Daily Archives: November 17, 2019

20 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit Today – The Trend Spotter

Posted: November 17, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Seeing photos of beautiful blue waters and white sand is enough to make anyone dream of taking a vacation. For many people, the Caribbean Islands are a dream destination because of the untouched wilderness and sandy shores, and its all about deciding which location is best. Not only are all these destinations Instagrammable, but they also offer the opportunity to unwind and escape. Theres also no shortage of things to do, places to explore, and even shopping opportunities. Grand Cayman is known for its duty-free shopping experiences, and Antigua has hundreds of soft sandy beaches. If youre planning your next vacation, or need a romantic trip away, these are some of the best Caribbean Islands to visit.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are a British Overseas Territory, located southeast of The Bahamas. The location has become a favorite for travelers who want to experience some of the worlds most beautiful beaches without the crowds. There are plenty of things to do, with top attractions including scuba diving and snorkeling. Those who arent fans of water activities can enjoy a round of golf, or explore one of the local art galleries. The Turks and Caicos Islands also hold events, including a Christmas Carnival and an International Film Festival.

VISIT: Turks and Caicos

The Cayman Islands comprises of three islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Each island offers something different, depending on your preference; Little Cayman is a chance to experience untouched wilderness and relax on secluded beaches, and Cayman Brac is rugged yet charming. It is Grand Cayman, which ultimately has the most things to do, whether thats enjoying the vibrant nightlife, or eating fresh fish at one of the restaurants. Relax on the award-winning Seven Mile Beach and soak up the atmosphere, or head to the shops. Fashion lovers will be pleased to know that shopping here is duty-free, and provides an opportunity to buy prestigious brands, including Versace and Rolex. Expeditions can be taken, with highlights including trips to Bodden Town, Rum Point, The Turtle Centre, and The National Museum of the Cayman Islands.

VISIT: Cayman Islands

Go snorkeling, diving, or enjoy the turquoise waters and soft sand of The Bahamas. The area comprises of 700 small islands, which are spread out over 100,000 square miles, with some of the more well-known islands including Ragged Island, The Exumas, Rum Cay, and Long Island. Visitors travel here for many reasons; an activity-filled family vacation, a honeymoon to remember, or an opportunity to be pampered. Wherever guests choose to visit, they wont be disappointed! There are several eco-tours that visitors can go on to learn more about the biodiversity of the island. From exotic plant life to fantastic bird sites where travelers can marvel at the bright colors of these stunning creatures. There is no shortage of beaches either, including family-friendly areas, and those that are more secluded.

VISIT: Bahamas

Saint Lucia is a small island of volcanic origin, located in the Caribbean Sea. The land is rich in minerals and soil and has rainforests, mud pools, and sulfur springs. Visitors can hike through the area, or focus their efforts on the water adventures such as scuba diving and taking a kayak down the Roseau River. The island gives travelers the chance to experience many things, and there is also much to learn. Saint Lucia is a place with a diverse history and a mix of cultures, and these influences can be found throughout the island. There are ancient archaeological sites to explore and iconic landmarks like the town of Soufrire. We also need to mention the animal life, and the area is home to beautiful birds, some of which are rare and endangered, like the Saint Lucian parrot.

VISIT: Saint Lucia

St. Vincent and The Grenadines is not as crowded as some of the other Caribbean Islands, but it is just as worthy of a visit. Most of St. Vincent is a rugged, mountainous landscape, and it is home to an active volcano called La Soufrire although there hasnt been a violent eruption for decades. The island is also home to dense forests, which is teeming with wildlife, and beaches with black sand. In comparison, The Grenadines have beautiful white sand and coral reefs that attract most of the countrys tourists. Avoid visiting the island in the period between June and November because this is when the destination is more likely to experience tropical storms and hurricanes.

VISIT: St. Vincent and The Grenadines

Antigua is home to a coral reef that attracts keen snorkelers and scuba divers who want to marvel at its beauty. Adventurous travelers can windsurf at Buccaneer Cove Beach, and those who want to see tropical fish can snorkel in the waters at Carlisle Bay Beach. There are hundreds of soft sandy beaches on the island, which are all open to the public. Those who want a romantic vacation or a chance to relax will be content with the islands natural beauty, but there are also plenty of things to do. Take an off-road tour with 268 Buggies, kayak through mangroves, or enjoy an early morning hike.

VISIT: Antigua

Jamaica is a country that is known for a few things; Bob Marley, the Reggae music genre jerk sauce, and beautiful beaches. Of course, there is so much more to this country than those things mentioned above, and Jamaica is a destination of diverse culture, friendly people, and energy. The dance, music, and art scene in Jamaica form part of the rich tapestry of the country. Those who love a good time will enjoy the vibrant nightlife. Visitors can also slow down and experience nature, soak up the sun, or enjoy a culinary tour. One of the unique places to visit would be the Luminous Lagoon, a cove that contains bioluminescent water, which makes you glow in the dark.

