The Bahamas

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Supports Haiti/Bahamas Hurricane Relief

MIAMI – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is urging the region’s tourism industry stakeholders to assist with both immediate and sustained relief efforts to support the people of Haiti and parts of The Bahamas which were hardest hit by Hurricane Mathew this month.
“Our neighbors in Haiti and The Bahamas have borne the brunt of this powerful storm and the recovery and restoration process will be long and difficult,” said Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of the regional trade association.
Working with the national hotel and tourism associations in Haiti and The Bahamas, CHTA is directing tourism industry stakeholders to local organizations which are coordinating on-the-ground relief, accepting and directing donations of cash, equipment and supplies.
According to Troubetzkoy, a two-step approach is important for the destinations to rebound as quickly as possible. “First, we must meet the immediate needs of people. Beyond that, we need to support long-term efforts which are essential to sustained recovery”.
To do this, CHTA is developing a fundraising initiative through the online auction channelCharityBuzz.com with which CHTA previously collaborated on a relief and recovery project for Dominica. Regional hoteliers are invited to donate room nights for the auction to benefit residents in Haiti and The Bahamas who are struggling to put their lives back in order. Room nights can be contributed by contacting CHTA’s dedicated auction email atch4haiti@gmail.com.
In Haiti, Hurricane Matthew is reported to have claimed almost 1,000 lives and devastated the agricultural and fishing sectors, the island’s flora, natural attractions, schools and homes, leaving thousands of families homeless and unable to meet basic human needs.
In The Bahamas, reports indicate that the most severe damage occurred on Grand Bahama Island, North and Central Andros, and the Berry Islands.
National hotel and tourism associations have reported international airports are operational as are major seaports which will assist in the recovery operations and in welcoming visitors to those areas which were least impacted.
The majority of the hotels in The Bahamas are operating while others expect to be fully operational over the next several weeks. Similarly, in Haiti, 90 percent of the hotels are operating since the northern part of the country was not as severely affected as in the southwest part of the nation.
Items of greatest immediate need include: tarpaulin, building supplies, mattresses, bed linens, hygiene kits, water, diapers, evaporated milk, infant formula, wipes, baby clothes, soap, shampoo, shoes, solar powered lamps, non-perishable items, rice, flour, oatmeal, sugar, tuna, canned spaghetti, sardines, fruit cups, peanut butter, jam and corned beef
To assist with immediate relief, national hotel associations in The Bahamas and Haiti have advised that cash or in-kind contributions can be made as follows:
Haiti
Donations of Cash or Goods:
FOOD FOR THE POOR: www.foodforthepoor.org (Cash Donations)
SOW A SEED: www.sowaseedonline.org (Cash Donations)
MEDISHARE: www.projectmedishare.org  (Cash Donations)
PRODEV: www.prodevhaiti.org (Education Focused – there has been considerable damage to schools. Cash donations can be made on the website. For contributions of equipment and supplies contact info@prodevhaiti.org).

Goods can be donated by shipping them to: 777, Route Nationale # 1, Titanyen, Haiti
Telephone: 786 375-1234

The Bahamas
Donations of Cash:
Bahamas Red Cross – USD Monetary donations can be deposited through Destination CHASUS33, (IBK) JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, ABA021000021; Payable to Bank: /001 1 188448 (BBK) ROYCBSNS RBC Royal Bank Bahamas Limited.
Beneficiary Name: The Bahamas Red Cross Society, Account Number & Branch/ Transit / Account number 05165/ 289 423 6 – John F. Kennedy Drive Branch
Donations of Supplies/Goods:
For details on shipping goods/supplies duty and tax free, visit http://bit.ly/2dx1ZaP
About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing tourism interests for national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 50 years, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working together with 1,000 hotel and allied members and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their business. Whether navigating new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, data and intelligence or looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues that matter most.
For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

Bahamas stunning from all angles, including 220 miles above earth

Nassau, Bahamas– Forty-six years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, and Buzz Aldrin shared the first photograph from the Moon to Earth, Astronaut Scott Kelly is documenting his year in space with photos on Twitter. At the time, Buzz Aldrin’s photos was considered to be the most beautiful thing ever seen, and one of the things that stood out were The Bahamas gin clear waters. In response, UNICEF made a stamp of the photos and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism embraced this stunning image, with a poster and tagline, “The Waters of The Bahamas Are Out of This World.”

