Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Launch of Buccament Bay Resort

Invitation to attend pre-opening launch of Buccament Bay Resort In the presence of The Rt Hon Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent & The Grenadines

An open weekend to celebrate the pre-opening of Buccament Bay Resort July 2010, A 5 star luxury resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines including Liverpool Football Club Soccer School, Pat Cash Tennis Academy, Trader Vic’s restaurant, Alaia Spa created & operated by ESPA .

Location: The Bobby Moore Room – Wembley Stadium
When: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th April 2010
RSVP or call + 44 (0) 1268 24 24 60
For more information visit

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th April 2010 11:00am to 6:00pm
(last admission 2:00pm)
Welcome by the Rt Hon Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent & The Grenadines
Andy Townsend, Harlequin’s Ambassador
Pat Cash will talk about the Pat Cash Tennis Academy
Ex-players will talk about the Liverpool Football Club
Sven Koch will introduce Trader Vic’s & the new restaurant concepts

Bringing the Best of Broadway to the Caribbean. Contemporary musical theatre performance by the Harlequin Performing Arts Academy with performers from the West End & Broadway

Explore the stunning interior of a villa Meet members of the hotel management team Find out about the new restaurant concepts
& menus Indulge in a mini treatment from the Alaia Spa Visit the holiday reservation desk & take advantage of the special offers
Meet the sales team & find out how to invest in a Harlequin Property Try a Trader Vic’s Mai Tai cocktail

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A guide to Owia Salt Ponds

by Edward James

The Owia Salt Pond can be found on the North Eastern Coast of St Vincent. The ponds are located just through the traditional Carib village of Owia, which is a couple of hours drive from Georgetown. Despite being such a small island it seems to take forever to get anywhere in St Vincent, but then I guess this is down to the mountainous profile of the island and the rough dirt tracks that replace tarmac roads once you get in the more "out of the way" and remote parts of the island.

Even though the journey is long, it is not at all boring as the scenery all over this island is just so beautiful. Along the way, you see lush green foliage, exotic plants, coconut trees, banana plantations, sugar cane plantations and other greenery as you pass through small villages and the like. The views are simply stunning and get even better as you pass through the Rabacca Dry River (which was created by the ash flow from the 1902 eruption of La Soufriere) and head on through the black point tunnel (a tunnel dug by the British in 1851 that used slave labour). En route you will also see the gorgeous black sand beaches and the rocky shoreline of the island protruding in to the Atlantic Ocean.

Upon reaching the salt ponds all vehicles must be parked on the top of the cliff overlooking them in an ample sized piece of wasteland off the track. From there it is the descent down the steep cliffs to the shore below. Navigating the cliffs is no problem and extremely safe as there is a designated set of man-made steps down to the beach.

The salt ponds are natural phenomenon and were made during the last eruption of La Soufriere, during which the molten lava flow reached the sea, instantly cooled and a new rock formation was born. This formation holds many pools of water, which are constantly refreshed, and aerated by the Atlantic Ocean’s waves crashing over the rocks and spilling through the many holes in the rocks. When you think of pretty things I’m sure a load of drab and gray rocks wouldn’t spring to mind, but the salt ponds do have their own unique beauty about them and they are well worth a photograph or two.

Historically the locals have used the salt ponds for therapeutic baths and after taking a quick dip, it is easy to see why. Since the pools are unable to escape the rocky formation the water gets very warm in the sunlight and it is almost like being in a bath, at the shallower ends furthest away from the Atlantic Ocean that is. However, if you want contrast then

finding a rock where Atlantic is coming in through a hole or go to the end where the waves are crashing over the formation and you will get a very refreshing stream of water.

The whole experience is very relaxing although for those of you wanting a bit more "action" then there are several places for jumping in and diving and the water is more than deep enough to allow this to be done in safety. In addition, the salt ponds are home to a variety of reef fish and there are even coral formations so it is an ideal place to grab a mask and go snorkeling. With the abundant amount of marine life you don’t have to go far to see something interesting.

As you would expect the salt ponds are extremely salty making it an ideal place for less confident swimmers. The salt content keeps you afloat and makes it ideal for just laying in the water in the sun. It is almost impossible to drown, which is good in some respects but not so good if you want to swim under the water as it makes it that much harder work. 

If the salt ponds were in the Western world then tourists would probably be charged for parking, getting to see the salt ponds and bathing in the, however since they are in St Vincent access is given totally free. The only cost will be getting to and from the salt ponds, or the cost of the excursion if done through a tour operator, making it great value for money.

The salt ponds are a wonderful place and very interesting. Just looking at the rock formation and pondering over how it was constructed will lead to many questions and excite geologists and those nature lovers with an inquisitive mind. A dip in the ponds can be as relaxing or therapeutic as you’d like so it is a place that will cater for all needs, and the fact that entrance is totally free makes it even better.

Where Worries Take A Back Seat...

,,, To Swinging Barbeques, Soft Sandy Beaches And Culture Rich Holidays

For those looking to have serious fun when visiting the beautiful Caribbean islands called St. Vincent’s and Grenadines, there is nothing like learning about its best tourist attractions in order to be prepared for the beauty, joy and wonder that awaits them so they can ready up to have it all!

Yes, we are not kidding you! A holiday to the historically rich and culturally vibrant St. Vincent and the Grenadines islands set amid the vast Caribbean Sea is just what the doctor ordered for all those who seek and cannot find true vacation pleasures even at the best luxury resorts on exotic beaches in other parts of the world – because these are nothing like the pure and pristine beauty of a lush, tropical and colorful escape with some of the top sailing opportunities in the world!

Furthermore, St. Vincents and Grenadines unspoiled beauty is perfect for even Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ so appeals to fans of the movie and the stars of the film alike. Its clear coastline was considered ideal for the authentic colonial backdrop needed for the making of this super hit Hollywood film.

But, that’s not the only success story linked with St. Vincents and Grenadines – Mick Jagger, of the Rolling Stones fame, found the beauty of this famed Caribbean island so fascinating that he couldn’t resist buying himself a bungalow on Grenadines island paradise called Mustique and a lot of high flying business owners seem to be following suit now, purchasing vacation homes here.

So, there must be some truth to the statement that worries take a back seat when at St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines – and for all you know the immense scope for beachfront barbeques and culture rich holidays filled with historical insights into the background of the island and its growth may have something to do with it!!

