registration, pre- and post-convention one-day excursions, a cultural immersion seminar organized by Vámonos Tours, meals, and other activities during the convention.

We encourage you to read all the following information carefully and consult the convention schedule below (final bullet) before you make your plans.  Convention registration will include 4 lunches, a reception, one 1/2-day excursion, and 2 round-trip ferry tickets for travel between La-Pointe-du-Bout and Fort-de-France.    We also strongly encourage you to make travel plans before the end of the year to ensure availability and the best fares.  

Because of the number of items included and the difficulty of monitoring access between four different hotels, all guests of AATF members and children over the age of 12 must register for the convention. The AATF will offer a payment plan for convention registration.

Martinique is a French Département d’Outre-Mer. The same holidays, laws, and procedures apply. The currency used is the euro. There is an ATM near the hotels as well as a Crédit agricole, and major credit cards are accepted.  You should not count on having reliable wifi access.

We are again pleased to offer one graduate credit for attending the convention through Webster University in Saint Louis, MO. Updated information will be available in the spring.

Academic Credit

We are again pleased to offer one graduate credit for attending the convention through Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Information will be available in the spring. You will be able to register on site on the opening morning of the convention.   Click here for last year's information; updated information will be available in the spring.

Registration

Convention registration of $550 will include four lunches including the opening-day Welcome Luncheon, a reception on the final evening, one half-day excursion during the convention, and a welcome mallette as well as access to all sessions and exhibits.  Registration must be completed by May 15, 2018. After that date, Late Registration of $625 will apply.  Registration will be available after Thanksgiving.  Reduced registration for life and honorary members, students, and leaders and guest registration will be $400.  

Printed programs, badges, and excursion tickets will be mailed to all registrants prior to the convention so that we do not have to ship large quantities of paper.

Hotel Information

La-Pointe-du-Bout is a tiny peninsula directly across the bay from Fort-de-France. The hotels are all located within a 15-minute walk between the two farthest hotels. We will be using the Bakoua, Bambou, Carayou, and La Pagerie hotels for lodging, meals, and sessions. There will be significant walking during the convention, and we will leave 20 minutes between sessions to allow ample time to move from one hotel to another.  Descriptions of the hotels can be found on the Carib Congrès site listed below.   Please read all details carefully.   Our rates are better than advertised rates online which may not include breakfast, the same category of room, or other options. 

Hotel rates range from 60 € to 260 € per person, depending on category of hotel, view, and if you are sharing a room. Breakfast is included in the room rate. One hotel rate is demi-pension and includes dinner. All hotel reservations will be handled through Carib Congrès at [www.aatfconvention2018.com]. We urge everyone to make their hotel and air reservations before December 31.  Hotel reservations are already open.  If you are planning to stay outside the dates on the hotel calendar, contact Carib Congrès, and they can take care of you.

Travel options

We strongly encourage you to make travel and hotel plans before the end of the year to ensure availability and the best fares and rates. Airfares are currently running as low as $900 to $1250, depending on the area of the country. In October, we were able to purchase tickets for AATF staff for less than $900 each departing from Saint Louis.  It is highly likely that you will have at least one overnight layover en route.  Check the closed @AATF_Martinique Facebook group for advice on finding affordable travel and how to minimize costs.

To arrange airport transfers (35 € each way) or to sign up for the two-day post-convention excursion to Guadeloupe, go to the Carib Congrès website [www.aatfconvention2018.com].

Ferries leave regularly from each end of La-Pointe-du-Bout and take 30-40 minutes to arrive in Fort-de-France. Taxis are plentiful in Fort-de-France and can be arranged for hotel departures.   Registration will include 2 round-trip ferry passes, and tickets can be purchased at departure points.

For those who wish to rent a car, all the major car companies have offices at the airport and some near the hotels, and most of the hotels have special arrangements with a particular company for their guests.

Communication among attendees

In order to make it easier for convention attendees to communicate with one another to locate roommates, share a hotel room en route, or learn more about what Martinique has to offer, we have created a private Facebook page (accessible only to AATF members who request to join) and Twitter feed dedicated to the Martinique convention. The Twitter feed will contain regular announcements of details related to the convention. You can sign up at [www.twitter.com/AATF_Martinique]. AATF members can join the closed Facebook group from the AATF Facebook page @AATFrench [@AATF_Martinique].   You can find lots of useful advice from us and from other members.

