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CIBC FirstCaribbean A Leader in Supporting Financing of Sustainable Infrastructure

SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI, Florida - Advancing its dedication to maintaining strong environmental standards and promoting its commitment to financing sustainable infrastructure and environmentally friendly projects throughout the Caribbean, CIBC FirstCaribbean served as co-title sponsor for one of the region’s most pivotal conferences focused on the further development of green and sustainable infrastructure.

Speaking at the 7th Caribbean Infrastructure Forum, hosted by New Energy Events, CIBC FirstCaribbean Executive Director of Corporate Banking & Sustainable Finance, Gillian Charles-Gollop said the bank remains committed to facilitating sustainable financing for infrastructure projects that are climate resilient and will bode well for the region.

“We were one of the first regional banks that actually financed renewable energy,” Charles-Gollop said.

“We started with the 30-megawatt windfarm in Curacao, which has since been further developed. We’ve done renewable energy in Jamaica and Cayman Islands. So, it’s always been a commitment for us, in terms of investing in the region in a positive way. What we’re doing now is in line with some of the things we’ve been doing for the last 30 years,” she said.

“For example, we would use the equator principles as well, which really deals with sustainability and the environment. Part of our strategy is turning our buildings into more ‘green buildings’ and making them more energy efficient, in terms of conservation. We recently installed some of the electric chargers for vehicles and we have been encouraging our leaders to convert their vehicles to electric,” she added.

CIBC FirstCaribbean has remained at the forefront of financing sustainable and renewable energy projects, having invested in transactions totaling over $150 million in wind and solar projects across the region, according to the company’s Annual Report for 2022.

Through its Blue loan financing, the bank has co-arranged $146M in financing with $73M in committed funding for the Government of Barbados in relation to Marine Conservation.

“Blue Financing is really about how we in the region can protect our marine environment and best use the resources that we have to sustainably develop and drive the economy,” Charles-Gollop said.

“You not only have the marine environment for tourism, but the fisheries that supports our food industry. So, it is really about how we can really protect our marine environment but also be able to identify the areas where we can also use it for economic development, whether it be for tourism or the fisheries industry.”

According to Charles-Gollop, governments make up the lion share of applicants for Blue financing, keeping in line with countries’ global environmental commitments and targets.  

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s parent company, CIBC Canada, has been a signatory on the UN Principles for Responsible Investment since 2018 and is a founding signatory on the 2050 Net Zero Banking Alliance. The bank remains actively engaged in supporting a number of causes across the business footprint through its charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean ComTrust Foundation.

During CARIF 2023, government leaders, as well as executives from the private and public sectors throughout the Caribbean engaged in active discussion centered around sustainable infrastructure for the region. Topics included meeting the infrastructure needs of the cruise tourism and shipping industry, building grid infrastructure for the future of Caribbean power, mobilizing capital for food security, and improving distribution networks.

CIBC Gillian Charles Gollop addressing the CARIF 23 Conference

Gillian Charles-Gollop addressing the CARIF 23 Conference. 



To Foster Collaboration in Communications CBCS Hosts 1st Regional Communication Workshop for Central Banks

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Communication professionals at regional central banks commonly encounter shared challenges as their organizations move from traditional, closed central banks to more open and transparent institutions.

This underscores the significance of collaboration in the area of communication within the region. This was one of the key takeaways from the 1st Regional Central Bank Communication Workshop, held in Curaçao from September 13 to 15. The workshop, titled “Transitioning into a New Era of Central Banking Communications in the Caribbean,” was the initiative of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS).

Several regional and international central bank communications professionals convened on our island for the three-day workshop. CBCS President Richard Doornbosch presided over the official opening of the workshop. Next, David-Jan Jansen (De Nederlandsche Bank) kicked off as keynote speaker, delivering his presentation titled “Communication and Transparency in Central Banks: Research & Practice,” in which he stressed the importance of communication with the general public.

Thierry Bangratz & Petr Jakubik (IMF/CARTAC) followed, speaking respectively on communication from a supervisory perspective and on communication concerning financial stability. David Hofman (IMF) highlighted the evolution of communication from a monetary policy perspective.

Paul Badertscher (Bank of Canada) presented on the transformation of communication from the perspective of the Central Bank of Canada. Special guest speaker Volodymyr Lepushynskyi (National Bank of Ukraine), traveling to Curaçao from the war zone, gave a presentation on monetary policy in times of crisis and its associated communication, citing recent examples from the Central Bank of Ukraine.

The keynote addresses were interspersed with various island cases presented by Bank of Jamaica, the Central Bank of Barbados, the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and the CBCS.

“Central banks, as public entities, need to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, maintaining their identity as prudentially responsible regulators transitioning into more open and accessible authorities, and, on the other hand, taking into account the spirit of the times and speaking a language that the community understands,” said Nancy Guttenberg-van der Wal, Head of Corporate Communications at the CBCS.

The conference was moderated by Marek Petruš, an international communications consultant specializing in the field of central banks. Petruš also delivered an introductory presentation titled “Enhancing Transparency and Communications: Present-Day Challenges (& Opportunities) in the Caribbean.”