Situated between the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful blue of the Caribbean Sea, St. Vincent measures 133 sq. miles and lies just north of Trinidad and Tobago while Grenadines measures approx 20-40 sq. miles only. The capital city of St. Vincent’s is called Kingstown and its botanic gardens are well worth a visit. Apart from the local French Patois, English is also widely spoken here with Anglican, Roman Catholic and some Methodist crowds totaling the local population’s major denominations here.

The Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is the local official currency here has been fixed to the U.S. dollar and makes for easy shopping and conversion for visitors who should remember that local tipping recommendations on St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines is typically 10 to 15%. June to November being the hurricane season is best avoided but other months are favorable for tourists who like to enjoy the sunny climate of 81 degrees averaged annually.

As mentioned earlier, the most popular tourist activity for foreigners visiting St. Vincent is the fantastic opportunity for sailing around the Grenadines, which is made up of many tiny islands together spanning a 40-mile-long strip dotted in places by white sandy beaches girding turquoise blue oceanic waters.

Many tourists charter a yacht, but if you find that taking the local ferry works out more affordable and enjoyable for you, the option is always available for sailing from one island here to another and is a popular one too.

On reaching a particular island like St. Vincent for example, you can alight and hike or enjoy a leisurely walk around lush natural greenery covered areas that house extinct volcanoes, old hilly settlements, and active volcano La Soufrière, besides tour the rainforest, or even picnic at Trinity Falls or Falls of Baleine for a great holiday of your choice – in your budget.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bicentenary in Venezuela

A call to unity to build the Greater Homeland marked the start of the events for the bicentenary of the beginning of the Venezuelan heroic deeds with a homage to Simon Bolivar.

Hugo Chavez honored Bolivar at the National Pantheon.
Nine Heads of State or government of the region participated along with President Hugo Chavez in placing a wreath to Bolivar at the National Pantheon, where his remains lie.

At the ceremony, which was an introduction to the ninth Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), Chavez ratified that the leadership of the fathers and mothers of the Homeland remain after 200 years of struggle.

Presidents Evo Morales (Bolivia), Raul Castro (Cuba), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Prime Ministers Baldwin Spencer (Antigua and Barbuda), Roosevelt Skerrit (Dominica) and Ralph Gonsalves (St Vincent and the Grenadines) participated in the ceremony as well as Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez and Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.

The commemoration of the bicentenary of the beginning of the pro-independence struggle includes a civic-military parade at Los Proceres avenue and a formal session at the National Assembly, where Cristina Fernandez will be the orator.

by PL — Apr 19, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PM Facebook Entry Fraudulent

By SVG Today Correspondent on 4/20/10

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves does not have a Facebook account and said that he did not authorize anyone to set up one for him.

Speaking after a press conference held at Cabinet Room on Monday, the PM said that he was told by his daughter Isis a few months ago that he was on Facebook. He added that she even brought up the page and showed him how many friends he had.

“I have never created a Facebook profile,” stressed Gonsalves, adding “as a matter of fact I am not on any of the other social networks either.”

The PM said that he does not know, “who set up the profile”, But seemed carefree about the fictitious profile. He added, “they even have some of my information wrong like for instance where I went to school”.

The Vincentian Prime Minister is not the first regional Prime Minister to have a profile set up for him that he did not authorize. In an article published online by the Nation News on March third this year, Natasha King, Press secretary to Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson, made it clear that the online Facebook profile for Thompson, which has photos of the Prime Minister at various events, and has more than 500 friends, is “fraudulent”.

Our local Prime Minister’s page has some 190 friends. He also has a fan page with 1,230 fans. The fan page has links to youtube that when clicked on, brings up information on the International Airport Development Corporation (IADC).

The PM’s page claims that he is a member of the groups, “PASSIONATE LABOUR/SOUFRIERE CONCERN GROUP; OUR AFRIKAN HERITAGE MAGAZINE; Walter Rodney and Acadia Caricom Society”. Also, the profile says that the PM is a fan of 13 other Facebook groups, including Barrack Obama, MeggawattZ Productions and I Love St.Lucia.

The PM’s Press Secretary Hans King said during a telephone interview on Wednesday that the PM is not really troubled about the profile and has not informed him of any actions to be taken to get the profile removed from Facebook.

“This may have been done by one of our supporters and once it is not being used to do anything bad I don’t think it’s a problem”, said King.

The PM’s friend page is blocked and persons wishing to become friends have to first await a friend confirmation from the user. However, the Ralph Everard Gonsalves fan page does not require a friend request be made or confirmation of the request; anyone can join.

An internet document says that Facebook makes it fairly easy to report a fake profile.

It goes, “if you already have a Facebook account simply visit the Facebook “Report a Fake Profile” page and enter the requested information. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can ask a friend that does have an account to report the fake page on your behalf. Alternatively, you can send an email to “”. Briefly explain that a fake profile has been created in your name and provide your contact information so that a member of the Facebook support team may contact you to investigate the matter further”.

It adds, “someone setting up a fake Facebook profile in your name may be a sign of even more serious identity theft”.

Monday, April 19, 2010

GHS Centennial Activities 2011

From: Cheryl King <>
Subject: (5) Schedule-GHS Centennial Activities 2011 and countdown starting in 2010
Date: April 18, 2010 9:17:55 PM GMT-04:00

(1) Please note the schedule of activities below for the GHS centenary celebrations of 2011.
(2) Pass on the information to any GHS sisters with whom you are in touch,
organizations to which you/they belong, put on other websites and also other outlets willing to help with the publicity to which you/they have access.Thanks.
(3) For an account of the yearlon celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the
Girls’ High School, which will begin on Friday, May 7, 2010, see below and website:
(4) Suggest a catchy theme- send to by May 2, 2010.
For more information please contact Joye Browne.
Cheryl Phills King.
Proposed Centenary Week and Post Centenary Activities​
From:Joye Browne (
Sent:Thu 4/08/10 1:22 PM
Hi Cheryl,

The local Association has put together a draft Week of Activities for the 100th
anniversary of our Alma Mater as well as a suite of activities for the carnival season
when many Vincentians return home. We stress that these proposals are not cast in
stone. We would welcome your feed back. Also we are planning a year in advance.
the dates are therefore subject to change that may result from unforeseen events.