VISIT: Jamaica

The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean country, and a destination worth visiting. Its also one of the more accessible destinations, located just two hours from Miami. Tourists will find a selection of top resorts where they can live in luxury, and taste some of the most exceptional food that money can buy. Excellent accommodation and gastronomy adventures aside, this is also a place known for its tropical landscape and warm climate, making a beach trip a must! The country rich in history and culture, with many locations for tourists to explore. Highlights include the iconic quarter, Santo Domingos Zona Colonial, the remote beach of Baha de Las guilas, and the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua.

VISIT: The Dominican Republic

The British Virgin Islands regularly finds itself on lists of the best places to visit in the Caribbean, although a trip here does not come cheap. Luxury resorts and villas attract travelers who are craving seclusion and privacy and dont mind paying for it. The area is also popular among boating enthusiasts, who enjoy sailing around the islands clear waters, and stopping at dive sites. There are several pristine beaches to enjoy, as well as natural sights to explore, such as Devils Bay National Park and The Bubbly Pool. Those with a sense of adventure can also island hop by taking a catamaran or yacht tour.

VISIT: British Virgin Islands

If you want romance, a girls getaway, or even a family trip, the US Virgin Islands are for you. You can spend time on St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix, all of which have their appeal. St. John is the smallest island, celebrated for its charming landscape and natural beauty. St. Thomas is considered a cosmopolitan island with no shortage of things to do. Visitors can play golf, enjoy the nightlife, or go on the Skyride, which is 700 feet above the city. St. Croix is the largest of the islands and the perfect spot for a honeymoon. Top dining options and pristine beaches are standard, but its also a destination known for its art and culture. The islands are also a shoppers paradise, allowing a $1,600 duty-free allowance they use the U.S. dollar as currency.

VISIT: US Virgin Islands

Bermuda is undoubtedly one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. It is also a country that relies heavily on the tourism industry, and thankfully, its not hard to convince travelers to visit. There are many unique experiences to be had, fantastic places to stay, and impressive beaches. Marvel at the beauty of the Crystal Caves, home to fascinating formations, thought to be millions of years old. There are also hiking and biking trails for the outdoor enthusiast, as well as tennis courts and golf courses. For those who prefer a more relaxed vacation, the island has some exceptional luxury spas, including the Grotto Bay Beach Resort and Elbow Beach Bermuda. Bermuda focuses on arts and culture and holds yearly events, which promise to be great fun. These include the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts and Bermuda International Film Festival.

VISIT: Bermuda

Saint Barthlemy, or as its most commonly referred to as St. Barts, attracts people from all over the world, including celebrities. The exclusive island is an overseas territory of France, and as such, it is not surprising to find restaurants serving French cuisine. St. Barts is known for being a destination that is visited by those with deep pockets, and its entirely possible to rub shoulders with the rich and famous here. Although most people will be more concerned with relaxing on one of the islands beaches. Some of the beaches, like St. Jean, are well-known, while others like Grand Saline, offer more privacy.

VISIT: St. Barts

Adventure, beautiful beaches, and food rich in flavors, what more could you want? Puerto Rico has all this and so much more. The country is part of the United States Commonwealth, and America has influenced certain aspects of it, but Puerto Rico is also very much its own country. Its a vibrant place, and even the bold colors of the buildings reflect this. The island is bursting with culture, and there are museums, art galleries, and fantastic live music to experience. The destination is well-known for its energy and nightlife, which includes outdoor clubs and beach bars. Those who want to experience the outdoors can go on a guided hiking adventure to Cueva Ventana, or visit a rainforest park.

VISIT: Puerto Rico

Anguilla is a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning natural landscape, clear waters, and sandy shores. Visitors can reach the island via ferry from one of the neighboring islands, or by plane from select airports. Once there, travelers can stay at one of the luxury resorts, or if they prefer can opt for a villa or apartment-style accommodation. The beauty of Anguilla lends itself well to weddings and honeymoons, and many loved up couples travel here to celebrate. However, its not just for lovers, and also caters to adventure seekers who want to go horseback riding or boating, and its perfect for families. Food options are varied, from casual eats to fine dining, and there is no shortage of arts and culture.

VISIT: Anguilla

Aruba receives the most tourists in the Southern Caribbean, and for a good reason! The island has world-class accommodation, beautiful white sandy beaches, and offers diving and snorkeling opportunities. The temperature is warm all year, making it an appealing destination at all times, but those who want to avoid crowds should go in low season; mid-April to mid-December. If you go between January and March, Aruba has Carnival Season, which is something that visitors dont want to miss. Expect to see bold costumes and decorated floats, while enjoying energetic performances and music during the vibrant event.

