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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2325)

Nature Foundation Launches First Eco-Bracelet to show support in Protecting the Environment

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation St. Maarten presents their first Eco-Bracelets which identifies the carrier as an eco-warrior and symbolizes their commitment to a clean and sustainable St. Maarten, the project is made possible through the generous contribution from the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) on behalf of their members.

The Eco-bracelet is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric, which is the primary material used for the production of water bottles around the world. Billions of PET bottles are discarded each year and a significant amount of them become littered in the natural environment, representing one of the biggest waste problems on Earth.  

The first edition of the St. Maarten Eco-bracelet displays the text “Nature is our Future SXM”, which is the slogan of the Nature Foundation, along with an outline of our beloved island. Each Eco-Bracelet includes a flyer explaining what it means to wear the bracelet, how you can continue to support the Nature Foundation and a map of Sint Maarten’s Marine Protected Area and dive sites. 

“We are very excited to introduce the first Nature Foundation Eco-Bracelet and are looking forward to the support of the community in wearing the bracelets. We hope that residents and visitors of St. Maarten will proudly wear the Eco-Bracelets to show their support for nature conservation and protecting of our natural environment” stated the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. 

Eco-bracelets can be ordered now on the Nature Foundation’s website;,  and will be available for scheduled pick-up beginning June 1st, 2020 and orders of 5 bracelets or more can be delivered already. For a contributing donation of $10 one eco-bracelet will be provided, which directly supports the protection and enhancement of St. Maarten’s natural environment.

To increase nature awareness among tourism, the assistance of the business sector is essential, therefore the Nature Foundation offers a retail option for businesses to reach the visitors of our island. Bracelet displays made from up-cycled materials by the Waste Factory will be provide for free by a retail order of 20 or more, for more information businesses interested in retail can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organizations that manage the nature parks in the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and St. Maarten) face a structural shortage of financing to fulfil their nature management tasks, the Nature Foundation St. Maarten faces the greatest financial challenge.

On the other hand, nature is the basis for their economic and social development, as they are the key asset for the tourism sector, thereby creating jobs and generating funds for the government from related taxes. Nature also provide key attractions for tourism, cultural and recreational opportunities for residents, food, coastal protection, disaster protection and other services like climate and erosion control and key habitat for biodiversity. 

“The Nature Foundation, with the assistance of the WWF-NL, DCNA and the Wolfs Company, has been working very hard in order to create possibilities to increase sustainable funding for nature management, we are proud to launch the first step in the process, which is the Eco-Bracelet. We also would like to specially thank Ildiko Gilders, Maarten like St Maarten, Caribbean Association of Banks, the Waste Factory and Print & Sign Express for the involvement and their major contribution to make the Eco-Bracelet a reality” notated Nature Foundation’s Manager Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern. 

The Nature Foundation St. Maarten manages and preserves the nation’s nature areas and natural habitats, provides education and awareness, and conducts essential research and monitoring of species and ecosystems. 

These efforts include Coral Reef Monitoring, Sea Turtle nesting Monitoring, the management of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area, educational and outreach events, and much more. To learn more about what the Nature Foundation does or what you can do to help visit Every donation the Nature Foundation receives goes towards assisting the Foundation support and protect the environment of St. Maarten.

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SONESTA RESORTS SINT MAARTEN LAUNCHES PureCare. Will Utilize Anti-Pathogen Technology and Best Practices in their New Sanitization Program. On-Property Doctor and Hospitality Industry Health & Safety Expert Also Available

SINT MAARTEN (MAHO) - Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten, comprising the all-inclusive, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and the all-inclusive, family focused Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, today announce PureCare, the company’s new sanitization program ensuring the wellbeing, health and safety of their employees and guests, addressing the concerns of COVID-19.

PureCare has been developed following best practices from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), the Government of Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Public Health, and validated by local experts for maximum efficacy.

Pioneering sanitization practices in the destination, Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten will use a highly effective and long-lasting treatment, which involves a multi-step electrostatic application and coating process that works to immediately kill and prevent future pathogens from living on treated surfaces. EPA registered and FDA approved for direct contact food surfaces—making it ideal for the hospitality industry—the antimicrobial coating system has been proven to neutralize and constantly reduce pathogens by >99% on treated surfaces even after routine cleaning.