We have already selected a logo based on competition from among the current
student body. We wonder if you can help us with a catchy theme for the
celebrations. Not too long, so it can be captured on a banner and be on everyone's

Here's the draft programme:
Draft Centenary Week & Post Centenary Events​
From:Joye Browne (
Sent:Thu 4/08/10 2:24 PM
Sunday May 1, 2011 Ceremony to light up school compound
Monday May 2, 2011 National Holiday (Labour Day)
Tuesday May 3, 2011 Centenary March & Sports (In house colours)
Wednesday May 4, 2011 Launch of Commemorative Magazine (AM)
GHS Talent Explosion (PM)
Thursday May 5, 2011 Exhibition (Craft, art work, publications,
Penultimate Event of Lecture Series (PM)
Friday May 6, 2011 Exhibition
Saturday May 7, 2011 Gala Awards Dinner & Dance;
Countdown to midnight
Fireworks Display at Midnight
Sunday May 8, 2011 Service (ArnosVale, Mike Findlay Stand)

Post Centenary Events

June 22/23, 2011 School's Graduation Ceremony
June 28, 2011 Cruise up the Leeward Coast
July 3, 2011 Carnival Sunday Brunch (Villa Beach)
July 7, 2011 Symposium, concluding Lecture Series Event.
Theme: Quo Vadis, GHS?
July (?), 2011 Oldie Goldie Costume Fete

As you can appreciate, finance will be a determining factor but we will put our financial wizards to work to see how far we can realize these events.

Please let us have your feed back. We do appreciate you. Solidarity greetings as we approach the culmination of our 99th year of existence.
Joye Browne
From:Joye Browne (
Sent:Tue 3/16/10 2:40 PM
Hi Cheryl,

We have planned a week of activities starting Sun May 1 and culminating on Sun May 8, 2011, the anniversary date. In light of the fact that this may be an awkward date as some have said we will extend the celebrations to the June/July carnival season when persons are most likely to be back home.
We have not finalized a programme of events but we are planning to have a boat ride up the Leeward coast, a fun sports day at Black Point or Owia, a concert and cocktail. It would be very important for us to know if persons are planning to be back home then and what events they would like to have. Also we would like to know what the Summit committees are working on so we could have an idea of what is achieved as legacy of our anniversary.

Meanwhile we are working on the Launch for this May 2010. On the 7th we will have a Torch Relay to end at the school with the lighting of of torch to last the whole year. On May 8th we have the first of the Lecture Series with a reception after and on the next day there will be Church Services and a Tea with a Mother/ Daughter pageant to mark Mothers' Day. We have had to postpone the Flower Spectacular because we are undergoing a terrible
drought. We are still fine-tuning details; we will publish these shortly.

Best wishes,
Joye B.

Celebration of Bicentenary in Venezuela

Apr 19, 2010

A call to unity to build the Greater Homeland marked the start of the events for the bicentenary of the beginning of the Venezuelan heroic deeds with a homage to Simon Bolivar.

Nine Heads of State or government of the region participated along with President Hugo Chavez in placing a wreath to Bolivar at the National Pantheon, where his remains lie.

At the ceremony, which was an introduction to the ninth Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), Chavez ratified that the leadership of the fathers and mothers of the Homeland remain after 200 years of struggle.

Presidents Evo Morales (Bolivia), Raul Castro (Cuba), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Prime Ministers Baldwin Spencer (Antigua and Barbuda), Roosevelt Skerrit (Dominica) and Ralph Gonsalves (St Vincent and the Grenadines) participated in the ceremony as well as Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez and Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.

The commemoration of the bicentenary of the beginning of the pro-independence struggle includes a civic-military parade at Los Proceres avenue and a formal session at the National Assembly, where Cristina Fernandez will be the orator.

SVG Projects that ULP Takes Credit For

This is a long letter titled "75 Reasons Why The People Of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Are Voting For The Unity Labor Party To Continue Its Good Governance" which has a number of pictures of government projects (schools, police stations, etc) and comments back and forth. It is worth looking at the pictures since I'm not sure where all of them were taken from so I won;t take them.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Unexpected Caribbean

By Lucy Smith

15 Apr 2010

A string of tiny pearls in a warm azure sea, St Vincent and the Grenadines will bring out the nature lover in you.

You never forget your first sight of a turtle — a real-life turtle — lazily breaststroking along in the water below you. I almost swallowed my snorkel.

“TURTLE!” I screamed to my travelling companions aboard our rented yacht, spitting out seawater and flailing desperately to get them to look. By the time they did, the turtle had sensibly sped away from this ungainly land creature disturbing both the turquoise-blue waters of the Grenadines and the late-afternoon peace.

If you’ve ever imagined a dreamy desert island, the 30-odd pinpricks of land that sweep like the tail of a comma from St Vincent’s round bulk would certainly fit the bill. Lush and tropical, dripping with leafy green vegetation that gives welcome shade from the midday sun and softens the brilliance of the whitesand beaches, the Grenadines have something for everyone.
Travelling with the family? Vincentians are very child-friendly and so too are the small-island beaches which slope gently into warm, shallow waters, perfect for learner swimmers. Older children will adore snorkelling, especially at the Tobago Cays, a national marine park. At Horseshoe Reef, turtles nest on the beaches and swim freely in the lagoons.

The Grenadines are a meeting point for the Atlantic and the Caribbean, which means a rich diversity of marine life, from rays and turtles in deeper water to the brilliantly coloured fish and delicate sea horses of the lagoons.

Sailing is the perfect way to island-hop. A day’s yacht hire can find you swimming in a secluded cove on one island, lunching in a bustling harbourside restaurant on a second and sipping a cooling Hairoun beer as the boat breezes towards yet another.
There’s plenty to do ashore on the larger island of St Vincent, too. Marked trails wind through the dense forests, from short local routes to villages or markets for casual strolls, right up to organised hikes such as the Vermont Nature Trail on the island’s leeward coast, where you may spot the local parrot.
The more adventurous can hike the three-mile trail to the summit of La Soufrière volcano, then descend into the crater for a mineral mud bath.