Other workshop participants were Centrale Bank van Aruba, Centrale Bank van Suriname, the Central Bank of the Bahamas and the Central Bank of Belize. The workshop, considered a great success by the participants, also saw the official establishment of a communications network among the participating central banks.

CBCS envisions this as the start of a lasting tradition, with a different central bank taking on the organizing responsibilities for each subsequent event.

CBCS Speakers Participants Group Photo

CBCS Speakers and Participants Group Photo



Gasoline and Diesel prices to increase on Friday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Friday, September 22, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for gasoline and diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.2.635 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.2.687 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.2.270 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.2.401 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 


Teen Times ‘spooktacular’ Halloween Costume Party Just for Teens Oct. 28

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Get ready for a hauntingly good time as Teen Times invites all teenagers to a thrilling Halloween party like no other on Saturday, October 28th. “We're excited to announce the most epic and safe Halloween bash for teenagers, ensuring a spooky night of fun without the need for a nightclub experience,” Coordinator of Teen Times Roosje Rommy-Richardson said.

She explained that for years teens and their parents have lamented the fact that there isn’t an event around Halloween that caters exclusively to teens. The only options available to them, are events at adult oriented night clubs and other establishments. While some teens attend these events, most parents are vigilant and do not allow their teens to attend those events.

Teen Times knows how important it is for teenagers to have a safe and enjoyable environment to celebrate Halloween, a US holiday that teens on St. Maarten have grown to embrace. That's why we've created an exclusive Halloween extravaganza just for teens, where they can revel in the spirit of the holiday without the worries of underage clubbing.

The event will be held at the Aleeze Convention Center and Event Hall and will run from 8pm until 2am, or as Teen Times jokingly calls it, “witching hour”. Entrance price is just US $5 for all teen between the age of 13 to 19. The price goes up to US $10 at midnight.

Teen Times is no stranger in taking what is historically a US tradition, and adding their own twist on it. The group has successfully organized the annual Prom Night for the past 27 years, which is widely viewed as the most anticipated end-of-the-year event for high school seniors. “And we will be just as detailed and prepared for our first Halloween Costume Party and prepared as we normally are with all of our events,” Rommy-Richardson said.

Rommy-Richardson explained what teens can expect:

Scare Tunnel: Brace yourselves for a spine-tingling adventure as you enter our haunted scare tunnel filled with surprises and eerie delights!

Halloween Drinks & Snacks: Quench your thirst with special Halloween-themed drinks and enjoy delicious snacks to keep you energized throughout the night.

Photobooth Fun: Capture memories with your friends in our Halloween-themed photobooth, complete with props and backdrops to create unforgettable snapshots.

Costume Contest: Show off your creativity and style in our grand Halloween costume contest! Prizes await those with the spookiest, most creative, and best-themed costumes.

Dance Floor: Groove to your favorite tunes on our dance floor, where our DJ will be spinning the hottest tracks all night long.

Safe Environment: Parents, rest assured that your teens will be in a secure and supervised environment throughout the event. We prioritize the safety and well-being of all attendees.

“Don't miss out on the Halloween Costume Party of the year! Grab your friends, put on your best costumes, and join us at the Aleeze Convention Center and Event Hall for a night of frightful fun and excitement,” Rommy Richardson said.


Households reminded to cooperate with important national health survey

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA) Public Health Department, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) executive agencies, in conjunction with Social & Health Insurances (SZV), and other relevant stakeholders, started the STEPS Survey SXM 2023, a national population health survey to assess risk factors for noncommunicable diseases.

CPS is reminding households to cooperate with surveyors when they pass by to conduct the national health survey.

3,500 households will be randomly selected and surveyed. House-to-house interviews and health screenings will be conducted among selected adults between the age 18-69 years.

The aim is to collect data on behavioral and biological factors that can increase the risk of noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer.

This survey is conducted with the support from Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO). This survey is also being conducted in various countries in the Caribbean Region.

The survey commenced in July 2023 and is scheduled to conclude at the end of October 2023.


Aqua Mania Adventures Hosts 8th Annual Pink Sunset Sail on September 30th

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Aqua Mania Adventures is thrilled to announce the 8th annual Pink Sunset Sail, set to take place on September 30th, 2023, in support of local breast cancer awareness foundations, Positive and Elektralyets. This beloved event continues to grow in popularity, drawing both locals and visitors to unite for a noble cause. The Pink Sunset Sail remains dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer, emphasizing early detection, and inspiring individuals to prioritize self-awareness through the "Love the Tatas, Check ‘em” approach. 

Breast cancer not only affects those battling the disease but also impacts countless children, husbands, friends, and family members who endure the hardships and aftermath of treatment. Mercedes "Elektra" van der Waals-Wyatt, President of the Elektralytes Foundation, shares, "Far too many victims of breast cancer suffer, and it's not just the patients; it's their entire support network. We want to focus on early detection and self-awareness – being breast-aware: Love the Tatas – and make that call to action to get checked!" 