PureCare by Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten will encompass all areas of both resorts including guest rooms, lobby areas, reception, meetings and convention spaces, fitness center, public restrooms, elevators, corridors, bars, restaurants, fitness center, spa, and kid’s club, as well as the back of house employee-only areas. 

The overall PureCare protocol will include initiatives as follows:
Employee Protocols
Team members reporting for work will pass over a chemical mat to disinfect footwear, go through a thorough disinfection process for clothing and personal effects, and undergo daily temperature checks. Staff will be assigned to fixed shifts that do not meet or overlap during changeovers to contain the spread of a possible infection. All staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to, KN95 masks and gloves as well as face shields for designated positions.

Overall Guest and Employee Safety Measures
The resort has an on-property doctor and a Hospitality Industry Health & Safety Expert trained in mitigating the risks of spreading viruses. An appropriate set of procedures in accordance with Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Health and CDC guidelines is in place should an employee or guest test positive for COVID-19. Further, physical barriers will be placed strategically in high traffic areas including the lobby, restaurants and indoor common areas wherever safe social distancing cannot be maintained, defined at six feet, or two meters, as well as limiting the occupancy in elevators. Physical distancing between guests not traveling together will be encouraged, and guests are required to wear masks whenever appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained.

Welcome/Check in
Guests will be urged to utilize mobile check in and check out to limit front desk interaction, and for those not paying with a mobile app, we have new TAP credit card machines as a touchless option. An infrared surveillance system will take guests’ temperature upon arrival, and whenever accessing certain areas of the resort. Social distancing floor markers will be placed in all high traffic areas and new lobby furniture layout will further support social distancing requirements. Safety screens will be installed at all service desks and one check agent will be assigned at each station that will be disinfected after each shift. Check-in will be moved to 4pm to allow time for enhanced cleaning measures.

Guests will receive sealed welcome packages with contactless room access bracelets, and are further encouraged to use their Smartphones to stay up-to-date on resort information with the Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten app. Guests will enjoy larger shuttles that will ensure safe social distancing, each fully cleaned after each use, and the exterior of guests’ luggage will be fully disinfected upon arrival.

Restaurants & Bars
The resorts will enable guests to use a QR code when viewing restaurant menus. A redesign of the resorts’ buffet restaurant will eliminate all multi-touch points, manage guest flow and maintain social distancing. All restaurant floor plans will be redesigned to optimize social distancing from groups or families not traveling together, and expanded, outdoor seating will be added to restaurants and bars. A dedicated sanitation staff will be assigned to disinfect tables and chairs and other touch points after each seating.

Accommodations & Hygiene
A welcome amenity kit will include facemasks, hand sanitizer and gloves for guests to use during their stay. All guest rooms will be fully treated with antimicrobial solution with electrostatic application. Non-essential items from the room will be eliminated including magazines, decorative pillows and other items. Pool towels will be placed in room to avoid contact with pool attendants. Guests will be encouraged to use their Smartphones to control their televisions.

Housekeeping staff will wear PPE including masks, face shields, gloves and shoe guards at all times. The staff will follow a strict sanitation procedure and check list to ensure a deep clean of high touch points in all guest rooms including lamps, light switches and electronic controls; handles and knobs on doors, thermostat, closets, drawers, and drapery pull handles; and bathroom surfaces including toilet handles, seats, shower/tub controls and sink faucets. Bath amenities, furniture, hard surfaces, safe, iron and ironing board and in-room beverage amenities such as ice bucket, mini bar, coffee maker will also be paid specific attention. Further, all multi-touch items including, but not limited to, telephones, TV remote controls and alarm clocks will be sanitized and sealed. A thorough steam cleaning and antimicrobial treatment will be done on mattresses and curtains between stays along with a deep clean of bed and bedding including all bed linens, duvet covers, pillow cases and sheets. A clean seal will be placed on rooms after inspection by a supervisor.

The Resort Experience
Lobby and all public area furniture and soft furnishings will be spaced safely according to social distancing requirements and treated with the antimicrobial coating system. Public touch points such as elevator buttons, handrails and door handles will be constantly sanitized, and public restrooms will receive an increased regimented cleaning with HALT, a hospital-grade cleaner. Hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the resorts, and at each elevator and the resorts are installing foot door openers where needed, to eliminate touch points and add additional safety measures.

The resorts will feature a larger man-made beach area allowing for comfortable social distancing. All beach and pool sun loungers are serviced with the antimicrobial treatment, are regularly disinfected between use and are placed six feet or two meters apart in sets, so groups traveling together can safely enjoy their time together.