Summer brings Vincy Mas Carnival, which takes place at the end of June/beginning of July, with steel bands, calypso, costumed dancers and plenty of Sunset rum. It coincides with the opening of the new five-star Buccament Bay Beach Resort, which promises a vast array of facilities including the Pat Cash Tennis Academy, Liverpool FC Soccer School and a diving and watersports centre. Guests can unwind at The Alaia Spa and dine at Trader Vic’s.
The resort will be15 minutes from the new Argyle International Airport, due to open in 2012. Until then it’s only a short hop from the Caribbean gateways of Barbados, Antigua and Saint Lucia.

• More information: St Vincent and The Grenadines Tourist Office: 020 7937 6570;;

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The St. Vincent Incident

We did not engage an “official” Princess-supported excursion on the island of St. Vincent because my wife has a cousin, Ben, who lives outside Toronto, Canada, and winters on the island for four months every year. He and his wife, Sheila, agreed to be our hosts and guides during our seven-hour stay. We met them as they drove through the dock gates in their little, red Toyota Ben bought on the Internet. They loaded us into the back seat, and we were off.

After a brief tour of Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent, we headed toward the leeward side and to their home. Their home will be located (in 2011) on the other side of a massive new airport runway being built to accommodate the biggest jet liners. The many small mountains in the area are being leveled, homes in the way are being destroyed, roads are being diverted, and the geography and ecology of the area is being radically altered. Their home will sit near the end of the runway where jets are decelerating for their forthcoming landing.

After lunch at their home and additional sightseeing on the northern end of St. Vincent, we drove beyond the airport project to a small road that leads up to the volcano. St. Vincent is a volcanic island, and the still active volcano dominates the northern third of the island. It last erupted in 1973, and the destruction it caused is still evident in the small villages you pass along the main road on the northern end.

Ben and Sheila turned left onto the small road, looked into the back seat, and asked us if we wanted to go up. Without hesitation, we took their obvious lead and said, “Sure.”

The single-lane road was heavily rutted, full of pot holes, and rough. It went up through an active banana plantation where large bunches of bananas were wrapped in tubular poly vinylchloride (PVC), blue plastic to enhance fruit development, resist bad weather and sunburn, and avoid blemishes. Workers were evident on both sides of the car as we progressed up to a small parking lot where the trail to the volcano began.

Ben was surprised there were no vans carrying excursioners from our ship. The government was building a small picnic pavillion and restrooms, but they were far from finished and there were no workers present. A single, old picnic table sat where the trail into the lush growth began, and a native St. Vincensian was sitting there, his pack on the table’s seat and a large, well-worn machete showing from within it. We all engaged in informal chit-chat with him, and he not only suggested a place where we could take a better picture of the volcano, but he introduced me to the small pear-like fruit from the tree under which the table was located.

While we were talking, an old white car came up to the parking lot, turned around quickly and headed back down the mountain. We thought nothing about it nor about the fellow at the table walking down the road from the parking lot.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the fellow with whom we had been talking and a second native fellow (this time with no front teeth) came walking up the road to the parking lot. The new fellow carried a very heavy backpack on his head. Clearly the two native fellows knew one another, and we chatted with both of them as the fellow threw his backpack down onto the picnic table and unzipped it. Inside were large brick-like, rectangular blocks wrapped in heavy dark green plastic. My wife thought the fellows were especially concerned about keeping their clothes dry for in our talks with the two of them, they said they planned to hike the trail up and over the ridge to the other side.

Because we were in a hurry to get back to the ship by 4:30, we all got back into Ben’s car and headed down the mountain road only to find the white car that had come up and into the parking lot, had crashed off the left side of the road, blocking the road completely. Just beyond the car was a small police van, and five police officers were already out surveying the car. The female police officer had just found a cell phone and was waving it in the air.

Just as we could not proceed down the mountain, the police could not come up. Ben explained to the police that we needed to get by the car so we could get back to the cruise ship.

There was an additional dilemma as the officers tried to move the car. The steering column was locked, so when the police officers tried moving it, they could not get it out of the road. It was clear Ben and I needed to help. I ordered the police to get stones to put under the back tires, then it was decided we needed to lift the back of the car out farther onto the road. On the count of three by one of the police officers, all seven of us lifted the back of the car and moved it five inches. We did this about five times which improved the turning radius so the car could be pushed off the road. Expanding the turning radius worked, the car was pushed aside, the officers drove their van alongside the damaged car, and the road was clear for us to pass.

It turns out the police officers were part of the D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency), and they told us they had been following this fellow. The fellow with the backpack was carrying bricks of marijuana worth, according to Ben, somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000 (street value), and knowing the police were blocked from coming up, they chatted leisurely with us.

We proceeded down the narrow access road to the highway to get back to the ship. People in St. Vincent drive poorly. The main road is a narrow highway with many hills and turns, and most of the road is marked by a solid white line, although cars pass randomly solid line or not. One black car passed us, and when we turned the corner ahead, he had just crashed into an oncoming car and, thus, blocked the main road. With no police there yet, and the accident still fresh, we crept around the crashed vehicle on the far left and soon after that encountered a car with an “L” on the back. Ben said the “L” meant “learner,” and, by law, could not go faster than 20 miles per hour. We were finally able to get around this car only to find ourselves behind a small bus full of older people. Determining that it was an excursion from the ship, we felt a bit relieved, even though the time for getting back to the ship was tight. We arrived at the dock at 4:25, just in time to wave goodbye to Ben and Sheila, show our identification, make it through the gates, and hurry up the gangway onto the ship.

In the end, we had to compliment our hosts for having “arranged” such an exciting incident. We were told, in retrospect, that the cultivation of marijuana in St. Vincent is a common phenomena, and its exportation helps support a very poor nation and needy farmers.


At id 21 insights, an essay by Axel Klein entitled, “Growing cannabis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” explains the situation in St. Vincent far better than I could.

At the web site, Crime and Society, the essay there by Dr. Robert Winslow of San Diego State University, on St. Vincent and the Grenadines states, “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest producer of marijuana in the Eastern Caribbean and the source for much of the marijuana used in the region. Extensive tracts are under intensive marijuana cultivation in the inaccessible northern half of St. Vincent. The illegal drug trade has infiltrated the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and made some segments of the population dependent on marijuana production, trafficking and money laundering.”
Copyright April 2010 by And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.