VISIT: Aruba

Those looking for more than a bit of sun will be charmed by Costa Rica. It is a country that attracts millions of visitors each year and depends on its tourism industry; it is a paradise for divers and is home to many unique plants and exotic animal life. In addition to the stunning natural surroundings, Costa Rica is also a culturally rich and diverse country. Local artisans have perfected their craft, and travelers will enjoy seeing these handmade pieces. Costa Ricans are also passionate about music and dance, including the creole swing dance. There are historical landmarks to explore, such as the Guayabo National Archaeological Monument, and when it comes to food, no one will leave unsatisfied! Farmers markets and organic fairs are great places for food-lovers to explore. Visitors can expect great meals, using a blend of local produce, and a range of different cuisines.

VISIT: Costa Rica

Experience Tropical life with a visit to the French Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe! The landscape of the archipelago is diverse, with everything from sandy beaches to rugged mountains. Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre are the main islands, but the smaller islands are also accessible with a ferry trip. Visitors can expect beautiful beaches, and plenty of water sporting activities, including windsurfing, and there are also exotic animals and stunning birds native to the area. The areas ethnic diversity has influenced culture, which is represented by landmarks and evolving music and dance. Guadeloupe also has an unmissable carnival, which takes place over the first three months of the year.

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Internationalisation of TTIs in the Caribbean – University World News

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This report is unique in that there is relatively little research on the internationalisation of higher education in the Caribbean; the same is true regarding the internationalisation of technical and technological institutions of higher education.

The reports combined focus on the Caribbean and technical and technological institutions may be the first attempt to identify the specific dimensions, challenges and opportunities for relevant institutions in a region influenced by a very diverse landscape of education systems, reflecting the past and present influence of colonial actors.

Higher education in the Caribbean region

Although there are different ideas of the area that comes under the aegis of the Caribbean, we define it as the geographical area that includes the islands of the Antilles and the coastal areas of the countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, including Central America and the northern region of South America and Guyana. In other words, it is an area of ethnic, cultural and political diversity.

The Caribbean region has a diverse array of imported higher education systems: the British, Dutch, French, Spanish and more recently the American. Tertiary education in the Caribbean has the longest history in the Americas region and indeed Spaniards began to found universities early on in the colonisation process.

The British founded their first institution of higher education in America (Harvard) in 1636 and in the English Caribbean it took almost two more centuries.

In other colonial Caribbeans the foundation of universities came even later. The Netherlands and France contributed to the formation of new systems, which were small and had their own characteristics.

Although the influence of the former colonising country is reflected in the diversity of higher education systems, each country has been building its own system with new external influences coming from the United States and even from France, especially when it comes to the conception of short-cycle programmes.

Many of the elite from each country in the region have been trained in the higher education systems of these colonial powers and one can still observe an outward mobility trend to these colonial states and dependence on their funding, teaching and learning, structures and cultures and their quality assurance processes.

This has limited the development of their own research culture and capacity. As a consequence, it has also limited inter-regional cooperation and growth.

Europe and North America have been dominant in influencing and controlling higher education development in the Caribbean region. For that reason, in studying the internationalisation of TTIs in the Caribbean, it is relevant to ask: are institutions, countries and regions simply mimicking the priorities of Anglo-Western forms of internationalisation or are distinctive forms emerging which better reflect local needs and priorities?

Technical and technological institutions

Technical and technological institutions (TTIs) are institutions that form a key part of the macro regional system. In our study we refer to TTIs as institutions that offer post-secondary training programmes.

However, the training programmes offered by TTIs are programmes that are completed in less time than traditional university degrees. In terms of UNESCO, we refer to institutions that offer only Level 5 programmes as defined by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011).

One of the expected characteristics of TTIs is the level of their relationship with industry as well as their ability to provide a bridge between previous and subsequent educational levels.

What are the key lessons to be learned from this report? We have to take into account certain limitations of the study. We could only include case studies from five settings (Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic) and feedback from a survey of nine institutions in eight countries (with Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia and St Kitts adding to those previously listed).

Thus the study tells us more about the Spanish-speaking countries in the region, gives us a little information about the two English-speaking islands and the French-speaking Haiti.

Nevertheless, it still provides quite a diverse picture about the respective evolution and approach to internationalisation. The local context, its stage of development, any economic and political instability and the position of TTIs in the educational system are characteristics that influence institutions status, performance and also their internationalisation efforts.

Cuba is a special case as it is only recently that Level 5 programmes have been started there.

What do the results tell us?

First, the number of international students is less than 1% of total enrolment. In other words, there is extremely limited international student presence in the TTIs of the Caribbean, but more importantly, inter-regional mobility of students is almost totally absent.

The larger TTIs in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and, to some extent, the two institutions in Saint Lucia and St Kitts have some exchange of students, but these are very limited and do not take place in a structural way.

As for partnerships, the main ones are with institutions in North America, followed by Europe and then the Caribbean region and Latin America, but again these are limited. In the case of North America and Europe, these are primarily donor driven.

As for policies and strategies, all institutions recognise the importance of internationalisation for their institution; none have explicit policies and strategies, but most have some kind of entity that coordinates activities and undertakes actions. Overall, the picture is that of a centralised but marginal approach to internationalisation, based on good intentions but lacking a coherent and comprehensive approach or available funds.