The Serenity Spa will abide by all new hygiene and sanitation protocols, and appropriate social distancing measures, offering a new treatment menu reflecting enhanced safety precautions.

Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten welcomes guests when they will be ready to travel offering peace of mind that all health and hygiene procedures are in place; a safe haven to ensure the future security and wellbeing without compromising comfort for an enjoyable vacation experience.

Sonesta St Maarten Resorts panorama



Minister Richardson to meet Justice Committee of Parliament to discuss draft Penal Procedure Code related to CFATF

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Tuesday May 19, 2020 Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with the Justice Committee of Parliament, to discuss the pending approval of the draft Penal Procedure Code.

However, due to the requested urgent meeting of Parliament concerning government’s deadline to respond to the conditions posed by the Kingdom government as it relates to St. Maarten receiving financial assistance to cover the cost of the St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP), the scheduled meeting has been postponed until Friday, May 22, 2020.

Considering that to date, little headway has been made by various Ministers of Justice and various Parliaments in moving the handling of the Penal Procedure Code forward considerably, Minister Richardson has opted for a different approach by requesting the scheduled meeting of Tuesday May 19, 2020 to be held behind closed door.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting being requested, the Minister and her legal team reviewed the proposed amendments made by Members of Parliament and considered the proposed amendment achievable. Minister Richardson is of the opinion that further discussions in a closed setting will allow for a more open exchange of views and will lead to all parties reaching consensus.

After which the discussions will then be brought to a public meeting for decision-making and will see the majority of Parliament vote to pass the law. “The deliberations on this draft Penal Procedure have been ongoing for some time now. It is lamentable that to date, the public discussions that were held did not produce satisfactory results. What we have seen is St. Maarten been given a public statement.

“Thankfully, despite being in the same space as it relates to the draft Penal Procedure Code, the FATF matrix was completed and sent on to the CFATF Secretariat in Trinidad and Tobago on April 30, 2020 to further confirm the passing and enactment of the Civil Code and the Penal Code in 2019,” said Minister Richardson.

St. Maarten having submitted the matrix puts the country on a positive rhythm with the FATF regulations and brings it closer to move out of the third round and into the fourth round. Minister Richardson looks forward to attending the CFATF Plenary session in November 2020, gaining a positive review for St. Maarten and thereby applying to move to the fourth round in May 2021 and having the public statement lifted for the country.


Minister of Justice visits Police Headquarters

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday morning, May 18, 2020, the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson paid a visit to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters, the law enforcement agency said in a statement on Monday evening.

The Minister, under guidance of the Chief Inspectors B. Gout and D. Baptist together with Head of Operations Glenda Pecht, got a firsthand  opportunity to visit the police station in Philipsburg, the prison, dispatch center as well as other departments within the main police station.

As the new hurricane season is rapidly approaching, the Minister assessed the progress made on the work being done to the police station following the damages caused by the passing of hurricane Irma back in 2017.

The visit was a success and the Minister was pleased with the overall progress and will be making more visits in the future to continue to assess the progress and continuous growth of the organization. (KPSM)

min just visit to police


Bertha could form around mid-June

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather over the weekend in a long-term outlook said that the next possible tropical weather development after tropical storm Arthur could be mid-June, and the next name in line would be Bertha.

“I think that the next chance for tropical development will be towards mid-June as the next upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation pushes into the Atlantic. The current upward motion pulse of the MJO helped to form Arthur and I think that it will help to develop our next tropical system towards mid-June.

“One item of note is that June of 2005, June of 2006 and June of 2007 are all showing up as analogs for this coming June. This is notable because there was a tropical storm that formed in the western Caribbean and moved towards the eastern Gulf of Mexico & affected either the Florida Panhandle or the west coast of Florida in early June in each of those years (Arlene in 2005, Alberto in 2006 and Barry in 2007),” Crown Weather pointed out in its weekend analysis of upcoming weather activity.




SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday May 15th, Social & Health Insurances SZV Director Mr. Glen A. Carty addressed near 113 SZV employees in an interactive video conference call. Over the past two months, SZV employees have been working remotely to maintain services to customers.

While daily virtual meetings have already become the norm at SZV, the virtual general staff meeting was organized to have an inclusive exchange with all employees on the global uncertainties related to COVID-19 and the impact on St. Maarten.