Posted by at 7:00 AM


There's a whole bunch of video'd taken on SVG on YouTube at

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SVG-Flagged Ship Hijacked

April 13, 2010

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. April 13, 2010: A St. Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged cargo ship has become the latest to be hijacked by Somalian pirates.

The MV RAK AFRIKANA cargo ship was reportedly taken approximately 280 nautical miles or 322 miles West of the Seychelles Sunday morning.

The MV RAK AFRIKANA has a deadweight of 7,561 tones and is owned by Rak Afrikana Shipping LTD from Seychelles. It reportedly has a crew of 26 from India, Pakistan and Tanzania.

The European Union Naval Force has sent its forces to investigate the hijacking, EU NAVFOR said. EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA`s, main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the `World Food Program` (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EUNAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Gonsalves on ALBA

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has defended this country’s membership in the Venezuela-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), after announcing that Caracas is providing millions of dollars in assistance to Kingstown.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in ALBA that was established as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) proposed by the United States.

The other CARICOM members of the grouping are Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. They are joined by Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba in the initiative pushed by Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez.

Gonsalves, who will attend the ALBA summit in Caracas on April 19, said that the National Development Fund in Venezuela had provided the EC$54 million (US$20 million) as part of the EC$134 million (US$50 million) that St Vincent and the Grenadines was promised from the ALBA group of institutions.

“You recall I had announced in the budget that we were going to get US$ 50 million. I was hoping to receive the first portion of money earlier in the year but there were a number of administrative hiccups,” Gonsalves said.

“Now this amount which we are getting is the US$20 million at 2.6 per cent over 20 years. Where you are going to get that type of money … I must unsign ALBA? I must unsign Petrocaribe?” he asked in response to criticisms by the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) of the increasingly close links being developed between Kingstown and Caracas and Havana.

PetroCaribe allows a number of Caribbean countries to purchase oil and energy products from Venezuela with only a certain amount paid up front and the remainder paid through a 25-year financing agreement on a very low interest rate.

Following his visit to Caracas, Gonsalves will travel to Bolivia for the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and then to Brazil on April 26 to attend the Brazil-CARICOM summit.

Anniversary of the Exile

213 Anniversary of the Exile of the Garifuna People

As we conclude the observance of the 213th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent on March 11th, 1797 and their settlement in Central America on April 12th, 1797. We wish to express sincere thanks to New York State Governor David A. Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Assemblyman Michael Benjamin and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for the proclamation of March 11th to April 12th as Garifuna-American Heritage Month, 2010.

The proclamation of March 11th - April 12th, 2010 as Garifuna-American Heritage Month - 2010 is the highest recognition of New York's Garifuna Immigrant Community since becoming a vital part of New York City's social, cultural and economic way of life for the past 187 years, through The Drama of King Shotoway, the first black drama of the American Theatre and which had as its subject the 1795 Black Caribs (Garifunas) defense of the Island of Saint Vincent against colonization by the British. Further proof that New York is the Capital of the World, It also represents the first Garifuna Heritage Month proclamation in the world, evidence that we have become the subjects of our own history rather than objects of someone else's.

This achievement becomes even more significant when we consider that it happened on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the Happy Land Social Club fire. Despite many positive contributions to the social and economic fiber of New York City, Garifunas had remained outsiders with no influence on the important civic processes of New York City. They had been, in a word, invisible. Although Garifunas have been migrating to the United States in search of a better life since the 1930s, the community was virtually obscured in New York City until the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25th, 1990. The majority of the victims were of Garifuna descent.

Therefore, the proclamation of Garifuna Heritage Month in New York represents a turning point for the Garifuna Immigrant Community in this great city and state, as we look forward to a future brimming with promise and hope for the future Garifuna generations, a future that includes our commitment to continue to resurrect the Garifuna Culture, in the image of its past glory by reclaiming our history for the sake of our future.

Towards that objective, we will launch the second Garinagu Wagia (We Are Garifunas) Campaign, to educate and create awareness and appreciation of the Garifuna culture by presenting a rich collection of programs through the year that promote cross-cultural understanding and celebrate our history, culture and religion, and their importance in shaping and enriching New York City.

The ultimate purpose of the Garifuna Coalition is to ensure that Garifunas in New York have access to resources and opportunities to improve their lives. Therefore, we will continue to promote change through civic engagement by helping the Garifuna community gets its fair share of federal funds by making sure our community mails back the 2010 census forms and continue our partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. Furthermore, We will continue to educate our community about the civic process and their rights, so that we can give a voice to the Garifuna community and policy makers hear what we have to say and understand our needs.

To ascertain our efforts can be sustainable, we will continue to identify, develop and cultivate young leaders, so that young people can be part of the solution and can feel empowered to take action and develop into community leaders, so that our community has a pool of potential leaders, so that that eventually, our community can have the resources to thrive.

Due to the international dispersion of the Garifuna people, we will continue nurturing and promoting the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in all parts of the Garifuna Diaspora as well as collaborate in practical ways to support the Renaissance of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines "Yurumein" the Ancestral Homeland of the Garifuna people.

Therefore, as we conclude the 213th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent on March 11th, 1797 and their settlement in Central America on April 12th, 1797, we invite the Global Garifuna Nation and friends to join us in July 2011 at the Reunification of the Garifuna people in Yurumein to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of UNESCO's Proclamation of the Garifuna Language, Music and Dance as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible.

On behalf of the Garifuna community we serve, we thank you for the support and for helping us ascertain that future Garifuna generations will not forget that the Garifuna American legacy and history are inextricably linked to the United States and New York and that there are many Garifuna Americans, heroes and heroines, who fought hard to make our country a better place for all of us and will celebrate the history and contributions they have made to the United States

Richmond Vale Hiking Center

Affordable accomodation in the Caribbean

I spent 5 nights at Richmond Vale Hiking Center and absolutely loved my stay. It is foremost an academy for volunteers around the world who come to St. Vincent to learn about organic gardening, etc so they can teach those less fortunate in third world countries where they travel after their training. If you choose to eat with students (food is very basic, but extremely affordable) you will meet people from all over the world and will surely have many interesting conversations as I did. Meeting so many great people was my favorite part of being there, aside from the beautiful surroundings and fabulous hiking. Everyone was very warm, friendly and welcoming as well. There are no restaurants anywhere nearby, only a couple of tiny bars, so unless you bring food with you, there aren't any other options. Food is cooked by students and served family style and on a schedule. Should you not get back in time for dinner, they will save a plate for you.

