More Testimonials

Testimonial by: Brenda Turner,  Retired Journalist, 2013 Student

Date: September 19th, 2013

In just a few classes of Track II with Maricar, I learned essential presentation skills that will be used daily in my new career as a tourist guide. For example, she provided a simple, powerful structure for visual and factual commentary that boils down to just five bullet points. Then she taught how to breathe life into that structure by telling stories that relate to the tourist, provoking them to think and make memories. She didn’t neglect important logistic lessons: how to position the listeners, hold the microphone, inspect sites, navigate in a motor coach and more. New students quickly become part of Maricar’s alumni network. Within 60 days of starting her class, I met dozens of working tour guides who expressed interest in helping this newbie. In addition to introducing students to ideas and people, Maricar coaches them on getting licenses, joining the D.C. Guild of tour guides, taking other training, attending job fairs and grabbing opportunities as they arise. I am so glad I met Maricar and her high standards early on my path to becoming a tour guide. I fully recommend her as a trainer.

Testimonial by: Ed Movius

Date: August 18th, 2013

I completed Maricar’s Track I and Track II tour guiding classes from March through August 2013.It was an intense, demanding, and incredibly satisfying I wish to express my greatest appreciation to Maricar for encouraging me to complete track I and 2 and to obtain my certification as a fluent German speaker.

Testimonial by: Christina B. North Bethesda, MD

Date: August 14th, 2013

I completed Maricar’s Track I and Track II tour guiding classes from March through August 2013.It was an intense, demanding, and incredibly satisfying experience. Maricar’s training requires active participation in guiding the class group from the outset and ends with her students creating and conducting an original tour. Her networking relationships with other guides and touring companies are invaluable to her students.

Testimonial by: Lee K

Date: June 26th 2013

I wanted to let you know that the techniques and instructions that you imparted to me in Tracks I & II, which are now second nature to me, helped me start my career as a professional guide with ease and confidence. I received my license just a few months ago and have already led over a half a dozen school groups on multi-day tours. I feel like an old pro already!  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without your training, guidance and expertise. I am very grateful to you and would not hesitate to recommend your training to anyone interested in becoming a professional tour guide.  Thanks again, Lee K.

 Testimonial by: Edward R. Levi – Class of 2013

Date: May 26th 2013

I have been with Maricar Donato since mid-January of 2013.  Having taken over 100 hours of instruction in the art of guiding, I now have the self-confidence to lead groups both large and small around the city of Washington, DC.  Ms. Donato has shown me how to  tour both on foot and on a motor coach.  How to probe the group’s psyche with  questions and how to link various monuments and memorials in a sensible fashion.  Her years of expertise are invaluable for setting a future course for her students.  She is without doubt a master of her craft, a general of an industry that needs direction, and a professor in the field of guiding.

Testimonial by: Kathleen Bashian

Date: August 29th 2012
Thank you for making the arrangements for our visit to the Chinese embassy yesterday.  I found this visit most helpful and it will enhance my commentary whenever I take clients near this property. I will not be attending the convention in Macau as I have already scheduled a trip to Japan.

Testimonial by: Emma Siani
Date: June 25th 2012
I attended both track I and track II classes this past winter (2011/2012). This program really helped give me the tools and foundation needed to become an expert tour guide in D.C. Even though English is not my first language, Maricar’s highly-interactive courses helped give me a very high level of confidence in speaking to groups of people about D.C. culture, history, art, and current affairs. The courses show you what it is like to work as a tour guide. For anyone that wants to become a tour guide in Washington, D.C., look no further – Maricar’s courses are simply the best!

Testimonial By: Emmanuel Gogo

Date: April 30th 2012

I am a graduate of both TRACK I and TRACK II of Washingtours and Events Tour Guide Training in Washington DC. I arrived in the United States six months ago and I can boast of the training I have acquired from Ms. Marica Donato from January 2012 to May 2012. My test for the DC tourist guide license is my next step. With Washingtours and Events, I have no fears.

