Features (2)

Soualiga Newsday Features (4187)

Brison’s budget amendment bears fruit in new Tourist Bureau offices

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The crucial role that MP Roland Brison played in securing funding through a Naf 5 million budget amendment that he initiated is further highlighted as a significant milestone in the revitalization of St. Maarten's tourism industry with the opening of the new headquarters of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau on December 1, 2023. A new national brand will be unveiled in conjunction with the inauguration.

MP Brison’s groundbreaking amendment in the 2023 budget, never before done for the tourism sector, earmarked over 5 million guilders for capital expenditures and investments, emphasizing the need for rejuvenation in the tourism sector. While the MP acknowledged his role in bringing the amendment, he expressed how proud he was that the personnel of the Tourist Bureau, where he was Tourism Director for a time, managed to execute and bring the project to fruition.

As part of this amendment, Brison highlighted the urgency of rebranding the St. Maarten product, recognizing the importance of maintaining a competitive edge on the Caribbean tourism landscape. “The tourism office's new headquarters and the impending brand reveal have already generated excitement among cruise, airline, and general tourism stakeholders,” MP Brison said. “This finally re-focuses our commitment to taking tourism seriously, attracting more airlines to our destination and positioning St. Maarten as a competitive player in the region."

Acknowledging that tourism constitutes 90% of the country’s GDP, Brison emphasized the critical role tourism plays in employment and investment, making it the primary industry for St. Maarten. As the former Tourism Director of St. Maarten, he expressed his understanding of the industry's implications for job creation and opportunities for the local workforce.

Brison congratulated the dedicated, hard-working men and women of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, commending their continuous efforts to promote the destination. He expressed pride in his role as a Member of Parliament in providing the necessary tools for tourism personnel, through budget amendments, to enhance the bureau's capabilities.

The unveiling ceremony on December 1st will feature a presentation by the MP underscoring his instrumental role in ensuring robust tourism budgets in the years ahead for the effective marketing of St. Maarten. Brison anticipates further discussions during in upcoming budget sessions where he will continue to focus on the importance of investing in tourism.

He said no other Members of Parliament outside, of the United People's Party, have shown the level of attention to the tourism budget that has been lacking for so long, and none other than the UP have given attention to the cries of the stakeholders that the budgets of St. Maarten compared to competing destinations such as Jamaica, Aruba and the Dominican Republic, pales in comparison to those countries. “Those concerns and cries have not gone unnoticed by the United People's Party,” he said, emphasizing the party's dedication to comprehensive investments in tourism, encompassing the re-launch of the brand and strategic infrastructural improvements.

“Actions such as planting trees, construction new and proper restroom facilities at Mullet Bay and other areas all play a role in improving our product. These are all investments in our tourism product,” the MP said. With a working legacy of having brought the most amendments to Parliament as a legislator, MP Brison said that the work is just beginning and he will continue to focus on enhancing St. Maarten’s tourism even if those initiatives bear fruit in the mid-to-long term.


CPS says wear lighted colored clothing and use mosquito repellent to stop mosquito’s from biting

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says due to the rainfall the country has experienced for the past couple of months, and increase has been seen in the number of mosquitoes.

CPS is therefore calling on the populace to wear light colored clothing at dusk, long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying a mosquito borne disease.

Use mosquito repellent to prevent the mosquito from feeding (don’t let the mosquito bite you), discuss with your pharmacist on the best for you or family members.

Place screens on windows and doors to stop mosquitoes from entering and close doors and windows without screens.

While home, an option is to sleep under a mosquito net to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk.

For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, and to report mosquito breeding sites, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Central Voting Bureau to hold Public Meeting December 4 about Candidates List Submitted on November 22

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Pursuant to the provisions of article 30 of the Election Ordinance, the Chairlady of the Central Voting Bureau for the January 11th, 2024 election of the members of Parliament of Sint Maarten hereby announces the following: On Monday, December 4 th , 2023, the Central Voting Bureau will hold a session at 14.00hrs in the Legislative Hall of the House of Parliament, located at the Wilhelminastraat 1 in Philipsburg.