What are the main actions undertaken? They include: signing memoranda of understanding, looking for external donor funding from Europe and North America, participation in international and regional networks and some exchange of students and faculty.

Traditional approach

To sum up, we observe a rather traditional approach towards internationalisation, depending more on external donor funding than on well-defined institutional policy and approach based on institutions own mission, context and needs.

The main challenges are perceived as funding, facilities and commitment to, and-or understanding of, the importance of internationalisation by teaching staff and, in some cases, senior management.

The main opportunities of internationalisation are perceived as: improving the quality of education, boosting employability, improving the competitiveness of the private sector, helping the personal development of the students and staying up to date with international developments.

Nearly all institutions make reference to the importance of internationalisation of the curriculum, community engagement and partnerships. In several cases there is mention of internationalisation of research, but there is little sign of anything more than good intentions.

The overall picture provided by the case studies and survey is one of good intentions, limited and fragmented initiatives, a lack of funds and facilities, a lack of clear plans and strategies and the lack of a clear vision about the relevance and needs of TTIs when it comes to internationalisation.

What is also very clear is the lack of a regional approach and focus for the Caribbean and a dependence on former colonial powers and donors from North America and Europe.


The picture provided by the report is not optimistic and results indicate the need to address more strategically how TTIs can and should develop their own internationalisation plans and policies. Based on this study, we recommend the following needs:

Hans de Wit is director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, United States. E-mail: dewitj@bc.edu. Miguel J Escala is professor emeritus of the Instituto Tecnolgico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), Dominican Republic. E-mail: migueljescala@gmail.com. This contribution is based on the concluding chapter of Internationalisation of Technical and Technological Institutions of Higher Education in the Caribbean, a report by the Technological Institute of the Americas (ITLA) and the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), edited by Hans de Wit, Miguel J Escala and Gloria Snchez Valverde, CIHE Perspectives No 15.

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Caribbean Hispanics and Baseball: How to Connect In and Outside the U.S. – Portada-online.com

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For brands who want to connect with Caribbean Hispanics in the U.S., baseball could represent the right platform to start a long-term consumer-brand relationship. Nearly one-third of all major league players are Latinos, including those born in Latin America and within the 50 U.S. states. The Dominican Republic has the highest number of players in the big leagues.

Once upon a time, on May 9, 1871, Estevan Enrique Steve Belln debuted as the first Latin American born individual to play professional baseball in the U.S.A. He played as a third baseman for the Troy Haymakers in New York. About 200 years later, nearly one-third of all major league players are first or second-generation Latinos.

According to the Major League Baseball (MLB), the Dominican Republic has the highest number of international players in the big leagues, with 102 players during Opening Day in 2019. Second in the ranking is Venezuela, with 68 players, and Cuba comes in third with 19 players. Baseball receives the most attention in Caribbean countries, even more than soccer, Augusto Romano, CEO at Digo Hispanic Media, tells Portada.

First, Digo noticed Caribbean Hispanics are a niche market with particular needs, separate from the general Hispanic market. Then, the U.S Hispanic audience network figured how to reach about five million Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans who are concentrated on the east coast of the U.S. However, Romano has a new strategy in mind: Get to them through baseball!

Born from the union of the two largest media groups in the Caribbean, GFR Media from Puerto Rico and Grupo Corripio from the Dominican Republic, Digos audience has shown a special interest in how Caribbean-born baseball players are developing within MLB. We write stories about the playersin a culturally relevant manner, starting with their origins, something the mainstream media doesnt do. This allows U.S. Hispanic fans to follow players from their country of origin on our premium sites, says Romano. Nevertheless, it seems brands are still missing out on the opportunity.

According to Josh Rawitch, Sr. Vice President, Content & Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, since last year, the MLB has been working on promoting individual players.This is an important shift in the leagues marketing strategy where traditionally entire teams were promoted.

The league is smart enough to let these players be who they are, Rawitch tells Portada. Therefore we are letting their personalities show a little bit more.

Most of Arizona Diamondbacks fans come from Mexico and Venezuela. However, the team also recognizes the importance of its Caribbean followers. The star, pitcher Yoan Lopez, for example, is from Cuba.

Concerning Puerto Rican players, Esteban Pagn, sports editor at GFR Media, believes that even though Puerto Rico has produced four island born hall of famers, and they have always been very active and noticeable with players in the league, right now theres a new group of very talented players that are starting to arise. It is a matter of time for us to see more profesional global Puerto Rican players, he explains. Brands are missing out on opportunities to connect with the U.S.H. audience because these big players are just starting to emerge and are recently being noticed and followed by MLB fans.

We are in the exact time in which we can see the potential [of the Caribbean players] in the long run, Jorge Cabezas, GFR Media, General Manager, adds.

