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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1537)

Governor Holiday Visits Divi Little Bay Beach Resort as part of post hurricane recovery

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) – On March 15, 2018, His Excellency the Governor of Sint Maarten, drs. Eugene B. Holiday, paid a working visit to Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.

The visit is part of the Governor’s assessment of the post hurricane recovery progress on the island. The restoration and reopening of the hotel properties on the island is essential to the overall social and economic recovery.

The visit included a tour of the reconstructed areas including the renovated beach villas. The visit ended with a meeting with the management team where they discussed the plans of the hotel.

Governor Holiday was pleased to see the investments being made in the rebuilding and upgrade of the property and looks forward to the planned reopening of the property with 87 rooms in May this year.

This will be a welcome addition of rooms to boost the stayover visitors and the economy. Governor Holiday was received by the Divi Resorts President and COO (Chief Operations Officer) Marco Galaverna, General Manager Anne-Marie Brooks, Assistant General Manager Thijs Scheepens, HR (Human Resources) Director Krystal Wanga and Regional Manager Jan Ten Have. 


Minister of Tourism De Weever reminds interested persons to apply for CTO Scholarships and Study Grants

POND ISLAND – Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Cornelius de Weever, is encouraging interested persons and young people to apply for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Scholarship Foundation for study grants and scholarships.

The scholarship foundation is accepting applications for the aforementioned from Caribbean nationals in CTO member countries.  Sint Maarten is a member of the CTO.

The main aim of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training. 

The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.

The Foundation offers the following types of assistance and the various forms are downloadable from the Caribbean Tourism Organization website

  • Scholarships of up to US$12,000 to individuals wanting to study tourism or hospitality at the Master’s (post graduate) level.  Download 2018 Scholarship Application Form
  • Study grants of up to US$2,500 to individuals pursing tourism/hospitality studies at the certificate, diploma, associate degree or first degree level, and to industry personnel who want to gain proficiency in a second language to assist them in their job.  Download 2018 Study Grant Application Form
  • A scholarship of up to US$2,500 is offered in the name of CTO’s former Director of Research and Information Management, Mr. Arley Sobers, for persons working in local tourism organizations such as the Ministry of Tourism or the Board of Tourism, who wish to strengthen their skills in the areas of research and statistics. Download 2018 Arley Sobers Scholarship Application Form

Studies can be pursued both within and outside the region. 

Interested persons must fill out the forms, supply all of the necessary information and return them directly to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s headquarters, 7th Floor, Barbados Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados, Tel: 246-427-5242; Fax: 246-429-3065 by the deadline date of April 15, 2018.


Two-day CAP training workshop hosted by Fire Dept. and MDS concludes

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) in collaboration with the Fire Department, hosted a two-day Common Alert Protocol (CAP) JUMP START training which concluded on March 13.

Various government departments and agencies took part in the training which was sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and falls within the plan of St. Maarten to establish a CAP for dissemination of information to the public.

CAP is an international standard format for emergency alerting and public warning. It is designed for ‘all-hazards,’ related to weather events, earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, public health, power outages, and many other emergencies.

CAP is also designed for ‘all-media’ including communications media ranging from sirens to cell phones, faxes, radio, television, and various digital communication networks based on the internet.

The CAP format enables simultaneous communication of alerts for any kind of emergency over many different alerting systems, thus increasing effectiveness while simplifying the alerting task.

The training that started on Monday took place at the Government Administration Building on Pond Island.


Minister of Tourism & Economic De Weever encourages businesses to register for Build Back Better Week

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Cornelius de Weever, to register for the Build Back Better Week (BBB) which kicks off on March 16 and will take place over a five-day period.

The rebuilding after a natural disaster is a challenge for any country.  The Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Development States, a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) based on Aruba, and Ernst & Young (EY), a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services, are ready to support where rebuilding is concerned.