During this session, the Central Voting Bureau will decide on the validity of the lists of candidates submitted by political parties to the Chairlady on November 22 nd 2023, on the maintenance of the candidates appearing thereon and on the maintenance of the designation above.

The session is open to eligible voters. Pursuant to article 33 of the Election Ordinance, any eligible voter can lodge an appeal within two (2) days at the Court in First Instance of Sint Maarten against decisions that were taken by the Central Voting Bureau during said session, the Chairlady of the Central Voting Bureau, Nathalie M. Tackling, LL.M. said in a statement on Tuesday.


CPS reminds persons to get their seasonal flu vaccine

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA), is recommending to persons especially high-risk groups to get their seasonal flu shot.

Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads very easily from person to person and can affect anybody in any age group. 

Check with your physician to see whether or not you are part of the high-risk group and be proactive.  Get vaccinated and apply strict and consistent preventive measures to stop you from getting the flu. 

Influenza is a serious public health problem that causes severe illnesses and deaths for higher risk populations.  Vaccination (flu shot) is the most effective way to prevent infection.

Persons who form part of the risk groups are:

  • all pregnant women who are in the last six months of pregnancy or second trimester – from their fourth month onwards;
  • with pulmonary disease: asthma (when maintenance medication is given; this also holds true for children), COPD, carcinoma of the lung, anthracosilicosis, lungfibrosis , mucoviscidosis, severe kyfoscoliosis, status after resection of a lung, breathing difficulties;
  • with cardiac disease: having experienced a myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, arrhythmias, valve dysfunction, cardiac failure;
  • with diabetes mellitus, even if not on medication;
  • with chronic kidney disease/failure: dialysis, kidney transplant;
  • after a recent bone marrow transplant;
  • with HIV-infection;
  • with an intellectual disability in an intramural setting;
  • with a diminished resistance to infections: livercirrosis, (functional) asplenia, auto-immune illnesses, chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medication;
  • 60 years and older.

Front-line workers as well as health care workers who may be in contact with patients in these risk groups (personnel in nursing homes, senior citizen home, hospital, outpatient clinics and general practitioner/specialist practices), should get their flu vaccination.

Home care givers of persons with a very high risk for severe illness and mortality attributed to the flu should also get vaccinated.

The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19.

For persons who plan to get their booster COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your flu vaccine either one week before or two weeks after receiving the booster COVID-19 vaccine.

Consult your family physician (house doctor) in due time once you don’t feel well, and do not place others at risk.  Take the necessary preventive measures when in the vicinity of any sick persons. Apply strict cough etiquette and proper hand hygiene.

Eat healthy foods, get a lot of exercise, and maintain a good sleep schedule which is usually eight hours.


Dr. Patricia Rodney receives The Presidents Award at St. Martin Book Fair 2023

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Dr. Patricia Rodney, CEO of the Walter Rodney Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, received the Presidents Award at the closing ceremony of the St. Martin Book Fair on November 25, 2023.

The award is the final highlight of the lit fest, which is usually held in June but was postponed to November this year, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

Dr. Rodney was presented with the Presidents Award by Reiph before a St. Martin audience and visiting book fair guests. Dr. Rodney said that she was surprised to receive the honor. She said that the award could have been presented to any of the noted authors, academics, and activists that she had met at the literary festival’s 21st edition.

“The Presidents Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou, HNP’s consultant to the book fair.

The festival’s Main Book Launch and Closing Ceremony was held at the spacious Motorworld showroom in Cole Bay. The approximately 120 guests were welcomed by Imran McSood-Amjad, the company’s principal and regionally known businessman.

The theme of book fair 2023, “Resistance,” had already been elaborated on by Rodney in her keynote at the opening ceremony of the festival at Robert Weinum high school, La Savanne, Grand Case, November 23.

Over the three book fest days, visiting or zoomed in guest writers from Anguilla to Italy, the St. Martin public, and visitors to the island at book fair activities had become familiar with Dr. Rodney and key elements of her “Take action” ideas and work.

