When New Orleans native Robi Robichaux returned home to Algiers after an 18-year stint in Orlando, Fla., he wasn’t sure how to translate his theme park focused career in his hometown. But it was through taking the Friends of the Cabildo tour guide class that Robi gained a whole new profession.
“On day one of the tour guide class, they tell you that you’ll meet your new best friends,” says Robi. “And they were absolutely right.”
Robi says that the tour guide classes run by the Friends of the Cabildo are truly a unique experience. The Friends of the Cabildo Walking Tour Guide program provides intensive and comprehensive training for tour guides. The program provides an intensive overview of New Orleans history, architecture and culture. In addition to the academic component, trainees are provided training on presentation techniques and guided on conducting tours.
“Growing up, history was not really my thing,” says Robi. “History didn’t really become an interest to me until I took the training to be a tour guide. I fell in love with the history of my own city. New Orleans has everything! We have it all from pirates to vampires and everything in between.”
What made Robi embrace the historic component of conducting a tour is the storytelling. Robi says from your very first assignment as a tour guide you begin to see the importance of storytelling.
Robi is currently the tour development manager for Gray Line Tours and the chairman of the Walking Tour Guides at the Friends of the Cabildo. He now trains future tour guides through the Friends of the Cabildo program.
“My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby,” says Robi. “I never have to ‘work’ a day in my life.”
Robi encourages others to consider volunteering as a tour guide with the Friends of the Cabildo. Not only will you learn so much about the history and culture of New Orleans but you’ll develop relationships that will last a lifetime.
“When you volunteer, it becomes so rewarding,” says Robi. “I can’t even put it into words how wonderful it is – and I get paid to talk for a living!”
If you are interested in becoming a Friends of the Cabildo walking tour guide contact us at 504-523-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.