The buildings used to make up a home for abused boys. While they look like they have been around for awhile, they are very light and airy inside. I was pleasantly surprised by my accomodations. There is no air conditioning, but I found it pleasantly cool for sleeping in the evening. My room was very cute, with a full size bed. The only drawback for me was that it had a bit of a musty smell. Other than that, it was great.

The large bathroom is down the hall and was clean enough. My biggest complaint was that there was no hot water. In a climate such as St. Vincent, you might think that this is not a big deal. However, if you take a shower before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down (which is typically what I did due to hiking most of the day) the water is VERY COLD!! I really dreaded taking a shower.

There is a commons area which is also used by students as well with table tennis plus a lounge/ tv area. The atmosphere is much like a college dormitory, though most of the volunteers are finished with college. Students are not allowed to drink, however that rule does not apply to guests. I got the impression that they prefer you not to drink in front of students. There are a couple of bars (I use that term loosely) within walking distance. When I stayed there, I was their only guest for my entire stay, and I was very well tended to.

The surroundings are absolutely beautiful, with very mature trees, as well as crop fields of bananas and passion fruit. The views to the ocean and of the surrounding mountains are stunning. There are numerous hikes which you can start right from the center to waterfalls as well as the less travelled path from the Leeward side to the volcano, La Soufriere. The ocean is about a 10 minute walk as well which has a lovely black sand beach.

I would absolutely go back and plan to soon. This accomodation woulod be suitable for people who love nature, are looking for an affordable place to stay, and enjoy the company of others. For more pictures of the grounds, you can look at my travel blog photos from Hiking La Soufriere, St. Vincent. Please feel free to send me a message with any questions you may have. Happy travelling!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kelly & Conroy Wed

Kelly & Conroy Dacon held their wedding ceremony at the Bptanical Gardens on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

More photographs of the event can be found at:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More About Buccama

Buccama: Building country, Building People

Dave Ames is English born, connected with an international network called Harlequin Resorts. But he seems to have the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at heart. Or so it came across on Friday 26th March.

Harlequin Resorts is building another of its top level hotels on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, the mainland of the world renowned St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Grenadines has held its own on the global stage, with names like Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Mayreau, Petit St. Vincent and Bequia each standing out for its unique character. But high calibre resorts are rare on mainland St. Vincent.

Harlequin Resorts has entrusted its confidence of the Vincentian government, and an eighty acre plot at Buccament on the Central Leeward district of the mainland is being transformed into a major hotel.Over 1,000 workers are completing construction in time for the opening of phase one of the project, scheduled for July 1, 2010.

More than just aesthetics

Ames was generous in his appraisal of the natural beauty he has found in St. Vincent, but it is not just the aesthetic appeal that astounds him. He is impressed by the richness of the local people, and by the way in which they have adopted the project as if it were their own. He does not want a beautiful compound where there is no love.

Ames was addressing workers at the resort last Friday and outlined: "You are the people that are making it work." Ames spoke of a coaching programme involving staff of the Liverpool Football Club which will spill over to the local community. Tennis lovers and enthusiasts can also benefit from the Pat Cash Tennis Academy which will act as a court for that sport. Ames' philosophy is not simply to make money, but to build the country and people living in the country.

Major contributor

Ames anticipates the next three months to be crucial at the Buccament Bay Resort. Finishing touches to 300 of the luxury apartments are proceeding, readying them for the July 1 opening, but Harlequin Resorts plans to step up its marketing thrust with a launch in London, April 24 and 25. According to Ames that's when the serious business begins.

Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves also addressed workers at Buccament Bay Resort. He expressed gratitude to Ames and his company for the confidence placed in the Vincentian government. Dr. Gonsalves noted the 1,000 workers directly engaged in the construction, and with 350 others involved in sub-contracts, the Vincentian Prime Minister touted the venture as a "major contribution to our economy."

Source of article:The Vincentian by William 'Kojah' Anthony‚ 04/01/2010‚

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Regional Comments

This doesn’t necessarily reflect my views, but you seldom get such a wideranging commentary so I thought it interesting

Under the Microsope: Tremendous intrigue in regional politics


By Hartley Henry
Ok, Madame Letter Writer, you win! As a rule I do not comment on the political goings-on in sister Caribbean states, but your Letter To The Editor over the past weekend has triggered an avalanche of requests for my take on political developments across the region.

First up, Trinidad and Tobago! I do not believe general elections are imminent in that country. Patrick Manning is easily one of the most politically cunning operatives in the region today. He successfully diverted public attention from a major money scandal involving several senior PNM operatives as well as “watered down” the impact of the coronation of Kamla Persad-Bissessar as Prime Minister-In-Waiting, by dropping the hint of imminent general elections.

This is the classic Foolish Virgins political strategy; as clearly Manning is hoping that Kamla and her UNC would peak in the coming weeks, thus burning their popularity lamps dry and not having adequate appeal by the time the actual poll is held. I consider Kamla a political sprinter. Her moment of Midas magic will last all of approximately 12 months.

If Manning were to be so ‘politically drunk’ as to call an election anytime within the next 12 months, he would be clobbered by a Kamla-led UNC, aided and abetted by the Winston Dookeran led Congress of the People. If Manning holds out and permits Kamla’s shine to rub off, I fear the pockets of an incumbent Trinidad and Tobago leader are deep enough to enable him to worm his way back into the hearts and minds of voters.

My advice to Kamla is ‘pace yourself’ and guard against peaking too soon. My advice to Manning is use the diversionary tactic of an early election to your advantage, but for heaven’s sake, and certainly that of the PNM, do not even dream of ringing that bell anytime soon.

Secondly, there is Guyana. At last, Robert Corbin has signalled his intention to sit out the next general election as Presidential candidate for the PNC-Reform. This must be welcome news for all persons bent on seeing the back of the Bharrat Jagdeo led PPP-Civic. I personally believe the move is a little late and that the tunnel vision tendencies of senior PNC operatives will influence their making a poor choice of Presidential candidate.