SZV employees chimed in during the virtual meeting with recommendations to continue offering online and phone services to customers, cost-cutting measures, the importance of using technology to improve data management, and syncing data with government entities to improve compliance.

Management updates, Q&A and employee recommendations were shared during the virtual meeting, as the organization finetunes it’s plans to transition to the “new normal” that COVID-19 has presented. Mr. Carty thanked and commended staff once again on their commitment, professionalism and teamwork to ensure that SZV could stay ‘open online’ and serve Sint Maarten during this pandemic.

In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, about 80% of SZV’s internal operations was restructured and fast-tracked to support staff working from home and online data management. As a result, customer services have remained accessible by phone, e-mail, website and SZV’s Facebook page.

On the topic of phased re-opening of the SZV office, Mr. Carty reiterated to employees that, “proper health and safety conditions come first, and we are busy making sure that this is in place before the first shift of staff can start working from the office routinely again. We will work in a combination of shifts and remotely. COVID-19 will no longer allow us all to be physically in the office at the same time anymore or to physically attend to hundreds of customers a day. We cannot get relaxed about the health and safety guidelines, we must embrace technology to help us keep ourselves, our families and customers safe.”


Police is implementing its phase 1 post-COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan. Two stolen vehicles recovered during controls over the past two days

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Police Force of Sint Maarten is busy implementing its post-COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan, the law enforcement agency announced on Thursday.

This action plan was laid out by the Minister of Justice, the Honorable A. Richardson during her press briefing on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.

One of the operations flowing out of the action plan is maintaining public order during the set curfew hours and deterring car thefts and burglaries.

During the operational phase, police officers stopped and controlled several vehicles that were suspected of being stolen. During one of these controls, the officers stopped the driver of a Kia Sportage with the number plate M-325 on the W.J.A. Nisbeth Road on Thursday afternoon, May 14th, 2020.

During inspection of the vehicle the officers became aware that the VIN numbers were tampered with and certain parts of the vehicle were changed. The driver with the initials A.W. was immediately arrested and brought to the police station in Philipsburg where he is being held for questioning.

On May 13th, 2020 about 05.00 pm, the officers also stopped and arrested two (2) suspects for driving a Hyundai Grand I10 that was reported stolen.

While doing a safety search on the clothing of the passengers, a quantity of marijuana was found in his possession and it was immediately confiscated. The suspects with the initials T.H. and F.B.L. are being held at the station pending further investigation. The police will be intensifying these types of controls in the future. (KPSM)


Odds are increasing for a pre-season storm says weather watchers. Would be named Arthur

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – A tropical disturbance near Cuba and the southern Bahamas has the attention of weather watchers and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami.

Brian McNoldy, Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, on Tuesday said the aforementioned system has the potential to develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone this weekend, and would be the first named-storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

A pre-season named storm is nothing new and if this system further develops, it will become the 6th consecutive year.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and runs through November 31st.



BirdsCaribbean Celebrates Local Birds with Online Learning and Activity Program “From the Nest”

SINT MAARTEN/SAINT-MARTIN - Looking for fun ways to learn at home? BirdsCaribbean has launched “From the Nest” with new activities every day. It is this year’s online version of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF).

The festival is an annual event organized each spring by BirdsCaribbean. It brings people of all ages together, right across the region. Normally, partners host activities like birding walks, presentations, and art contests. The goal is to raise awareness about the 171 unique birds that live only in the Caribbean and threats to their survival. The festival begins on April 22 and is celebrated through May.

“The goal of CEBF is exactly the same, but this year we are celebrating in a completely different way – from our homes,” explained Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean Lisa Sorenson. “Due to the challenges of COVID-19 and restrictions on citizens’ movements across the islands, our partners are unable to organize their usual wonderful, vibrant events. At BirdsCaribbean we have created a “virtual festival” with online discussions and activities that are both fun and educational. Our partners have been playing their part!”

Colouring pages from the recently published Endemic Birds of the West Indies Colouring Book are making their debut online. A new bird is presented each day on BirdsCaribbean’s website, with details, puzzles, eBooks, and activities to keep children, teens, and adults busy! The artist who made the fine bird drawings, Christine Elder, recently streamed a live hands-on workshop on sketching hummingbirds, which attracted budding artists of all ages.