The way we try to connect with the Caribbean fan base is first through our social media accounts. Theyre being followed by Latinos all over the world, thus we specifically try to highlight our Hispanic players. We have some Cuban players and tons of Venezuelans and Dominicans, adds Rawitch. We know when we are sending out messages on social media, we are interacting heavily with fans from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

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The second way the D-Backs are connecting with Caribbean Hispanics is through their local baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. In fact, all30 major league clubs have baseball academies there, according to Anthony Salazar, chair of the Latino baseball committee.

We go down there for graduation every January or February. Moreover, we do a second trip when we do a clinic in the Dominican Republic or well do public appearances, explains Rawitch.

As a matter of fact, Digo Hispanic Media recently announced their exclusive partnership with NGL Collective, focused on custom content generation.

Their first docuseries named Las Academias, explores the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic along with the small towns scouting for talented hopefuls. These athletes each and every day train at one of the 30 major league youth training camps across the island.

Brands will have access to sponsor these content series via our sales team and we will insert them in the story to ensure their brand and products are showcased in a relevant and engaging manner, said Aisha Burgos, SVP of Sales & Marketing for Digo Hispanic Media.

It seems that the league and its teams are already reaching out to their Hispanic and Caribbean Hispanic fans. So, whats happening with brands?

Most brands recognize that outside of soccer, baseball is probably the second most followed sport in Latin America. However, in some countries like Cuba or DR, it is even bigger, believes Rawitch. Simply, look at the sheer volume of people who are following baseball from the Caribbean. If youre a company looking to communicate with them, it makes sense to find your way there through a major league team, for instance.

According to Google Trends, in the past 12 months the words baseball, beisbol and pelota were the most searched the most in countries like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panam & Venezuela. Baseball runs in our blood. This represents a huge opportunity that brands need to take advantage of, said Romano.

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Joanna Lumley To Uncover The Hidden Caribbean In Her Latest Adventure For ITV – Deadline

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Joanna Lumley, the Paddington 2 actress and BAFTA Film Awards host, is to embark on her latest adventure for ITV this time seeking to get under the skin of the Caribbean.

ITV has commissioned Burning Bright Productions to make two-part Joanna Lumleys Hidden Caribbean: Havana To Haiti, in which she will aim to showcase the history and secrets of different Caribbean islands on a 1,500-mile trip.

The miniseries will air in spring next year and follows similar documentaries Lumley has made for ITV with Burning Bright, including Joanna Lumleys India and her Trans-Siberian Adventure.

Clive Tulloh is the executive producer, while ITV factual controller Jo Clinton-Davis commissioned the series. Ewen Thomson is the director.

Joannas enthusiasm for and curiosity about the countries and cultures she explores always adds a layer of interest and excitement for viewers, Clinton-Davis said.

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UN spotlights ‘explosive’ obesity rates, hunger in Latin America and Caribbean – UN News

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ThePanorama of Food and Nutritional Security 2019,jointly published by a group of UN health agencies,urgedcountries totake swiftaction to address the malnutritionissueacrossthe region.

"The explosive increase in obesity,which affects 24 percent of the regional population, about 105 million people -almost double the global level of 13.2 percent- not only has huge economic costs, but also threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands", said JulioBerdegu, Regional Representative for the UNs Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO).

Spotlighting the importance of promoting healthier food environments, the report suggested using taxation and otherincentives that favor healthy food, social protection systems, school feedingprogrammesand the regulation of food advertising and marketing.

Improving food labeling, ensuring safety and quality of food sold on the street and reformulating ingredients of certain products to ensure nutritional value can also aid the growing problem.

The fastest growing trendin the regions food sector is that ofultra-processed food products,increasing thepopulation's exposure to excessive amounts of sugar, sodium and fat,according to the report.

Every year, 600,000 people in the region diefromdiet-related diseases, such a diabetes,hypertension and cardiovascular illnesses, while inadequate diets are threatening future generations, as the rates of both childhood and adolescent obesity tripled between 1990 and 2016.

As food processing industries dominate the regions food environment, ultra-processed products are more readily available in expanding supermarket chains, andaffordability is outweighingmorenutritious options, with thepoorthe hardest hit.

At least 13 countries in the region have taken measures that seek to favor adequate food, and eight have improved advertisingregulations, and four have implemented food labeling laws.

"We must act now to reverse this trend and prevent children from suffering the consequences of poor diets on their health and their future quality of life," said Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization(PAHO), which is also WHOs Regional Office.

She added that "we need the commitment of the whole society and public policies that regulate unhealthy food products, create environments conducive to physical activity and promote healthy eating at school and at the family table."

Tuesdays report stresses that need for social protection programs among other measures that promote food safety and quality essential to improve nutrition.

Today, social protectionprogrammes supply more than 200 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, roughly a third of the regional population, with breakfast, snacks and lunch,including 85 million schoolchildren.

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This Indian version of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme is too infectious for words – Classic FM

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15 November 2019, 09:07 | Updated: 15 November 2019, 09:41

Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmers swashbuckling theme, but with Indian instrumentation...

An Indian version of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme is sweeping the Internet, with more than seven million views on YouTube.

Its a stripped-back cover of Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmers original theme using just a sarangi, flute, tabla drums and a keyboard.