Dr. Patricia Rodney has lived and worked in Guyana—where Dr. Walter Rodney, her husband, historian, and revolutionary (reparationscomm.org), was assassinated in 1980 for his political activism.

At the Walter Rodney Foundation (WRF), Patricia Rodney and the Walter Rodney family continue to “champion Walter Rodney’s unwavering commitment to human rights, racial equity, and social justice.”

The foundation furthers “Walter Rodney’s legacy by sharing his work and fostering the utilization of his historical analysis and scholar-activism to effect transformative global change.” (walterrodneyfoundation.org)

Dr. Patricia Rodney has also lived and worked especially in education and health areas in Barbados, England, Tanzania, Canada, and the USA. The career of the seasoned public health professional spans health, adult education, and literacy, social work and women, gender, and development.

During her 15-year academic tenure at Morehouse School of Medicine, USA (1995-2010), she was promoted to MPH Program Director, Professor, Dept. of Community Health & Preventative Medicine, and Assistant Dean for Public Health Education. 

The Caribbean State, Health Care, and Women: An Analysis of Barbados and Grenada by Patricia Rodney was published in 1998. Her peer-reviewed academic articles have appeared in journals. Dr. Rodney is an Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Community Health & Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine.

Since 2011, Dr. Rodney became the CEO of Partners in Health, Education, and Development (PHEAD), “an international development consultancy organization. She has worked in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Lesotho, and South Africa,” said the WRF.

Among past recipients of the St. Martin Book Fair Presidents Award, which the Daily Herald has called a “prestigious award,” are David Comissiong (Barbados) Edwidge Danticat (USA/Haiti), Computech (St. Martin), Dorbrene O’Marde (Antigua), Casa de las Americas (Cuba), Benny Wenda (West Papua), Norman Girvan (Jamaica), George Lamming (Barbados), Duncan (Costa Rica), Drisana Deborah Jack (St. Martin), Quince Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados), Will Johnson (Saba), Fabian Adekunle Badejo (St. Martin), Nicole Cage (Martinique), and Derek Walcott (St. Lucia).

The Presidents Award is named after the presidents of book fair partners Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF), House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), and the University of St. Martin (USM), said Reiph.

CLF and the St. Martin Book Fair Committee organized the 21st Annual St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with the Collectivity of St. Martin, Computech, University of St. Martin, SOS Radio, and NIPA.


Launch and Free Giveaway of St. Martin Sea Life book this Saturday at Amuseum Naturalis

SAINT-MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) - The public is invited to the launch of a new book, St. Martin Sea Life, this Saturday from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. Attendees can get a free copy of the book in English or French at the launch.

St. Martin Sea Life is a book that explores the marine habitats surrounding this island, from mangrove wetlands and seagrass beds, to coral reefs and the open ocean. Readers will discover how each habitat is special, and get to know some of the unique animals that live in each one.

“We are very excited to launch this guide to the sea life of St. Martin,” said author Mark Yokoyama. “It shows some of the amazing things we can see in our seas. We also wanted to explain how these plants and animals depend on each other in language that is easy for anyone to understand.”

The book features over 140 vivid color photos that will captivate readers both young and old. The book has been published in English, French and bilingual editions. It was produced by Les Fruits de Mer, and will be distributed to local schools as part of the association’s book program. The French translation was done by Amandine Vaslet. “We’re thrilled to share this special marine life book with St. Martin students and teachers through our 2023 program,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “And we invite everyone to come celebrate the island’s undersea world at the launch!”

The free launch event and book giveaway will be held at Amuseum Naturalis on Saturday, Saturday, December 2nd from 9am to noon. Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of nature and heritage located in French Quarter, St. Martin. It is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

St. Martin Sea Life is also available from http://lesfruitsdemer.com, and for purchase on amazon.com worldwide. Teachers and youth group leaders interested in copies are encouraged to contact Les Fruits de Mer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Companies, organizations or individuals interested in sponsoring copies for schools are also encouraged to contact the association. 

This book was made possible with the financial support of the Office of Biodiversity of France, thanks to a micro-grant from Te Me Um, a program from the Office of Biodiversity of France to support biodiversity in French overseas territories (TErres et MErs UltraMarines).


