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Amanda & Friends Amazing Journey: FootSteps4Good 2022 raises over 50k in 13 days



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, November 4, 2022 – Another amazing staging of Footsteps4Good has come to a close, this year the 200-mile journey had a newcomer on the team as three more hikers attempted to circumnavigate the Turks and Caicos.

The thirteen day event started on Friday October 21 at the Children’s Park in Providenciales before it took off on a 16 mile walk before landing on Parrot Cay.  The trekkers signed up for the monumental escapade were:  Amanda Dakin, wife of TCI Governor Nigel Dakin; John Galleymore, a retired military man and explorer and Sharon Weil Hornstein.

Day 2 on Saturday October 22 was a journey from Parrot Cay, a luxury resort island and onto Conch Bar, which is in Middle Caicos.  It was a whopping 23 mile stretch, which was done mostly on foot.

Day 3  on Sunday October 23rd, there would be more hiking for the trio.  A 15 mile walk from the Conch Bar to Dickish Cay was charted as sketchy weather rolled in.

Day 4 on Monday October 24th the team bid farewell to Dickish Cay and waved hello to Breezy Point on East Caicos, that we were informed was a 14 mile journey.  As they covered the half marathon distance, there was rain, but according to Mrs. Dakin, this was welcomed.

“We walked through the rain but it was only for two hours – a good shower to get off the salt and sweat- well some of it!”

Day 5, Tuesday October 25th we lost contact for a bit but soon learned there was yet again success after an 18 mile hike from Breezy Point to South Caicos.  The three happily abandoned ‘roughing it’ to spend a relaxing night at the award-winning Sail Rock Resort in South Caicos.

John Galleymore paused his journey here, making way for the all-female rowing team composed of Mandy, Sharon and supporters Kana and Morgan to join the journey, which has taken on new form since it was introduced by Jill Beckingham, wife of former governor Peter Beckingham who also walked each island with throngs of supporters in an effort to raise funds for TCI charities.

Mrs. Beckingham’s mission was historic and admirable but did not include covering the oceans linking the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The circumnavigation, powered solely by human steam in walks and rowing, is an idea which is successfully now done its second year having brought all home safe and racking up thousands of dollars for worthy causes.

About some of the most challenging times, Dakin told us “The walking was tough, East Caicos is no joke… lots of sand, wading through water, mosquitos like you wouldn’t believe.”  She seemed to take a spill on those rocks ending up with a bloody nose but was not deterred by the injury.

Day 6 on Wednesday October 26th was the first water crossing, a 25-mile row from South Caicos to Grand Turk. Dakin detailed the experience, “The water… I have never seen it so flat! So we made record timing across from South Caicos to Grand Turk in 5 hours 45 minutes.”

The Day 7 journey on Thursday October 27 from Grand Turk to Salt Cay was a 12-mile route which the team knocked out in an hour and a half before a full rest day on Day 8 (Friday October 28).

Then on Day 9, which was Saturday October 29th the team went 10 miles from Salt to Sand Cay.   Following that, on Day 10, Sunday October 30th we learned of a 25 mile journey from Sand Cay to Ambergris before the longest sea crossing of them all.

That came up on Day 11, Monday October 31st and it meant a 40-mile journey from Ambergris to French Cay.

Day 12, which was Tuesday November 1st was no walk in the park, it also involved another 150 mile row, this time French Cay to West Caicos which meant an incredible 35 hours was pass before that grand finale.  Day 13, which was Wednesday November 2nd. The ladies marched along with Providenciales locals when they arrived in Sapodilla Bay before making it to the Bight, right back where they started to wrap up an amazing expedition.

Mandy Dakin told us it was decidedly worth all the blisters from rowing and walking so much.

“A little bit of pain goes a long way, all of these people that we’re raising money for are in vulnerable states, they have a difficult time and they deserve our respect and support. And if a little pain is what it takes then that’s what we’ll do.”

A decidedly happy husband, also clearly proud of his wife and the team which pulled off the phenomenal jaunt, Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor posted about the nights in comfort and those spent outdoors under the stars and how the effort broke the mold, in terms of funds raised.

“But what the whole collective achieved was a sizeable donation to a multitude of different charities that the donor nominates. It’s not too late to add a small amount and if you do @footsteps4goodtci breaks the $50k barrier.”

You can still make a donation when you download the Isle Help app and give to Foosteps4Good and the charity of your choice.

Caribbean News

Several earthquakes felt in region over the weekend, cause for concern



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

December 10, 2023 – Multiple earthquakes were felt last weekend, Friday night into Saturday, a cause for concern among citizens.

Recorded near Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda and Monsterrat, was a 6.0 magnitude at around 4:48 am at a depth of 16 kilometers (km).

The University of the West Indies, Seismic Research Centre’s (UWI-SRC) Automatic Earthquake Location informed that it struck Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 71 km north-east, Saint John’s Antigua and Barbuda at 89 km south-east and Brades, Montserrat at 120 km east.

After this, another tremor with a magnitude of 4.4 was recorded northeast of Guadeloupe, southeast of Antigua and east of Montserrat at around 6:29 am local time, with a depth of 10 km.

The Automatic Earthquake Location says for Point-à-Porte it was 76 km northeast, Saint John’s, 91 km south-east and Brades 123 km east.

On Friday, several earthquakes were recorded in the same chain of islands, reports say.

At 10:31 pm, a magnitude 4.3 hit in the same area with a depth of 7.7 km.