Testimonial By: Kelvin Carter

Date: 19 March 2012

Washingtours and Events -Tourist Guide Training Program provides a strong framework for gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct walking and bus tours in DC. I found the classes challenging and a lot of work but worth it. As part of the course we literally walked the city; discovering new sites and learning to “see” things that are invisible to most. We also learned presentation skills that helped us bring the sites of this beautiful city to life. Track II included a Communication Seminar that I found invaluable. It helped me refine my skills and see the big picture of a tourist guides work. The course work and exercises gave me the opportunity to see myself through other’s eyes. In turn I was able to diminish negative traits and strengthen the traits and skills that would make me a better overall guide. For me, the ComSem brought together all the parts of guiding into one workable ideal. When people ask me what I do, this is what I tell them: “Tourist guiding is a professional business that provides exceptional customer service to an individual or company, in the form of organizing, planning, and executing an informative and enjoyable guided tour. “ As a trainer, Maricar was very supportive in helping me to achieve my professional goals. In less than 6 months I went from knowing very little about Washington D. C. to being a licensed, professionally trained, knowledgeable, working tourist guide. Thanks Maricar, for all your help. Kelvin Carter Sep/Oct 2011 & Feb/March 2012

Testimonial By: Rick Snider

Date: 15 February 2012

Maricar will successfully prepare you to become a Washington, D.C. tour guide. I graduated from Track I in August 2010, passed the licensing exam the first time when taking it in October and was soon leading tours. I find myself often repeating what Maricar taught me. She gives you all the tools on so many levels to guide successfully. I absolutely, 100 percent, owe my guiding career to her and completely recommend taking her classes if you want to become a guide. Her support is 24/7 even after you graduate. If you want to be a guide, Maricar will make it happen.

Testimonial By: Carla Smith

Date: 14 April 2011

Dear Maricar students or potential students: I participated (studied like heck) in Maricar’s Level I and II courses during the Winter/Spring of 2010 and received my license in May. After almost a year has passed and I am actively guiding through a variety of companies, I wanted to share with you some of the conclusions that I have reached in my new career. In a nutshell, I honestly don’t know how I would have become an educated and professional guide without having Maricar’s instruction. From the physical act of guiding — walking, motorcoach guiding, positioning, TVP’s, etc. — to learning all the skills of how to tell a story — what are the facts, amusing or instructional anecdotes and what is the thread to connect what we have seen or will see next. I run into many guides out there and share groups duties on occasion and I am often amazed and some of my “colleagues” as they walk and talk while they are guiding, guide with sunglasses on and have you with the back to the subject they are describing! You Maricar grads will all know better! I keep my notecards with me on every tour and refresh my memory on breaks when the group is on their own. Just this past week I had a group that was having lunch in Georgetown so I had the motorcoach operator take us a little out of the way down Virginia Avenue so I could share the “Avenue of the Americas” with them. Believe me, your skills that you are learning are the foundation for being successful and I am grateful to Maricar for the instruction that I received. Good luck to you all with your studies. Sincerely, Carla Smith

Testimonial By: G B

Date: 12 January 2011

Maricar has a unique approach to training her students for the field of guiding. First, you must look up. Then, you must open your eyes. Now you are ready to provoke, relate and reveal. Wonderfully simple and straightforward, yet I dare you to try it on your own! Under Maricar’s guidance, the focus is on preparedness, practice and your willingness to be transformed. Upon graduating from Track I and II, along with passing the DCRA tour guide exam, you too can become a bonafide D.C. licensed guide with the best skills in town!

Testimonial By: D B

Date: 26 May 2010

Fantastic ! Great job of tying together many important ideas. Gets at the heart of the Washington Mystery.

Testimonial By: Carla Smith

Date: 20 May 2010

To be honest, I don’t know how one achieves the status of a Professional Tour Guide without completing Maricar’s Track I and II classes. We methodically studied the copious information that she provides in her Study Guide for the DC License exam. However, that is only half the story. Her training ranges from all the nuances involved with communicating the information, to tips on how to be an effective storyteller, to the mechanics of moving groups of people both on foot and on a motor coach. All of these professional guiding skills that we acquired under her tutelage, is only the tip of the iceberg. Maricar’s infectious enthusiasm for the craft of guiding and her continued desire to give us the gift of her vast knowledge is really what sets her program to an unparalleled level. I heartily endorse her program for anyone considering this unique career.