CPS reminds the community about the importance of handwashing to prevent gastroenteritis this thanksgiving

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, reminds the community, and those working at food establishments and/or catering services, to properly wash their hands and prepare meals properly to prevent gastroenteritis this thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday season.

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestine a.k.a. stomach flu, which is usually due to acute infection by viruses or bacteria resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea and vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhea (three or more episodes within 24 hours). You might also have stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache.

Viruses and bacteria can be transferred through poor hygiene. They spread through contamination of hands, objects, hard surfaces, or food infected with the aforementioned. The virus enters your body via your mouth, this type of transmission is fecal-oral. Viral gastroenteritis may also be spread through coughing and sneezing.

For example, if someone does not wash their hands after going to the toilet, any viruses or bacteria on their hands will be transferred to whatever they touch, such as glass, kitchen utensil or food. Upon coughing and sneezing without using proper cough etiquette can spread viruses and bacteria.

To prevent the spread of the infection, wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food; clean the toilet, including the seat and handle, with disinfectant after each bout of vomiting or diarrhea; don’t share towels, cutlery and utensils with other household members; practice proper cough etiquettes and good hygiene practices and in consultation with your physician, you should not return to work until 48 hours after your last bout of vomiting or diarrhea.

Practicing good personal and food hygiene are essential in preventing gastroenteritis. Good food hygiene entails properly and regularly washing your hands; properly and regularly clean preparation area/surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water; never store raw food and cooked foods together; avoid cross contamination of foods; make sure that food is properly refrigerated; always cook your food thoroughly; and never eat food that has expired (past its shelf date or sales date; and check for expiration dates).

Good personal hygiene entails properly and frequently washing your hands prior to preparing food; ensure your clothing and food preparation area are clean; practice proper cough etiquettes in your food preparation area.

Consult your family physician if you have the vomiting/diarrhea and/or persisting symptoms so that your physician can refer you to the laboratory for confirmation and typing of the clinical diagnosis.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Christmas is coming to WPS on Sunday. You’re invited to the 8th Annual Lighting of the Tree

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Mark your calendar and get the family ready because Christmas 2023 is just around the corner and is coming to Philipsburg at the well-known Walter Plantz Square (WPS) at Down Street on Sunday afternoon, December 3rd.

Make it a family outing and kick-off the holiday season by joining-in the Lighting of the Annual Christmas tree at WPS from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM.

This is the eighth time that WPS will be lighting the Christmas tree at Walter Plantz Square. There will be entertainment and goodies for the kids.

Make WPS a place to visit this holiday season and beyond into 2024. It is a great location for visitors, family, and friends to hang out through the week or weekends.

Since its establishment, the Walter Plantz Square at Down Street has generated a new spirit of life into the area for locals and visitors alike.

The square is strategically located next to the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty which connects to the boardwalk/beach promenade, Down Street and Front Street.


Maria Eduardo: From Brand Ambassador 2022-2023 to Double Award Recipient for Face of WOHA 2023-2024

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Maria Eduardo from St. Maarten, who earned the title of Brand Ambassador last year after securing the second-place position in the Face of WOHA event, has achieved further recognition in the 2022-2023 term. This year, Maria received two prestigious awards: the "Woman of Hearts, Ace of Diamond" award and the "Women Who Support Women in Authenticity and with Love" award.

Maria's dedication to promoting the mission of Face of WOHA has been consistently evident, marked by her impactful social media marketing efforts throughout her term as Brand Ambassador. The additional awards this year underscore her unwavering commitment to empowering and uplifting women.

In acknowledgment of these honors, Maria Eduardo expresses her heartfelt thanks to Dr. Desziree Richardson the Creator of Face of WOHA. Maria pledges to persist in her mission of uplifting women, fostering authenticity, and spreading love.

Maria Eduardo extends heartfelt congratulations to Cheryl Dangleben-York for her remarkable achievement as the first-place winner, now proudly holding the title of Face of WOHA for 2023-2024.

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