Payment Plan

The AATF will offer a payment plan for convention registration handled by the AATF. A non-refundable deposit of $150 must be paid by January  31, 2017. The remainder of the amount due can be paid in three equal installments due on February 28, March 31, and May 15. Registration must be paid in full by May 15, 2018. A $50 late fee will be assessed for any missed payment. This applies only to convention registration and excursions purchased through the AATF. Registration can be paid in full at any time before May 15, 2018, after which the Late Registration fee will apply.


Program Highlights

Meals

Four lunches and a reception will be included in the convention registration, including the Welcome Luncheon.

The Welcome Luncheon will be held in Fort-de-France following the opening session which will tentatively take place at the Théâtre Aimé Césaire.

Daily buffet luncheons (non-alcoholic beverage included) will be held on Thursday, July 19, Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, alternating between the hotels. A reception sponsored by Martinique will be held on Saturday evening, July 21.

Excursions and Seminars

Pre-convention seminars

Pre-convention seminars will be organized by Vámonos Tours (July 15, 16, and 17). Each day can be purchased separately or in any combination of 2 days, or all 3 days.  More details, specific dates and costs coming soon.  The topics below and specific dates are to be confirmed.  Tentative pricing: $130-$145 for one day, $200-$250 for any two days, and $299-$335 for all three days.  Dates for each topic to be confirmed, and  prices depend on a minimum of 10 registrants.

 
  • “Aimé Césaire, la Négritude et la Martinique,” seminar in the morning followed by afternoon and evening dinner with neighbors, "Chez le Résident," a Martinique tradition.
  • “L'Histoire de la Martinique,” followed by an excursion to Lakou Tranquil à Gros-Morne (dance, arts, traditions).
  • “La Culture créole: cuisine, traditions, expressions, argot franco-créole,” followed by an Atelier cuisine with Tatie Maryse.

Pre- and post-convention all-day excursion (available on Tuesday, July 17 or Sunday, July 22)

NORD PLANTATION:  Départ de l'hôtel en bus jusqu'à Fort-de-France. Visite du SACRE-COEUR DE BALATA (réplique de la basilique Montmartre). Traversée de la Route de la Trace jusqu'au JARDIN DE BALATA (découverte des fleurs et plantes tropicales qui ont fait la renommée de l’île aux fleurs). Poursuite de la Route de la Trace à travers la forêt tropicale (sous réserve de l’état de la route). Traversée du village de Morne-Rouge. Arrivée à SAINT-PIERRE "Ville d'Art et d'Histoire," connue pour sa destruction lors de l'éruption de la Montagne Pelée, découverte de ses ruines. Arrêt déjeuner  sur la zone. Poursuite du tour vers la côte Atlantique avec visite du musée de la distillerie ST-JAMES. Arrêt artisanal chez TILO. Retour à l'hôtel en autocar.   Coût: $100 par personne.

Half-day excursions (#1-#3) during the convention on July 19-20-21  

One excursion is included in the registration package.   Additional excursions can be purchased for $50 each. Not all excursions will be offered every day.  

#1 MUSEE DE LA PAGERIE & MAISON DE LA CANNE: Au coeur du village des Trois-Ilets vous visiterez le domaine de la Pagerie, le lieu de naissance en 1763 de Marie-Joseph-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, l’impératrice Joséphine. Elle y passa 16 années de sa vie. Cette sucrerie du 18ème siècle, entièrement restaurée abritait une vaste habitation de plus de 500 hectares. De nos jours, le musée est installé dans les anciennes cuisines. Vous poursuivrez votre découverte à la maison de la Canne.

La Maison de la Canne retrace, sur plus de deux siècles, l’histoire de l’économie sucrière à travers l’habitation esclavagiste puis les usines centrales. La muséographie du site relate, les documents, maquettes et gravures d’époque sur trois siècles d’histoire de la canne à sucre en Martinique. La visite du site permet de découvrir le fonctionnement des premières habitations esclavagistes, les procédés de fabrication du sucre et du rhum, les instruments et machines utilisés à diverses époques, et la vie quotidienne des esclaves sur les plantations.

#2 POTERIE DES TROIS-ILETS & SAVANE DES ESCALVES: Au fil des années, la Poterie des Trois-Ilets a développé les métiers de la terre cuite en conjuguant industrie (fabrication de briques, tuiles, carreaux…) et artisanat (poterie de terres cuites). Aujourd'hui le Village de la Poterie abrite de nombreux ouvrages anciens et des maisonnettes créoles authentiques occupées par des artisans, potiers et commerçants, ainsi que l'une des plus anciennes briqueterie en activité de France.