Composed by Tushar Lall, founder of The Indian Jam Project, the arrangement adopts a slightly different pace to Badelt and Zimmers high-energy heroic theme.

Gone are the heavy cymbals and untuned percussion, and instead we hear a softer composition with traditional Indian instruments.

Aside from their differences, both versions still manage to capture the sensation of the swaying sea a key element which defines the music.

Read more: All-brass Pirates of the Caribbean will buckle your swashes immediately >

Tushar is attempting to knit classical Indian tones into the script of Western music to showcase the beauty of Indian music, the group explains.

It is a one-of-a-kind concept where fusion of Indo-western styles of music produces a concoction which is deeply emotive as well as thought-provoking showing that music transcends boundaries and has no language.

The musicians behind the performance are all part of the The Indian Jam Project, a group of experts who compose and arrange Indianised adaptations of well-known music.

Great job, guys. We always knew pirates would make excellent musicians (must be their high Cs).

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BVI Food Fete Offers a Tantalizing Taste of the Caribbean – TravelPulse

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In more than 20 years as a travel writer, Ive visited the British Virgin Islands (BVI) at least twice. It may be three times. Honestly, Ive forgotten. Anyway, those stopovers were all one-day affairs. Each time I was a cruise passenger aboard a ship calling at Road Town in Tortola, the territorys capital.

A single day provides plenty of time for a hike in Sage Mountain National Park or some Road Town shopping and sightseeing. But all these years I could never truthfully say I knew very much about the BVI.

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That changed this past week: I joined a small group of reporters for a four-night journey through the BVIs 50-plus islands and cays hosted by the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board. And unlike my first BVI exposures, this time I traveled in a manner befitting the sailing capital of the Caribbean.

Our group sailed the territory aboard two four-cabin, deluxe catamarans provided by Dream Yacht Charter. Each vessel accommodated three writers in small but comfortable, air-conditioned cabins. A captain, chef and first mate (who also piloted the second catamaran) comprised the highly capable crew.

Our trip focused on the launch of Food Fte, a month-long, territory-wide culinary festival now in its sixth year.

Implemented by Sharon Flax Brutus, the British Virgin Islands Tourist Boards director, the increasingly popular foodie festival is the territorys premier promotional event and a terrific opportunity for foodies to experience one of the Caribbeans under-appreciated destinations.

Flax Brutus describes Food Fte as the future of BVI culinary for its focus on creative dishes infused with Caribbean flavor and local, Caribbean-born and international chefs showcasing distinctive fusions.

Now Im far from a food writer. However, I do enjoy food. Thus I couldnt help but note the cuisine I encountered during our tripfrom the food to wine to the cocktailswas uniformly delicious and representative of the regions characteristic blend of African, Caribbean and European gastronomy.

Two gatherings highlighted our Food Fte experience, both of which are open to travelers and residents alike. Gourmet Soiree kicked off the months events with a night of elegant and decadent cuisine at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, where our group stayed for one evening before our catamaran excursion.

At the Gourmet Soiree, at which Scrub Island officials also introduced Chloe St-Cyr, the resorts new executive chef, we dined graciously on fare from award-winning local and international chefs, including Adrianne Calvo and Kerry Heffernan.

During dinner I chatted with young local chef Kevin Jones, whose jerk pork belly tacos have created a local sensation following his return to his home territory after two years in the UK.

Two nights later, perfect early evening weather created an ideal environment for A Taste of Tortola, an open-air celebration at Tortolas Queen Elizabeth II Park.

The casual foodie festival featured exceptional local restaurant fare and the best dishes from BVI food trucks and vendors of regional delicacies. Visitors paid $25 per person for free run of the numerous food and drink vendors, while live musical entertainment played throughout. Its a terrific deal.

Personally I enjoyed a unique version of my favorite Caribbean cocktail, a mojito, made with specialty tequila (in place of the traditional rum).

After the drink, I took in one pork belly and johnny cake combo; a slider composed of 40 percent ground beef and 60 percent brisket and topped with wasabi sauce; a magnificent ceviche I still recall; and two slices of sweet potato and coconut pie (as I said, I enjoy food). Then I drank another tequila mojito.

In between the festivals, our group embarked aboard our all-day catamarans tours of BVI resorts and attractions, beginning with Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the BVIs four main islands (after Anegada, Tortola and Virgin Gorda).

At White Bay, our group shared tropical libations and fresh seafood at casual beachfront eatery Hendos Hideout, and then took a few steps down the beach to the Soggy Dollar for signature painkiller rum cocktails.

We also called at Richard Bransons legendary Necker Island, still in recovery from the late 2017 Caribbean hurricanes.

While some work remains to be done, (the official re-opening is set for April), the island remains extraordinary.

Necker is a combination of a deluxe luxury resort with sumptuous accommodations featuring Balinese-style furnishings; with a dedicated animal reserve for threatened flamingos and lemurs; plus a sports-and-adventure themed getaway with premium tennis facilities and guided kite-surfing in its blue windward waters.