BirdsCaribbean partners are doing their own CEBF projects on their social media pages. Cuban groups and the University of Havana have joined to present an Endemic Cuban Bird of the Day on social media. Antigua’s Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) has a weekly theme under the hashtag #NatureStillOpen. They invite followers to share photos online. The group is also hosting a six-part webinar on “Birding for Beginners,’ which started on May 1.

BirdLife Jamaica is posting its endemic birds on its Facebook page and joined an online meet-up on the arts and environment organized by Kingston Creative. Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources reached out to a 7th Grade Students for a talk about the island’s endemic birds and ornithologist, Dr. Adrianne Tossas gave a webinar, “Getting to Know the Endemic Birds of Puerto Rico.” The Bahamas National Trust’s Scott Johnson explored the mysteries of the legendary Chickcharney, an owl-like creature from folklore, in a fascinating webinar.

CEBF celebrations online will continue into June. Visit the to find From the Nest activities, or follow BirdsCaribbean and your local nature groups on social media.

birds Bridled Quail Dove Puzzle

Online puzzles of gorgeous Caribbean endemic birds, like this Bridled Quail-Dove, are available for kids and adults to enjoy at home.
 birds CEBF From the Nest
 Artwork created for the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival 2020 Virtual Edition, called “From the Nest.”.




Ti Koko and Kush Kush, it’s also a storybook for many of us held up at home by COVID-19, by Shasa Lake

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Ti Koko and Kush Kush by Patricia G. Turnbull is a storybook for boys and girls, ages 4 to 9, set on the lush bayside of Garden Bay on a tropical island paradise. Sounds familiar? If you have grown up on or near a beach, or wish that you did, this is sooo your story. If you’re from the countryside or city it’s also off to a magical place for your children, and you too. 

Ti Koko and Kush Kush is about “a happy little coconut tree and a friendly, wise yam” in a small community, reviews Nicole Phillip-Dowe on the book’s cover.

What happens on the bayside is not all happy, however. The little coconut tree is soon physically crushed by “Brogudoosh!,” a big new development thing that bullies its way onto the beach. The coconut starts to bawl, “I’ll never grow tall to stir the breeze and brush the sky.”

The breadfruit doesn’t know what to do, the calabash is crying. It’s Kush Kush yam to the rescue of Ti Koko and rallies the neighborhood: “Remember your roots,” she said, “or you will fall! You must stand on your roots to reach that high.”

Turnbull’s choice of the yam as a culture-bearer is brilliant. The yam has a royal origins legacy deep in the psyche of Caribbean people. It’s also a staple to “nyam” in our cuisine (yes, I’m a foodie), and a main survival food for over 300 years.

As for the coconut, respect to one of the oldest living natives of the region.

I’m always collecting children’s books for the beauty of the story and of the book’s design, which helps to make reading exciting in the home.

But I’m also thrilled that the book’s plants and trees bear fruits and vegetables that we can “culture” in our yard. They stay connected and care for each other in very difficult times. A storybook that may also be perfect for people held up at home by the COVID-19 pandemic—affecting island communities and countries on continents.

When I bought Ti Koko and Kush Kush for my girls, Amisha, and the youngest, Sanaa, it was because I loved its message in words and pictures. Strong roots define who you are, what you will become and keeps you grounded, literally.

Amisha was the first to say that she loves the book. The easy reading means that she can also be the proud big sister, acting as a storyteller to Sanaa anytime.

The colorful art by Reuben Vanterpool, exclusive for Ti Koko and Kush Kush, illustrates the poem-story’s talking plants and fruits, fishermen with their boat on the beach, farmers by moonlight, and children going home after school (hurricane Irma destroyed the original oil paintings).

This is the second oversize, hardcover book from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) that I’ve bought for children and fell in love with to my own amazement. I’m happy to know that a Caribbean publisher and writers in the region are creating such wonderful work. This happiness is shared as the joy in my voice when I read these stories to my children. 

Ti Koko and Kush Kush is available for Internet orders at www.SPDbooks (, Amazon, and from Van Dorp and other bookstores in the Caribbean and Canada.

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Ti Koko and Kush Kush, colorfully illustrated storybook by Patricia G. Turnbull.

nhp Photo2 art by ReubenVanterpool bayside TiKokoKushKush

Caribbean bayside artwork by Reuben Vanterpool in the storybook Ti Koko and Kush Kush by Patricia G. Turnbull. (Credit HNP photo)



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