I believe the PNC-Reform needs a new beginning. The party needs to focus on and promote policies, rather than personalities. There is no single individual who fits the bill at this time, and I do not believe the leadership should focus all its energies on finding ‘the perfect candidate’. I also do not believe that the PNC has to reinvent itself by finding a leader of Indian descent. I get the feeling that the Guyanese electorate would rather vote for a credible, feasible set of economic, political and social reform programmes than for a 2010 Renaissance Man.

In other words, the PNC needs at this stage to come to the fore with a right mix of social and economic policies and let the true leader of the party emerge naturally. By the same token, the PPP-Civic also needs to find a successor to Jagdeo that can imbue fresh confidence and optimism in the party. Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why the party did not move to amend the constitution to permit Jagdeo to stand for another term. I believe he is now coming into his own as a leader of that party and country and his shoes may prove a bit too large for any member of his current Cabinet to fill.

Thirdly, there is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I believe the holding of that referendum and its timing constituted a major lapse of political judgment. However, Ralph Gonsalves is still the best bet in town. Sir James Mitchell is not Sir John Compton. He does not have the hold on mainland St. Vincent as Sir John did across the length and breadth of St. Lucia. I cannot see him making a successful comeback and Arnhim Eustace is as uninspired and uninspiring now as he was over a decade ago when he stepped onto the political scene.

Ralph Gonsalves is wisely slowing the pace and reducing the political temperature. In nine months the fallout from the calling of that referendum would have been contained and the focus of the majority of voters will be on the person they believe can best lead St. Vincent and the Grenadines downwind of the global economic recession. In that respect, I believe Ralph Gonsalves will be as relevant and formidable as ever.

And then, there is Antigua and Barbuda! I was surprised by the Court ruling. I felt it was necessary and needed, but I honestly did not think there was a Judge in these parts courageous enough to make such a ruling. The election was poorly administered. It was a disgrace to modern day Antigua. However, there is much more to the current political crisis in Antigua and Barbuda than meets the eye. Three bye-elections will not solve Antigua’s problems. There is a crisis of confidence in the economic leadership of the country. Antiguans and Barbudans are not seeing light at the end of the economic tunnel. The Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance are speaking, but not saying anything. Their policies are incoherent and, some may say, nonexistent.

The ruling by the court was hailed by many, because they saw it as an opportunity to change the economic direction of the country. One year after being returned to office, Baldwin Spencer and the UPP dare not return to the polls for a fresh mandate. They are not the flavour of the month in Antigua at this time. The ALP is waiting in the wings, but it has to date not clearly articulated an economic path forward.

Residents of Antigua and Barbuda are yearning for a change, but not an unconditional change. They want a programme of economic reform that they can believe in and buy into. To date, the Labour Party has failed to articulate such in a manner that can be easily comprehended. Baldwin Spencer will explore and exploit all legal options at his disposal to stave off returning to the electorate in whole or in part. He is wise in so doing. With its current momentum, the ALP can bring the government down. What it is yet to demonstrate is that it has the formula for building the country up!

(Hartley Henry is a Regional Political Strategist. He can be reached at:

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Orchids In Bloom

In our back yard in Villa

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Villa Beach

Villa Beach is generally fairly quiet, and with its sloping beach and quiet water, is a good place to take kids. It gets a bit more crowded on Sunday afternoons.

There are three hotels that have beach bars.

medical experts present findings

By API Government on 4/06/10

The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines now have more information on people living with disabilities and the nature of their disabilities.

This is after a group of Cuban Experts in the medical field handed over the findings of the Life to Live study to Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Ralph Gonsalves and Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater on Wednesday  March 31st at the Foreign Affairs Conference Room.

The study which represents the largest investigation ever made the area of disability in their country took the Cuban officials just over one month. They covered areas ranging from Fancy to Chateaubelair and the Grenadines.

Among the major findings, 2195 people were identified to have some form of disability, whether physical, intellectual, mental or multiple.  It was further observed that most people with disabilities are male, prevailing in mental and intellectual disabilities.  Further, 322 people are totally dependent for carrying out activities of daily living and another 1216 need some level of assistance.

Minister of Health Dr the Hon Douglas Slater said the Life to Live study is a highly scientific one which we could not do on our own and he is pleased that St Vincent and the Grenadines is the first English speaking Caribbean country to benefit from such a study.

Dr, Slater said the study has picked up a significant number of amputees.  As a result the Ministry has to review its programmes to deal with managing cases which may lead to amputations such as chronic non-communicable diseases, the most common being diabetes.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Dr the Hon Ralph Gonsalves in his remarks said that a civilization is judged to a large extent by the way it threats, handles and addresses the issues and concerns of the disadvantaged in it’s society.  And with an estimated 2.13% of the population having some form of disability. Dr Gonsalves said he has noted the causes brought forward by the study and his government will now work towards implementing a practical work programme of correctives immediately and over a medium and long term basis.

Issues of housing for the disabled, including electricity and water as well as wheelchair accessible roads are some of the factors which the Prime Minister noted are to be addressed.
“To handle the issue efficaciously, we need a lot of  resources,” Dr. Gonsalves said. 

He however added that with local funds and some from the European Union, the government  programmes will go a long way to make sure that Life to Live take every disabled person from the shadows into the sunlight.

The Live to Live study was carried out in Cuba between 2001 and 2003.  It was concluded in Venezuela in 2008.  The study is currently being carried out simultaneously in Ecuador, Nicaraqua and Bolivia.


I decided to put some of my old writings on

I may dig out some of my writings about SVG and the Garifuna and put them here, if they aren't here already.

Vincy Mas Soon

St. Vincent & The Grenadines Carnival Starts Soon

Posted by oneduchessent Tuesday, April 6, 2010

St. Vincent & The Grenadines- Friday June 25th - July 6th, 2010

Starting the middle of June the carnival Madness starts in the island of St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

Artists have already started releasing soca singles; artists such as Skinny Fabolous, Jamesy P, Problem Child, Recka, Tabia and many more.

Here is a list of Vincy Mas 2010 Dates and Activities:

Official Launching Saturday, May 8th

Miss SVG - Saturday, May 29

Fantastic Friday, - Friday June 18

Ragga Soca - Friday, June 25

Junior Carnival - Saturday, June 26

Junior Pan Fest - Sunday, June 27

Junior Calypso/Soca - Tuesday, June 29
St Vincent Carnival Panorama - Thursday, July 1

Miss Carival - Friday, July 2

Soca Monarch - Saturday, July 3

Dimanche Gras - Sunday, July 4

J'Ouvert - Monday, July 5

Evening Street Party - Monday, July 5

Mardi Gras - Tuesday, July 6

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Administration Building

On Bay Street. Contains government offices, the Prime Minister being on the top floor.