Then, a 4.4 magnitude was picked up with a depth of 34.8 km at around 11 pm local time; Pointe-à-Pitre, 120 km northeast, Saint John’s 131km east-south-east and Brades, 164 km east.

Not even 2 minutes after, a 3.6 magnitude occurred at 11:01 pm with a 5 km depth and shortly after another at 11:13 pm, with a 3.8 magnitude at a depth of 10 km; 115 km of Pointe-à- Pitre, north-east, 138 km, east-south-east of Saint John’s and 173 km east of Brades.

St Kitts and Nevis was also affected as a 3.8 magnitude struck near the islands as well as Antigua and Barbuda dams Montserrat at about 8:17 pm, a depth of 80.6 km.

As informed by the Automatic Earthquake Location from the UWI SRC, it is 70 km north of Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, 133 km northwest of Saint John’s Antigua and Barbuda and 134 km northwest of Brades, Monsterrat.

Despite the multiple tremors felt, no injuries or damages were reported.

Responding to concerned citizens, the UWI SRC in a statement said, “please note that our region is a seismically active one and we can feel events in a short period of time. This is why we always urge persons to plan, prepare and practice for any earthquake event.”

Just about a month ago, Jamaica was struck by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, one the strongest it has felt in about 30 years, leaving many shaken up.

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Caribbean News

CHTA President, Members Triumph at 2023 CMEx Leadership Awards



#Miami, Florida, December 10, 2023 – President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Nicola Madden-Greig, OD, received the 2023 Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) Leadership Award in Miami over the weekend.

The Awards recognize excellence and innovation in Caribbean communication and hospitality, celebrating individuals who have made significant contributions to sustainable tourism, community engagement, and cultural preservation.

“As president of the CHTA, I want to see the Caribbean region not only grow but reach the stratosphere. I am honored to be among so many other persons who work so hard and tirelessly to see Caribbean tourism advance. I thank each and every one of you for your efforts, which has inspired me to continue to work hard to ensure that we reach our goals,” Madden-Greig told a packed audience at Loews Coral Gables on Saturday.

Grateful for the honor, Madden-Greig stated, “Thank you to the CMEx Awards for providing us the opportunity to recognize Caribbean hospitality leaders and communities. This recognition lets us spotlight the true value of hospitality, emphasizing its impact on the economy and beyond.”

Since assuming the Presidency of CHTA, Madden-Greig has taken a forward-looking approach and added both a Technology Taskforce to ensure the embedding of new technologies to drive efficiency and marketing, as well as the Caribbean Travel Forum, which engages private and public thought leaders to discuss the business of tourism.

During the awards, several CHTA members were also recognized with Leadership Awards for their efforts in shaping the region’s tourism landscape.

CHTA-member honorees included:

  • Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CEO of Figment Design, a CHTA Strategic Partner
  • Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General & CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and a CHTA Board Member
  • Ewald Biemans, Owner/CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba and CHTA Board Member, whose company also received a Hall of Fame recognition at CHTA’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) earlier in the week
  • Joy Jibrilu, CEO of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board
  • Stan Hartling, Chief Executive Officer and lead partner of The Hartling Group, Turks and Caicos Islands

“These accolades reflect the commitment of our president and our members to elevating the Caribbean tourism experience,” said Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO and Director General of CHTA. “Their achievements inspire us all as we continue to work together towards a vibrant and responsible future for Caribbean tourism.”

CMEx supports and develops the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry, and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance.

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Caribbean News

Strengthening Regional Response to Outbreaks:  CARPHA Conducts a Simulation Exercise for Member States



Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  10 December 2023.  On Thursday 7th December 2023, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will be conducting a Regional level Outbreak Simulation Exercise (SimEx) with its Member States, and Regional Agencies.

“A regional SimEx is extremely valuable in emphasising the integrity of the Region’s existing response mechanisms, while revealing strengths and any weaknesses. This can then guide relevant persons in reinforcing the mechanisms and addressing any issues which may be noted during the exercise,” stated Dr Joy St. John, CARPHA Executive Director.

“Exercise Elkhorn” is a tabletop exercise carried out remotely by virtual connection and will focus on a single outbreak.  This approach will utilise a realistic, scripted scenario to assess plans, policies and other preparedness measures, through in-country group discussions and utilising problem-solving skills.

Over 36 participants representing Ministries of Health, and other government agencies, regional organisations, and project partners, will attend the exercise.

The aim of the SimEx is to improve preparedness and response capacities of health systems for public health emergencies in the Caribbean region.   The main objectives in the public health context are to:

  • Assess the scope of the incident in keeping with National Multi-Hazard Plans;
  • Validate how national leadership communicates and coordinates to facilitate decision-making;
  • Assess the understanding of procedures for the mobilisation of national resources (including financial, human, procurement of medical supplies, etc).

Overall, this training exercise will provide participants the opportunity to review response procedures and test their countries’ established coordination and decision-making processes within a realistic scenario. Additionally, the exercise would seek to strengthen multisectoral collaboration and integrative surveillance towards achieving resilient and responsive mechanisms.

The Regional Simulation Exercise was developed as a deliverable of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project (P168539). The project through funding by the World Bank was implemented across four CARPHA Member States (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and by CARPHA and the OECS Commission. This Simulation Exercise is related to Component 2, subcomponent – Simulation Exercise on responding to public health emergencies.

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