“Y’all just give me things to do.”
That was Carlyn Morales’s request to the Board of Commissioners of the Pointe Coupee Office of Tourism.
The new tourism manager met the board on Monday, July 19, as she settles into her new job.
Morales came from the Upper Delta Soil & Water Conservation District, where she worked as secretary and conservation coordinator since 2012.
“I’m excited to connect the parish and agriculture together and support everyone, the entire parish,” said Morales, a Baton Rouge native and University of Louisiana-Lafayette graduate with a degree in mass communications and marketing.
“We want you to be visible,” said Betty Fontaine, a member of the board, to the new tourism manager.
Morales said she will be busy “networking with everyone in the smaller communities to unite them together.
“We definitely want to showcase what every community can offer, the secret ingredients that make Pointe Coupee special,” she said.
“We want to put them on a map as the places to see.”
Morales is familiar with Pointe Coupee Parish, since her previous employer had its headquarters in New Roads.
She also is a board member of the Pointe Coupee Historical Society and Ag in the Class chairman for the Pointe Coupe Parish Farm Bureau.
“There are so many features here; Pointe Coupee is a melting pot of agriculture,” Morales said, “We have a sugar mill, a cotton mill, pecan mill, Batchelor Co-op for grain.”
“In my past job, you had to understand agriculture and how it impacts our area. It drives the land,” she said.
“Tweny-four parishes produce sugar, and we are No. 1,” she added.
Promoting seasonal events such as Mardi Gras and Market at the Mill attract both parish residents and tourists, but there’s more in the parish that deserves attention, she said.
Pointe Coupee Parish plays an important, but not always recognized, role in the Mississippi River Watershed, Morales said.
“The Mississippi Watershed, from Montana to New York, drains down the Mississippi and it all funnels to Lettsworth and its locks,” she said.
“We’re a melting pot for the watershed; where else do you see that?
“It is important for kids and the communities to know how much we can offer,” to the state and nation as a destination for tourists interested in everything from agriculture and food to cultural events and history, Morales said.
“We need to teach those things through Louisiana history and our parish history here. The history here is some of the oldest in the entire state.
“When I was 3, my dad bought a sailboat,” Morales said, which they kept at the Pelican Yacht Club, which introduced her to False River and Pointe Coupee Parish.
After 60 years on False River, the yacht club moved to Madisonville, but Morales said bringing it back would be a tourism and economic boon.
“I’ve been in touch with the president, trying to bring it back. It would be bringing a business home,” she said.
Morales said she also is contemplating a Farm Day in Morganza.
Although a lot needs to be worked out, she said a Farm Day would “highlight agriculture here. We could have tractors on the lawns and highlight the town as well.”
“A lot of good can come from all our groups and governmental entities helping each other.
“It takes a community to raise a child, and it takes volunteers to raise a parish and keep it running,” Morales said.