If you don’t know Flores, let’s just say that it’s a piece of paradise in the east of Indonesia. Marsel was born in a small village three hours from Labuan Bajo. His love for his hometown has led him to continue his studies at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Warmadewa University, Denpasar, with his goal to return to his home village of Benteng Dope and to help advance the wellbeing of the people there.
Labuan Bajo is the capital of West Manggarai district. The people who live there come from various tribes. Most are from the Manggarai tribe, the rest are Bugis, Makassarese, some are from Sumba, Lombok, Sumbawa, Timor, Kupang, Ende, Bajawa, and other islands.
For Marsel, the natural beauty and friendliness of the people in his hometown cannot be found anywhere else. Spending much of his life in Labuan Bajo, Marsel is fully aware of how underdeveloped his village is compared to the progress of other regions in Flores or wider Indonesia in general. Access roads have not been paved, transportation is very limited, there is no electricity, and telecommunication networks have not been connected. The arid and steep nature means that various public facilities are also minimal, especially health and education facilities. During a long dry season, residents will even find it difficult to get clean water.
Educational facilities need development for the growing population, especially as many leave the village in search of employment in the bigger villages or towns. Environmental sanitation is also a problem for rural residents as their distance from the main towns makes development in this area very difficult. When he finishes college, Marsel wants to go home to work directly for the welfare of the people in his hometown.
He has been inspired by many great leaders in Indonesia and this has led him to want to empower his people and his village to work towards a better future. Labuan Bajo has everything you could want in a holiday, from fascinating local culture, great views, a developing foodie scene, beautiful beaches, and Komodo dragons on the nearby islands.
With it’s diverse culture and the stunning islands that make up Flores, having a qualified local tour guide like Marsel is a necessity and once you listen to his stories and passion for his people, you’ll learn even more about the incredible history of Flores.
While studying, Marsel runs his business, Flores Journey, which creates tours of Komodo and Flores including flights, boats, hiking, sight-seeing, and of course visiting the (in) famous Komodo Dragons! To find out more, head to his website and click on the logo for:
Flores Journey – www.floresjourney.com/tour-programsv