Testimonial By: Sonja Archer

Date: 18 May 2010

I have just completed Track l and Track ll of Maricar’s classes. I passed the exam and became licensed while still attending classes. I am extremely happy that I signed up for both Tracks. It has been a life changing experience. Learning how to effectively communicate and giving meaningful commentary, using Maricar’s tools, has been so very helpful to me. Doing research, connecting dots, events and telling stories to get the whole picture are also invaluable aids that I have come to appreciate. I am realizing that there is much more to being a tour guide than just having knowledge. It’s about conveying that knowledge in such a way so as to make it a truly enjoyable and memorable event for your guests! Maricar’s teaching methods are very thorough and she does expect quite a bit from her students. However, her energy, passion and professionalism made the classes not only very interesting but also much fun. The classes, along with the participants, are something I will always treasure. I do have my memory book and memory cards, to refer to often if need be, so as not to forget the valuable lessons learned. Thank you, Maricar, for your patience, kindness and your willingness to share your love for the “Tourist Guiding Profession”.

Testimonial By: Kathy Draper

Date: 08 March 2010

I want to thank Maricar Donato for offering the Communications Seminar to her Tract II students. The Seminar has helped me in so many ways! I learned how to plan my commentary in a concise and interesting manner. We learned to zoom in on a specific focal point and then expand out from there relating the broader picture and threading it to other points of interests. I learned how to calm my nerves and not be so concerned about recalling all the many details and facts, but to focus on the presentation of the information I remember. Taking the Seminar at the beginning of the course has given us a wealth of information and techniques to draw from as we prepare for our weekly sessions.

Testimonial By: Terry Walworth

Date: 23 January 2010

I took the test Thanksgiving Week and passed it on the first try. Thank goodness and thanks to your heads up training in our September ITMI class. I was prepared, knew what to expect, and was successful. A special thank you to your class and help.

Testimonial By: David Turin

Date: 05 January 2010

When I first decided to become a licensed tour guide in Washington, D.C. I researched online and watched videos on YouTube. The hard part, many said, was navigating D.C. local government and the regulatory process for licensing. An educational program and professional development was not necessary, these online sources said. Having been through the process I can tell you this is simply NOT true. Something Maricar told us over and over, “Being licensed does not mean you are a capable, qualified guide.” The professional tour guide training offered by Maricar’s WashingTours & Events was a superior experience and I am proud of the work I did. Maricar is both a fun and demanding instructor and her teaching and educational techniques really opened my eyes to Washington D.C. and the world of professional tour guiding. I have been a classroom teacher for 17 years so I recognize good teaching when I see it. We spent dozens of hours in the field and the experience became collaborative; my classmates and I worked together as we practiced our guiding skills and developed our own unique style. Student and instructor feedback formed the backbone of this field experience. However, I was new to Washington D.C. and Maricar really delivered when it came to one-on-one instruction. She taught me how to shift my guest’s attention away from me to focus on the site we were visiting. The result is a meaningful and memorable experience for my guests. If you are thinking about becoming a professional guide I strongly recommend Maricar Donato’s Tour Guide Training Program. If you want to experience the real Washington D.C., I would encourage you to meet Maricar and to learn more about her program. If you are looking for a true guiding insider, someone who can introduce you to a career as a professional and the companies that hire tour guides, there is no one better than Maricar Donato.

Testimonial By: Danielle Corrreia

Date: 15 December 2009

Maricar, Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I have finally received my DC Tour Guide license and I appreciate all of the help you have given me. I surely would never have passed or even begun to know how to work the application process without your help and your study guide. Your study summit this summer also helped tremendously. I appreciate your help beyond words! Happy Holidays and I hope to see you around the city soon! -Danielle Corrreia

Testimonial By: Susan Granum

Date: 01 October 2009

Maricar opened the door to a whole new life for me. I learned so much from the Track I and II courses. The Communications Seminar was the highlight of the courses for me. I learned to speak comfortably in public for the first time in my life. It was exhilarating ! Maricar amply supplies all the support, knowledge and motivation needed to get you to your goal of being a licensed DC tour guide which I reached in August of this year. Thank you, Maricar ! Susan Granum – Class of 2009