Vous poursuivrez votre visite à la «La savane des Esclaves» un site qui interprète à merveille des épisodes marquants de la période esclavagiste et le mode de vie des esclaves: Les cases traditionnelles aux palissades en bois, les sols de terre battue, les toitures de feuilles de canne à sucre… Les jardins de la Savane comportent des cultures traditionnelles de fruits et légumes de saison tels que l’igname, la patate douce, le manioc, le maïs, l’ananas, la goyave... Au coeur du site, une case-musée intitulée «A la Mémoire de nos ancêtres» dévoile des statues grandeur nature sculptées dans le bois de Mahogany et qui illustrent différentes scènes de la vie des esclave.

#3 HABITATION CLEMENT : Vous emprunterez des routes traversant l’intérieur des terres et menant au sud-est de l’île par les villages ruraux de Petit Bourg et de Saint Esprit. Vous visiterez dans le village du François, le célèbre Domaine de l’Acajou, racheté aux enchères en 1887 par Homère Clément. C’est un site incontournable qui abrite l’Habitation Clément, réputée pour sa distillerie qui produit des rhums depuis plusieurs générations.

Post-convention excursion to Guadeloupe

GUADELOUPE (two-day post-convention excursion Sunday, July 22 and Monday, July 23)

Le package inclut le vol aller-simple + transferts, hôtel en demi-pension avec 1 déjeuner + excursion d’une demi-journé + excursion d’une journée incluant déjeuner). Coût: 475 € per person if sharing a room/575 € single

Dimanche 22 juillet : Vol Fort-de-France–Pointe-à-Pitre; transfert à l’hôtel Karibea Gosier; déjeuner à l’hôtel; excursion demi-journée Mémorial Acte; dîner à l’hôtel

Le Mémorial Acte est un centre caribéen d’expressions et de mémoire dédié à l’histoire de l’esclavage, situé face à la mer, dans la rade de Pointe-à-Pitre. Vous y découvrirez des documents d’archives, des images, des œuvres d’art, objets de la vie quotidienne, des témoignages visuels et sonores qui vous feront voguer d’île en île jusqu’à la période de l’abolition. A l’issue de cette visite, vous découvrirez un lieu également chargé d’histoire, le Fort Fleur d’Epée érigé au XVIII e siècle. Ce site bordé d’agaves et de flamboyants vous offrira un magnifique panorama sur les Saintes et Marie Galante. Retour à l’hôtel en fin d’après-midi.

Lundi 23 juillet : Excursion «Petite Terre» en catamaran à la journée

Le joyau de la Guadeloupe, véritable cliché de carte postale, un paradis pour les amateurs de plages de sable blanc, d’eau cristalline et de farniente. Après environ 1h30 de navigation, nous mouillons entre Terre de Haut et Terre de Bas dans le lagon turquoise, paradis classé réserve naturelle et inscrit à l’UNESCO. Vous débarquerez sur la plage de sable blanc ombragée de cocotiers puis vous partirez à la découverte des fonds marins (palmes, masques, tubas à votre disposition). Le lagon, bien protégé par le récif présente de magnifiques formations coralliennes très riches en poissons multicolores, tortues, gorgones, oursins, coquillages et langoustes…, qui font des îlets de la Petite Terre le paradis des plongeurs. Déjeuner à bord ou barbecue sur la plage (selon le catamaran) avec planteur et ti-punch à volonté pendant le déjeuner. Après le repas l’équipage vous accompagnera à la découverte des sentiers pour observer les iguanes marins, les bernard-l’hermite, les crabes de terre. Détente et farniente sur la plage ou baignade dans les eaux cristalline, avant de mettre les voiles et rentrer à St. François vers 17h15. Transfert vers Gosier et dîner à l’hôtel Karibea Gosier.

Mardi 24 juillet : Départ des participants directement de la Guadeloupe pour les USA

En option en fonction des horaires de vols:  Quad ou Buggy pour les amateurs de paysages, de nature et d’aventure, le quad & le buggy sont deux moyens originaux pour visiter la Guadeloupe côté nature. Pas besoin d’être un pro pour conduire ces machines (quads automatiques). Quelques tours de circuits pour vous familiariser avec le quad ou buggy, et c’est parti pour 2 heures ou plus de plaisir. Chemins, champs de canne, plage, rochers surplombant la mer, la randonnée vous fera découvrir des paysages superbes et varié. Coût: 24 € par personne.

 

Created: August 17, 2017
Last update:  November 2, 2017