Later we wound around to The Baths National Park on Virgin Gordas north shore. We trekked in between and around The Baths massive granite boulders at the beach's edge, a frame for endless Instagram posts.

We also toured the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, the historic Laurence Rockefeller luxury property that was also impacted by the 2017 hurricanes. The 80-room resort on 500 lush acres is slated to re-open in January.

At Norman Island, the catamarans anchored near Willy Ts Floating Bar and Restaurant, a former cargo ship converted into a bar reachable only by boat or water taxi. At various points, some of our group jumped off our catamarans into the cooling blue ocean waters for swimming and snorkeling.

Each day we all reveled in the territorys warm breezes and sunny skies and marveled at the rich blue waters and lush green hillsides we found in nearly every direction.

The four nights seemed to unfold as an extended dream of good food, good weather, good company and good times. Something like four great one-day visits, only infinitely more rich and rewarding.

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Viceroy to Open Caribbean Overwater Bungalow Resort in 2021 – Caribbean Journal

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Viceroy is planning a 2021 debut for its highly-anticipated overwater bungalow resort on the Caribbean coast of Panama.

The Viceroy Bocas del Toro Panama will be opening its doors in 2021, according to Viceroys Web site.

The long-awaited resort, which would be one of just a few overwater resorts in the wider Caribbean region, was first announced back in 2016.

The resort, set in the spectacular archipelago of Bocas del Toro, will include 42 private overwater villas, the pinnacle of what makes this destination truly extraordinary, according to the company.

In all, the new Viceroy will span 457 acres, with a total of 186 rooms and residences.

The Viceroy Bocas del Toro Panama will also include eight eateries and lounges, a number of pools, a spa, meditation space and a fitness center.

This the Viceroy vibe, with a tropical twist, the company said on its Web site.

Once completed, the resort would join a select group of overwater resorts in the region, most notably those run by Sandals Resorts International, which has been steadily growing its collection of overwater accommodations in recent years.

The property is being designed by Zurcher Arquitectos in Costa Rica, with interiors by Wimberly Interiors.

The Viceroy would join a handful of boutique overwater resorts in Panama like the popular Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, also set in Bocas del Toro.

The move also marks what seems to be a growing trend of development in the Western Caribbean, from the continued boom in hotel development in Belize to this summers announcement by Kimpton that it would be opening a resort in Roatan, Honduras.

Viceroys Caribbean portfolio includes a resort in the Riviera Maya.

Last year, the company opened a new hotel in Mexico, the Viceroy Los Cabos.

For more, visit Viceroy Panama.


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The Best Destinations in the Caribbean – TravelersToday

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The Caribbean has a lot to offer with its warm waters, sandy shores, and great cocktails. Each country in the Caribbean has its own unique atmosphere, and what could be the perfect destination for someone seeking a high-end resort with beachfront views might not work well for budget travelers who wish to immerse themselves in local culture. The Caribbean not only offers up an amazing escape from cold winter climates but also creates memories to last for a lifetime. It has seen a massive increase in bookings for islands around the region.

Travelers all over the world are going to start swapping American road trips and visits to European fairytale towns for all-inclusive resorts and long walks on the beach.

1. St. Lucia

The mystical mountain terrain characterized by sharp mossy peaks jutting up from the Caribbean Seais breathtaking. It has excellent scuba diving, hiking, and windsurfing opportunities, plus the hot springs and delicious Creole cuisine. St. Lucia is a Caribbean island paradise that combines rugged volcanic mountains, tropical rainforest, and sandy beaches. It strikes a balance between a developed, tourist-friendly island and a rustic destination full of local charm and unspoiled natural landscape.

St. Lucia's beaches are all open to the public. You'll never have to face that terrible realization that the dreamy beach you've spotted is for resort guests only.

2. Antigua

Antigua can be driven around more than a few times in a single day - - you are only ever really 45 minutes away at most from wherever else you need to be. Antigua is all rum punch and bright colours, to local charm and of course - ocean that shade of aquamarine that draws tourists year after year.

The 365 beaches have powder white sand, sapphire clear blue water and palm tress rustling in the light breeze. There is not a single building in Darkwood Beach which is an escape from reality.

3. Martinique

For Martinique, searches for Fort-de-France have increased by 78 percent, Les Trois-lets have increased by 68 percent, and Sainte-Luce have jumped 64 percent. It is a captivating combination of deep rainforest, rocky cliffside terrain, Creole-inspired cuisine, and the calmest, clearest water you'll ever encounter.

The French Caribbean island is over 430 square miles of rugged paradise that is best explored by car. It is an ideal location for those looking to do a bit of hiking while on their Caribbean getaway. Go trekking in the north, kayaking in the west, and surfing in the east.

4. Barbados

One image springs to mind: Not the incredible shimmering blue waters or the sugar-white beaches, but a person, Rihanna.