Testimonial By: Jessica Llewellyn

Date: 30 September 2009

I took Maricar’s training classes for Tracks I and II this past summer and I have never felt so overloaded with culture, knowledge and passion for the city of Washington, DC. – It was wonderful =) During the training sessions, students are encouraged to see the city in ways they had never seen it before. Many of my classmates have often commented that these are things and places they have walked by a million times and never noticed. Being able to see – really SEE this city is something I will take with me forever. I have recently taken my DC License Exam and from all of the walks, study guides and readings, I feel pretty confident in my success. I would highly recommend her course to anyone looking to become a professional tourist guide. Jessica Llewellyn, Class of 2009

Testimonial By: Karen Goyette

Date: 09 November 2008

The first conversation I ever had with Maricar she said, “Welcome to the world of tour guiding, it will change your life!” She was so right! A little over two months ago, I was a newly retired middle school teacher. I enrolled in Maricar’s DC Tour Guide Track I to prepare for the DCRA examination (which I passed), and immediately followed with her DC Tour Guide Track II training sessions. I am amazed at what I have learned and experienced. With Maricar, I discovered the charm of Lincoln Park and saw connections to freedom simply by looking under Mary Bethune McCleod’s cane… I cannot drive by the Capitol now without looking for the light in the cupola under the Statue of Freedom to see if Congress is still working… Maricar is eager to share her knowledge of DC as well as her knowledge of how to present a tour to a group, to create enjoyment, tell stories, make connections and memories which will never be forgotten. I am now a licensed tour guide and am eager to share what I have learned from Maricar with others. Maricar truly is a model for the “Art of Guiding” and it has been an exhausting pleasure to work with her. – Karen Goyette, Class of 2008

Testimonial By: Cheryl Lerman

Date: 28 October 2008

Your class was so helpful to me in studying for my licensing test. I got so much out of it. It was so jam-packed with information, that my head was spinning!! … You were an excellant teacher and being an out of towner, I felt like a native when I completed my week. You taught me so many “surprises” to be found in Washington, that I can’t wait to bring my first group and help them “fall in love” with Washington as I did. …we spent quite a bit of it learning by doing – which is the best way to learn. Thanks again for your wonderful guidance. – Cheryl Lerman, Accelerated Class of 2008

Testimonial By: June Stafford

Date: 17 October 2008

Maricar’s tour guide training program has changed my life. It got me away from the TV and opened my eyes about the richness Washington has to offer. The program is not just training but an “experience”… Maricar gives a lot of herself in the program. She is like a bottomless cup always giving more. – June Stafford, Class 2008

Testimonial By: Lisa Deason

Date: 21 September 2008

Maricar’s training class is a definite must in preparing to be a DC Tour Guide. Tracks I and II were not only practically instructive in acquiring skills and techniques necessary for professional tour guiding, but Maricar’s study guide and review sessions were key elements, I feel, for passing the DC license exam. Each aspect of her training regimen complemented each other and provided a complete Professional Tour Guide Training package. A major hurdle in becoming a licensed guide is to pass the DC Licensing Exam. However, before you can even take the test there are numerous forms to be filled out, notarized and submitted in order to register to take the test. Maricar facilitated this process and addressed questions during our review sessions. – Lisa Deason, Class of 2008

Testimonial By: Marsha Adelson

Date: 01 April 2008

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the outstanding Tourist Guide Training that I took from you this year. The information I gathered during both Track I and Track II, along with the study guide that you provided, enabled me to pass the D.C. License Exam on the first try with flying colors! I don’t remember when I’ve worked as hard as I have the past three months, but it was worth every minute! I learned more about Washington than I’ve ever known, and I’ve lived in this area my whole life. More importantly, I learned how to do research on a variety of subjects, how to write a script to present the information in the most effective way, and how to highlight the important points rather than get bogged down in the irrelevant details. I also found the evaluations of the presentations, both mine, and those of the other students, extremely helpful in pointing out weak points as well as strengths. … Thanks for the opportunity to learn about and present both walking and motorcoach tours. I was surprised at how differently a guide must convey the material for each kind of tour. … I’m well on my way to success in my new career. – Marsha Adelson, Class of 2008