“I encourage our business community to register to take part in building back our country better which is offered during the upcoming five-day period.  Resources and information will be presented that can be used, and opportunities will be available via trade mission follow-ups,” Minister Cornelius de Weever said on Tuesday.

An information session is taking place at the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday, March 14 from 7.00pm to 8.30pm.  Interested businesses can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

COE and EY joined forces to launch a “Do-Tank”, an action-oriented Think Tank. They are funding this from their own regular budgets, from funds that they have made available and which were not previously allocated to support St. Maarten.

The COE and EY asked Present Your Startup Caribbean to contribute in the operational tasks and to organise a "Do trade" trade mission from the Netherlands to the Caribbean.

The COE and EY have also reached out to Chambers of Commerce to organize trade missions.

The intent of these activities is to surface solutions and catalyze actions that will help St. Maarten build back better, and for the resulting insights to help islands around the world to become more resilient.

The SXM Do-Tank will be organized 16, 17, 18 March, 2018,  and will be open, inclusive and collaborative.  The intention is to bring solutions to light and implement key rebuild activities together with key stakeholders on Sint Maarten.

The focus areas are derived from the National Recovery Plan (NRP) and emphasize sustainable tourism, renewable energy, and fostering entrepreneurship.

Simultaneously with the SXM Do-Tank, activities will be organized to facilitate the rebuilding of both the society and economy, for example, several trade missions to Sint Maarten.

This would allow the entrepreneurs to not only participate in the event and contribute in terms of concrete ideas, but also network with key contacts and gain more clarity of the business necessities and opportunities in rebuilding the society and economy of the country. This event will be parallel and Do-Trade will take place on 19 and 20 March 2018.


Governor Holiday to make informateurs report available to the public

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) – On March 12, 2018, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday received the report from the informateurs, Dr. R.J.A. Arduin and J.J. Beaujon.

The Governor thanked the informateurs for accepting and completing the assignment as planned. The findings of the report will be used as input for the process of the formation of a new government.

The Governor is discussing the report with the political leaders of the parties which are elected to parliament. Following the completion of these discussions the report will be made available to the public and a formateur will be appointed.


Rock N Vibes releases ‘Starting all over again’ video. Kenyo Baly reflects the resilience of St. Martin after Irma

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) – The images are a poignant reminder of the devastation that Hurricane Irma left behind. But it also inspires the many who have lost everything that we are a resilient people.

This is the message that Rock N Vibes producer, Bertaux ‘Mr. Rude’ Fleming captures in the four-minute video, ‘Starting all over again’, which made its world premiere on the worldwide web on Sunday, March 10.

Bringing reggae vibes to the Mel and Tim version of the 1970s classic, Kenyo Baly’s soulful voice captivates viewers as he “reports” amid the devastation which depicts emotional clips after the September 6, 2017 super storm that although “we lost what we had…and [the hurricane has] set us back 1000 years…we are going to make it.”

Fleming, who like many on the island, was hard-hit by the hurricane, explained he wanted something to bring motivation to the people, so he presented the idea to Kenyo and they decided to record the track, which was released late last year.

He said the track was so good that they had to make a video. The video is two-fold. It not only reminds the people of what the inhabitants experienced last year, but according to Fleming, it must also act as a reminder of what we don’t want to go through again.

Since the lyrics of the Mel and Tim version capture a very broad message, Fleming said the message is especially needed now, six months after Irma, as the struggle is still ongoing for many.

The video speaks to the jobless and homeless, the young and old, and those who may feel like giving up because they are feeling hopeless. The images, which were carefully selected, together with the lyrics, will leave an indelible mark in the memories of those who view it.

According to Fleming, he wanted to show the resilience of the people, and that although the process may be slow, there is hope. It speaks too of the new political era in which the island recently entered and encourages all that no matter the circumstances, we will get through it.

This latest video from Rock N Vibes, which was shot and directed by Joel Ayuk, or Cani TV on the north of the island, follows successful releases from the same label of artistes such as Ziggi Recado and Maikal X.