Barbados is lovable with its stunning coral reefs, chilled vibes, and pink and white-sand beaches.It is going to become more popular next year due to an increase in interest of culture, thumping nightlife, energetic festivals and scenery. The Crop Over Festival is a six-week celebration timed to the end of sugar cane season where Barbadians are parading through the streets in beautiful sequined and feathered costumes.

Hurricanes rarely hit Barbados as it is situated on the periphery of most hurricane paths.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security in Latin America and the Caribbean – World – ReliefWeb

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November 12, 2019, Santiago de Chile - The prevalence of adult obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean has tripled since 1975, affecting one in four adults in a region where hunger has grown once again, reaching 42.5 million people, according to a new United Nations report issued today, the Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security 2019.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP), called for countries in the region to develop urgent actions to address the increase in malnutrition.

The document highlights the need to promote healthier food environments through taxes and incentives that favor healthy food, social protection systems, school feeding programs and the regulation of food advertising and marketing. The agencies also stress the importance of improving food labeling with frontal nutritional warning systems, ensuring the safety and quality of food sold on the street, and reformulating the composition of certain products to ensure their nutritional contribution.

According to the Panorama report, the most significant increase in adult obesity in the region was observed in the Caribbean, where the percentage quadrupled, rising from 6 percent in 1975 to 25 percent, an increase in absolute terms from 760,000 to 6.6 million people.

The explosive increase in obesity which affects 24 percent of the regional population, about 105 million people, almost double the global level of 13.2 percent not only has huge economic costs, but also threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands, explained the FAOs Regional Representative, Julio Berdegu.

According to the Panorama, every year 600,000 people die in Latin America and the Caribbean due to diseases related to poor diets, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Inadequate diets are associated with more deaths than any other risk factor, something that threatens our future generations, since the rates of both childhood and adolescent obesity have tripled between 1990 and 2016.

We must act now to reverse this trend and prevent children from suffering the consequences of poor diets on their health and their future quality of life, said PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. To achieve this, we need the commitment of the whole society and public policies that regulate unhealthy food products, create environments conducive to physical activity and promote healthy eating at school and at the family table, he added.

The publication highlights that the region is worse than the rest of the world in the majority of malnutrition indicators related to excessive calorie intake: overweight has doubled since the 1970s, and today affects 59.5 percent of adults in the region, 262 million people, while globally the rate is 20 percentage points lower: 39.1 percent

In contrast, the region has lower undernourishment rates than the world (6.5 percent for the region versus 10.8 worldwide), stunting (9 percent versus 21.9), and much lower rates of wasting (1.3 percent, versus 7.3for the world). However, the agencies warn of the worrying increase in hunger, which has grown again by 4.5 million people since 2014 an increase of 11 percent reaching 42.5 million in 2018, its highest point of the last decade.

Changes in the food environment

The Panorama makes a detailed analysis of how the food environment of the region has changed, understood as the space of interaction between people and the physical, economic, political and socio-cultural conditions that influence the way they acquire, prepare and consume food.

Sales of ultra-processed food products are the fastest growing in Latin America and they increase the population's exposure to excessive amounts of sugar, sodium and fat. Between 2000 and 2013, the consumption of ultra-processed products grew by more than 25 percent, and fast food consumption grew almost 40 percent.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, too many children eat too little healthy food and too much processed food, said Bernt Aasen, UNICEF Regional Director (a.i.) for Latin America and the Caribbean. Almost 1 in 5 children under 5 are malnourished or overweight, which prevents them from growing well. It is everyone's task to ensure healthy food is available and affordable for all families, especially the most vulnerable.

The expansion of supermarket chains and the preponderance of large food processing industries is another major change in the regional food environment, one which has made ultra-processed products available everywhere, and at lower prices than nutritious food. Poor people have been hardest hit by these changes, since for this population group it is often easier and cheaper to access unhealthy rather than healthy food.

Regional responses to promote healthier food environments

The region has reacted to the rise in malnutrition through a series of public policies. Countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay have implemented food labeling laws, which allow consumers to make better decisions.

Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Panama and Uruguay have improved regulation on food advertising, and at least 13 countries in the region have adopted fiscal and social measures that seek to favor adequate food. The Panorama report stresses that social protection and school feeding programs, public food supply and marketing systems and policies that promote food safety and quality are essential to improve nutrition.

"If we expand social protection programs in our region, we would better face the double burden that hunger and obesity represent for communities and families," said WFP Regional Director Miguel Barreto. "These are the two faces of malnutrition." Social protection programs today cover more than 200 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, including 85 million schoolchildren who receive breakfast, snacks or lunch.


FAOBenjamn Labatut+56 229 232 174benjamin.labatut@fao.org

PAHO / WHOSebastin OlielT. +1 202 974 3459M. +1 (202) 316 5679oliels@paho.org

UNICEFMara Alejandra BerroternT. +507 62972099M. +507 3017482maberroteran@unicef.org

WFPElio RujanoT. +507 317 3900M. +507 6677 0608elio.rujano@wfp.org

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