Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Irma’

Hurricane Irma and Jose- What Now?

September 11, 2017
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View of Klein Bonaire

The storms have passed and no doubt, Hurricane Irma was  one of the most  devastating storm that has hit so many islands.  The fury of Mother Nature left a bold reminder of the fragility and vulnerability of the islands. In the aftermath, social media has allowed us a first hand glimpse into the chaos along the Eastern Caribbean island chain. Barbuda, a small island of about 1600 is uninhabitable. Anguilla has lost many business and homes. Sint Maarten and St. Martin are both incredibly impacted. Other islands significantly impacted include but are not limited to Saba, St. Barths, The BVI’s, Cuba, Puerto Rico and St. John and St. Thomas. The visual images reveal mass destruction. It is clear, restoration will take time. In some case, months.

As tourism is the primary income of the islands, one cannot worry about the future of so many that rely on the hospitality industry for their livelihood.   What next?  Donate to a charity or rebuilding effort of your choice.  Plan a trip! Yes, some of the islands, whilst damaged will be able to welcome tourists soon.   The Caribbean is one of the closest international tourist destinations to the US. Come back and come back soon.  Foliage will return to it’s original splendor and properties will be re built.

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is offering discounted vacations for all new bookings for those who require a rebooking from an originally planned vacation. If you had a vacation planned with another company, have them contact me and I will be happy to re book on Bonaire.   For inquiries contact ann@bonairecaribbean.com today.

May all the islands restore and revitalize soon.  The people of the Caribbean will demonstrate resilience and grit during this very difficult time. Lend them your support. Come back soon.

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Hurricane Irma – Relief

September 8, 2017

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Barbuda Pink Shells

My love affair with the Caribbean began in 1987 on my first trip to Antigua. I was captivated by the people, the music, the smells, the sounds. After a week’s stay, I returned to a cold and dreary landscape in the US. I always knew I would return, and I did, to later move to Antigua. There, I met a man, fell in love and had a child.   My experiences included visiting many of the islands in the chain, including my favorite Barbuda. I loved the people and was astounded by a 17-mile pink beach.  I have life long memories of my time in the Eastern Caribbean. Later in life, I shifted gears, became a windsurfer and eventually found Bonaire.  Bonaire is outside the hurricane belt, above the coast of Venezuela. Most people know Bonaire’s neighbors, Aruba and Curacao.  The climate and culture is vastly different from my former home. There is a strong Latin influence and a dry climate. Bonaire has it’s own beauty.

For the past thirty years, I have followed every storm that has passed through the islands. I have lived through some of the storms. Some that come to mind include Hugo, Gilbert, Luis, Marilyn, Floyd  and more recently, Omar. Each wreaked havoc on the islands. Still, I have never seen anything with the magnitude of Irma.  Irma has left a path of devastation through so many islands. Please know, my source of information is from social media, dialogues with friends and news sources and not first hand.

The devastation on Barbuda is massive. Nearby Antigua, got off easy. As they say in Antiguan dialect, “Barbuda took licks”. The damage is so bad, I am told, many if not all are being relocated off island.

Up the chain, Sint Maarten and St. Marten, the dual nation community suffered severe damage to homes, hotels, businesses and industry.  Visual images reveal devastation.  A friend posted a video during the hurricane revealing her roof gone and the storm washing into her living room.

Reports from friends are much the same on Anguilla. I am told most roofs are gone. Images of the much loved Pumphouse reveal it is completely flattened. Rebuilding on Anguilla will take months. The entire infrastructure is impacted.

I could go on and on about each island. What I really want to say impress in this post is, the expansive impact on so many islands is like nothing I have ever seen. The Caribbean community is going to need help in so many ways. Some of the islands have the support of their mother lands. Such will be the case for the USVI’s and BVI’s. Other independent nations will have little support.   There are many sources of information where to donate. Storm Carib has been a resource for me for many years. Some folks are posting crowd funding sites there.

One site I do recommend, is a group spearheading an effort to save the animals that will soon be abandoned on Barbuda.  I am not personally connected to any so do your homework. Here are three sites to consider.

Lastly, I strongly recommend you continue to visit the islands that were not impacted by the storms. Tourism is the main economy in the islands. Keep the Caribbean vibe alive. The islands hit will rebuild. Caribbean people are resilient. If you find a worthy relief effort to share, do let me know.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/barbuda-hurricane-animals

http://stormcarib.com/

https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto

www.rebuildsxm.com