According to Fleming, who has been in the music production business for more than 20 years, the video will be featured across Europe, as well as on Tempo Networks, which broadcasts the music and culture of the Caribbean; and CaribVision, a Barbados-based television channel operated by the Caribbean Media Corporation. Persons can also view it on Facebook and YouTube.


Library participates in the SXM DOET. Closed on Monday

PHILIPSBURG — The Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) in close collaboration with Rotary Sunrise St. Maarten is participating in 2018 “Be the change SXM DOET Project” under the team DOET Project Library on Saturday March 10th, 2018 from 8 am to 5pm.

The PJL has been providing an important service to the people of St. Maarten by promoting knowledge and literacy for many decades.

However with the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, causing severe damage to the building structure and many books, the library has opted to participate with the SXM DOET project to further salvage the remaining books and items.

Saturday March 10th volunteers along with staff started with the salvaging and packing of the collection. This will be continued by the staff on Monday March 12th, 2018, therefore the library will be closed for the general public.

As of Tuesday March 13th, 2018 during opening hours 9am to 5pm we will continue our services.

We will continue offering customers access to our limited range of library materials, namely the children collection and a small selection of Adult Fiction and Non- Fiction, our internet Café, DVD’s, Photocopying, a lounge area, and newly improvised study area in the garden under the tent.

pjl inside1

pjl inside2


Informateurs to present report to Governor Holiday on Monday

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) - On March 8, 2018, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday received a second update from the informateurs, Dr. R.J.A. Arduin and J.J. Beaujon, on the progress of the information process.

The informateurs held meetings with representatives of political parties and the relevant stakeholders and emphasized that the discussions were constructive and positive.

The next few days the informateurs will be concluding their meetings. They have informed the Governor that they will finalize and submit their report to him as planned on Monday, March 12, 2018.


International Women’s Day reflections by Sarah

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “International Women’s Day (Ed IWD), March 8th is a day to reflect on the achievements of women all around the world as well as ponder on the goals and objectives yet to be achieved that would bring us closer to gender parity on all levels and in all spheres,” President of Parliament Sarah Wescot Williams said on Thursday.

“The IWD 2018 theme is Press for Progress, an urgent call not to give up as there is still a long way to go before parity is achieved and women all over the world enjoy the freedoms, rights and privileges affirmed to all men and women.

“On St. Maarten, we can look back on the resilience of our women in the face of disaster and the heroic and selfless deeds by so many of our sisters, daughters and friends. To all our caregivers and volunteers, we say “Thank You”.

“Amongst these women, we recognize the important work of our teachers, who mold future generations. To the women who put their lives on the line for the safety and security of others.

“And then there is you and you and me, ordinary women with extraordinary strength and determination to face each day with a renewed resolve to press on; who overcome the challenges of our daily lives and still can smile. “We Press for Progress, We Press on.”


CIBC FirstCaribbean Celebrates Mortgage Month. Makes Home Ownership a Reality

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – CIBC FirstCaribbean has added a new event to its bank’s calendar, Mortgage Month, a celebration of home ownership.

The month which was celebrated across the bank’s regional footprint throughout February was aimed at making the process of home ownership easy and a reality for many throughout the region.

“One of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s greatest rewards is making its client’s dreams a reality, there are few joys and proud moments such as turning the key to one’s new home. The bank makes this all a possible by offering up to 95% financing on new homes, affordable monthly payments, competitive interest rates, Home Insurance Protection Plans, and Easy Cover Loans.”, stated CIBC FirstCaribbean, Branch Manager, Perry Wilson.  

Potential home owners can learn more about home ownership from the bank’s Mortgage Specialists as well as its various partners, including realtors.

For more information, interested persons can contact Whitfield Vlaun, Manager, Sales and Service Center at telephone +1 721-544-3745 or Perry Wilson, Branch Manager at telephone +1 721-542-3511.

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