Pretty Polly

Polly with orchid, January 2010

Polly on tiles April 2010

Polly playing with Lucy

Orange Hill Aquiduct

St Vincent Parrot

A variety unique to St. Vincent. This is a particularly good picture of one of the parrots in the Botanical Garden.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

African Botique

Ebika Kagbala has a botique with authentic African designed materials and clothing.

It is in the Cruise Ship Dock but it is open even when there are no cruise ships in, as are some of the other stores.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

You might wonder why there are two KFC places within easy walking distance of one another, and no branded hamburger joints. Don't vincies eat beef?

The answer is that St. Vincent doesn't have any flat open areas that would easily support beef cattle, so there is no local tradition of eating beef; except for the plantocracy, who ate imported beef.

Nowadays you can get a hamburger, but there is no volume sales that would pay for a franchise; but there is a volume market for fried chicken. Chicken will manage to live as scavangers, so they're a protein source that has been traditional on Caribbean islands.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken process, which uses imported, grain-fed chicken, and pressurized deep fat firers, amounts to an upgraded local traditional food. It is both popular and expensive.

The visitor will find that chicken is widely available even in small food shops, but unless you eat in your hotel or a fancy restaurant, don't expect anything like a Big Mac.

People's Pharmacy

We go there for over-the-counter stuff and the occasional refill of a US prescription that has run out. It is on Back Street.

Bay Street

Bay Street looking east toward Cane Garden. To the left is the gaol and to the right is the administration building.

Bay Street looking west toward Montrose.

Law Handbook

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Business Law Handbook AUTHOR: International Business Publications, USA (Paperback)

$99.95 US at Amazon

This law handbook contains information on basic business legislation, laws and regulatoins affecting export-import, business, foreign investments, property rights, taxation and banking. (Updated annually)

This is a notice, not a recommendation. I haven't read the book.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Donkey Wedding

“I was pleasantly surprised to learn that over the weekend a ‘Donkey Wedding' was held in a North Leeward village…the groom was forced to make an honest ‘lady' of the buxom donkey with whom he allegedly had sexual relations. Some friends have scoffed at it calling it village silliness”: St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Abeni suggests that “it is really society's way of heaping scorn on persons who had committed distasteful acts.”

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 @ 18:41 UTC
by Janine Mendes-Franco

The Isocratic Evolution

If you are curious about how I spend most of my time, instead of working in the Orchid garden like Sally does, you can read:

The Isocratic Evolution

Garifuna DVD

New York – The Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization is pleased to announce release of The First First Annual Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night DVD. The event was presented at the during the on March 13th 2010 at 7 PM at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture,

The DVD features First Annual Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night, as well as scenes from the proclamation of March 11th – April 12th, 2010 as Garifuna Heritage Month 2010 Press Conference in the Rotunda of the Bronx County Building, as well as scenes from the Garifuna Memorial mass celebrated on Sunday, March 14th, in memory of the Paramount Garifuna Chief Joseph Chatoyer.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Local releases coffee table book

Local releases coffee table book

By SVG Today Correspondent

"Journey with Erica to St. Vincent and the Grenadines" is the name of a coffee table book recently released by local entrepreneur and photographer Erica McIntosh.

McIntosh introduced persons to her second publication during a party-like launch last Friday at the Paradise Beach Hotel in Villa. McIntosh's book became the third local publication released in March. The other two were done by Dr. Christian Anderson and Dr. Chester Toney.

During a short speech, McIntosh said that most of the coffee table books done for St. Vincent are done by foreigners so it is good that one done by a local person is now on the market. Her first publication was about the flowers at the Botanical Gardens.

McIntosh's book paints a picture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through the lens of her camera. She said that the book was printed by Ex Libris and holds memories captured by her over a number of years.

McIntosh who has a Masters in Industrial Microbiology and a minor in photography said that the book took about eight months to put together.

"I always wanted to get my photographs in book form and catalogue them," explained McIntosh, who said that her book uses photography in such a way as to show among other things the terrain and the beauty of a number of tourist sites throughout the island.

She is hoping to have the book sold locally at Nightingale Book Store and Gaymes Book Store. The book features among other things, pictures of old houses and modern ones, transportation both local and foreign and the agricultural sector, especially the pepper industry.

Also present at the launch among others, were Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Administrator of the Mustique Charitable Trust Lavinia Gunn and Alexandra Paolino helped McItosh compile the book.

Giving a critique of the book, Gunn said that the publication highlights, "not only Erica's career but her dedication, love and feeling of nationalism and identity for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gunn said that in the book, McIntosh used her photography skills to highlight the beauty of SVG. She added that the book pays tribute to farmers and staff of McIntosh's business -- Erica's Country Style -- and the important role her family has played in her life.

Gunn also praised McIntosh for taking the initiative of paying with her (McIntosh) own funds to get the book published.

Paolino, who compiled the book, described the launch as a very special occasion. She thanked Erica for giving her, "the honor of compiling the book". Paolino also described the photographs as very good and said that they, "conjure up a lot of memories".

Study on Disabled People

HAVANA, Cuba, April 1 (acn) Cuba will conclude a study on disabled people in all the countries that make up the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) regional integration and cooperation bloc before the end of the current year.

The announcement was made on Wednesday in Havana by the island’s Deputy Public Health Minister, Marcia Cobas, during a ceremony to welcome the 38 members of a Cuban medical brigade that carried out a clinical-genetic, pedagogical and psycho-social study among disabled people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking to ACN, Cobas said that with the end of the study in this Caribbean nation, the Cuba-led initiative has included over a million people in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, and she announced that the study will soon begin in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.

Meanwhile, Dr. Miriam Portuondo, coordinator of the program in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, explained that, from March 1st to the 26th, a total of 11,106 houses were visited and more than 2,000 disabled people were screened.

“In this sister nation, one in every 47 people live with a severe disability and most cases are among the male population,” she added.

Some of the main disabilities found are related to systemic diseases such as diabetes, mellitus, which sometimes leads to the amputation of lower limbs and intellectual disabilities.