Astronaut Scott Kelly Shares Photo “Of Most Beautiful Place From Space”
Astronaut Scott Kelly Shares Photo “Of Most Beautiful Place From Space”

The latest images from space from Astronaut Scott Kelly documenting his year in space on the Space Station are just as, if not more so, compelling today. Kelly is posting a dearth of images and views of varying images of the earth from space, often not immediately recognizable, and always providing followers with a unique viewpoint to our planet. The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism was very excited to see his tweet on the 26th of April with a stunning image looking at the Earth seemingly from below, showcasing the stunning clear waters and pristine white beaches with the accompanying text, “Had first video conference with my youngest daughter today. Showed her the most beautiful place from space. #Bahamas.” The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism was not the only fan of the tweet as it was retweeted over a thousand times and favorited by over two thousand people.

Even from 220 miles away in the Space Station it is obvious that it really is better in The Bahamas. The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism encourages Astronaut Scott Kelly, and would like to invite him and his family to discover the magic of The Islands first-hand when he returns after his year in space as personal guests.

To find out more about everything The Bahamas have to offer and why it really is better there, visit Bahamas.com today.

About The Islands Of The Bahamas
The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone from Nassau and Paradise Island to Grand Bahama to The Abaco Islands, The Exuma Islands, Harbour Island, Long Island and others. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best golf, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway  and the Bahamian dollar at par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Acacia: Old Stories, Legends and Folk Tales

by Brenda McCartney

Recently I visited Rum Cay, Bahamas; a place that was extraordinarily comfortable and happy.  Its people and culture transported me to my home Montserrat.  It is remarkable that small communities like Rum Cay, Bahamas and Montserrat, West Indies have so much in common.  Rum Cay had about nine settlements now only one settlement, Port Nelson, remains settled with a population of eighty people most of the original inhabitants have moved to Nassau. Montserrat’s population was displaced because of an active volcano that made two thirds of the island uninhabitable. A Montserratian population once over twelve thousand now has approximately of four thousand with most of the original inhabitants now living in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Also like Montserrat, Rum Cay is very dark and quiet at night; there is a definite stillness outside the populated settlement, only the faint noise of the ocean and a few birds and insects can be heard.

While I was there I learned that Rum Cay has a pond that is called Mermaid Pond. Their legend has it that if a person gets the comb of the mermaid when she surface to plait her hair one will obtain instant wealth.  I was taken a back because Montserrat my island shares a similar legend:

There is a white mermaid who appears at the top of Chances Pond every Easter at midnight. Hundreds of Islanders would climb Chances Mountain which is 3002ft using torches. They said that one must arrive before dawn take the mermaids comb from her and ran to the sea before they could be caught they would be rich for life.

The Montserratian legend varies a bit from the one told in Rum Cay but the premise is the same.  Who can tell how far this legend is spread or where it really first originated?

There are so many old stories, legends, folk tales that I have come across in my reading and travels. Could it be that the legends were started to explain the night-time or silence of dusk? Could it also be that there was a similar legend in Africa and slaves took these stories with them where they settled? Or is it that these legends coincidentally evolved simply to entertain children and give hope and provide humor. If we compared Rum Cay and Montserrat to places like Nassau and United Kingdom both centers of migration we will see that many old legends and folk tales are being and have been lost? Will the next two generations know about our old stories that shaped our culture and made us who we are as these legends?

Do you know of similar stories that your ancestors told? I urge you to share your stories with the world, so that we may learn more about each other and so that those narratives are not forgotten forever.

Visit the Acacia blog for more great posts.