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BAHAMAS: After 40-year, nearly $3 billion in transactions career, Real estate legend launches Mario Carey Ventures



By Diane Phillips

#Bahamas, March 3, 2021 – Many would have happily hung up their hat after a 40-year career with approximately $3 billion in transactions, but legendary Realtor Mario Carey has a better idea – the founder of the first international branch of Better Homes & Gardens is taking what he learned in one business and applying to a variety of others, combining visionary ideas with global expertise.

Carey announced the quiet launch of Mario Carey Ventures (MCV) this week in a press statement, more than two years after the concept was born and began to build momentum. Today it is involved in about one dozen projects ranging from new technology to social infrastructure like affordable housing and diversified farming, digital assets to resort development.

“Throughout my career, I kept envisioning business opportunities that were outside the real estate space,” said Carey. “At the same time, I was meeting people from all over the world and I realized that if I put the right team or teams together, MCV could provide opportunities that would promote nation-building, slow the brain drain and do what we have been talking about forever, diversify the economy.”

“I always remember that great Michael Jordan quote ‘Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ If I wanted to go into the biotech space, for instance, or marine, I had to find people who would embrace the opportunity and share my vision that it had to benefit The Bahamas.”

Years of interacting with creative leaders, CEOs, celebrities and successful businesspeople paid off with Carey actively engaged in several high-level projects. But he was quick to recognized he needed someone as his chief global strategist and turned to Mark Shekter, co-founder and CEO of Think8 Global Institute.

Montreal-based Think8 has guided companies around the world to develop leadership, think creatively, advance solutions and drive ideas from thoughts to structured reality. The firm has worked with start-ups and multi-national corporations in sports, entertainment, energy, gaming, finance, retail and new technology. Think8’s innovative methodology is taught in University Masters Degree programs and national incubators to develop a new class of socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Carey calls Shekter “tough, but brilliant.” Shekter calls Carey “a true visionary.”

The match between Think8 and MCV works, says Carey, because it brings international experts along with Bahamian citizens and residents to the goal of advancing local opportunities.

“I am driven by the desire to raise capital and allocate human resources to monetize innovation and disruptive ideas that would diversify the economy, provide a reason for well-educated Bahamians to come home and find a place in their own country where they could succeed in a diversified economy.”

“The process of breathing life into good ideas is really what it is all about and not just one idea at a time, but allowing multiple ideas to blossom utilizing a baseline team overall and forming different teams with different skill sets for each concept. Mario Carey Ventures, or MCV, is, simply put, the launchpad from which ideas, solutions and causes move from seed to reality.

Carey, who was among only a handful of Bahamians to earn a university degree from Florida State University in real estate, said his practice exposed him to thinkers from all over the world. In recent years, being among the leading agents in high end markets like Ocean Club Estates, sports heroes, celebrities and management teams has reinforced his belief in what he calls “the hidden business ideas with the power to explode successfully.” MCV will help make that happen, he said, but with one caveat.

“Anything we touch has to have an element of nation-building for The Bahamas.”

Among the many concepts on the MCV table at its official launch are social entrepreneurship enterprises ranging from marine conservation to real estate funding in the affordable housing market.

His long years of networking are already attracting funding and expertise in biotech, digital asset maximization, Family Island development, and preservation and monetization of marine resources by capitalizing on existing potential where resources are plentiful and jobs are scarce.

MCV has also launched its own 501c3 charitable organization- Bahamian Prosperity Foundation- tapping into US tax deductible contributions for Bahamian causes. Carey cites as an example one of his program to provide some 42,000 hot meals to help ease the hunger problem during the pandemic, engaging the full support and dedication of his own staff and professionals at both Better Homes and Gardens MCR Bahamas Group and MCR, his luxury rental and property management company.

Known for his love of the sea and extensive deep diving, Carey has endorsed the concept of naming the waters the Lucayan Sea, backing the idea first proposed by former Royal Bahamas Defense Force Commander Captain Tellis Bethel, now serving in the role equivalent to inspector general for the uniformed law enforcement services.

“To protect something, it must have an identity and the concept of the Lucayan Sea, named in honour of the indigenous inhabitants of The Bahamas, is perfectly suited,” said Carey. “Naming our waters is a positive move that requires little on the part of any government, provides jobs with the expertise of cartography and mapping, opens historic, touristic and educational opportunities and can help unite us by paying tribute to a peaceful people while building pride in our waters.”

According to Carey, MCV has a strict code of conduct, stressing the core principles of trust, accessibility, and effectiveness.

“MCV is all about understanding where I can contribute the most to my country, fulfilling a lifelong dream of doing business that benefits the man,” he said. “we are excited about the next chapter.”

By Diane Phillips

Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY



#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.



Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.



As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.



“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.



Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.



Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.



A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.



This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?


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