Set against the stunning backdrop of St. Maarten's golden coastline, the Pink Sunset Sail offers a 90-minute coastal sail into the sunset on Aqua Mania Adventures' large sailing catamarans, Tango and Lambada. As guests enjoy the scenic voyage, a raffle will be held to raise additional funds for the cause. 

Before embarking on the Pink Sunset Sail, attendees are invited to join the Pink Mixer, a vibrant gathering featuring welcome drinks and hors d'oeuvres courtesy of ILTT, Captain D’s and La Patrona. The event has evolved over the years to offer a complete experience with music, refreshments, snacks, and, of course, the breathtaking coastal sail. Organizer Michele Korteweg expresses her gratitude for the continued support of the local community and businesses, which has allowed the event to grow and thrive. 

Last year's Pink Sunset Sail raised an impressive $4,000 for the Elektralytes and Positive Foundations. Funds are generated through ticket sales and a raffle, with raffle tickets available for purchase on the boats during the sunset sail. 

Throughout October, the Positive Foundation, in collaboration with partners such as the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), local medical practitioners, the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, Collective Prevention Services (CPS), the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor VSA, and sponsors, will provide free screening opportunities, 100 free mammograms for uninsured individuals, breast self-examination workshops, in-person presentations on breast cancer awareness, and free educational literature at various events. 

“The goal of the campaign is to educate, both women and men about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, the importance of regular breast screenings and the various treatment options available” highlights Shelly Alphonso, President of the Positive Foundation. “Additionally, the annual breast cancer awareness campaign also aims to reduce the stigma surrounding breast cancer, the most common cancer in women worldwide.”

The raffle at the Pink Sunset Sail promises excitement, with chances to win incredible prizes, including weekend stays at Simpson Bay Resort, Belair Beach Hotel, and Atrium, as well as vouchers for popular dining establishments like Pineapple Pete's, Dinghy Dock, Zeebest Bakeshop, Domino's Pizza, Balls & Wine, Hideaway, Sint Maarten Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant and Lee’s Roadside Grill. Many other businesses contributed as well, such as Napa, Rhino Riders, Boomerang, Nectar, Shipwreck Shops, Penha, Dutch Blonde, The Phoenix, Billy Bones Charters, Seaview Beach Hotel, Bar & Restaurant, Caribbean Palms, Aquarius Spa, Island Water World, DAS Cigars, SCDF and The Scuba Shop, among many others. 

Guests are encouraged to participate in the "Best Dressed Guest" contest, with the winner receiving a free ticket to next year's event. Let your creativity shine with pink wigs, glitter hats, and blinged-up special t-shirts for this memorable occasion. 

Tickets for the Pink Sunset Sail are available for $50 per person and include a unique Pink T-shirt, access to an open bar, delectable snacks, and a captivating sail along St. Maarten's picturesque coastline. Don't miss out on this opportunity to sip cocktails, take in breathtaking sights, and witness the elusive green flash. Secure your tickets online or visit any Aqua Mania Adventures location at the Simpson Bay Resort, Divi Little Bay, or Hilton Vacation Club Royal Palm. 

Join Aqua Mania Adventures on September 30th, 2023, from 3.30pm onwards for a remarkable evening of sailing, community support, and raising breast cancer awareness. “Love the Tatas! Check ‘em” – together, we can make a difference.

2022 BreastCancerFundrising

22 BreastCancerFundrising





Police Force of Sint Maarten Clarifies Procedure for Obtaining Declaration of Conduct “Police Record”

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) wishes to inform the public about the correct procedure for obtaining a Declaration of Conduct, also known as a Police Record, in response to the numerous requests received for this document.

A Declaration of Conduct is an essential document often required for various purposes such as employment, immigration, or visa applications. To ensure a streamlined and efficient process, the Police Force of Sint Maarten wants to clarify that this document can be obtained through the official website of the Government of Sint Maarten.

Individuals seeking to obtain a Declaration of Conduct should visit the Government of Sint Maarten's website at

On the website, you will find a dedicated page for requesting the Declaration of Conduct at Please note that the Police Force of Sint Maarten does not engage in the issuance of these documents. All requests and processing are handled through the government's online portal.

The Police Force of Sint Maarten does not have a process that involves providing approvals or denials for these documents. Therefore, we kindly ask the public to follow the prescribed procedure on the government's website for obtaining the Declaration of Conduct. The online process is designed to be user-friendly and efficient, ensuring that you receive the necessary document in a timely manner.

We encourage all individuals who require a Declaration of Conduct to visit the official government website and follow the guidelines provided. This will help expedite your application and ensure that you receive the document you need for your specific purpose.


Ministry of VROMI announces Temporary Road Closure of Quilletor Drive

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), Department of Infrastructure hereby would like to notify the general public of the temporary road closure of Quilletor Drive, in the residential district of Dutch Quarter.

The entrance of Quilletor Drive is in dire repair and reconstruction will take place, starting on September 19, 2023, between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

This temporary inconvenience is expected to be completed by 25 September 2023.

In order to carry out this work, this requires the temporary closure of the entrance of Quilletor Drive. A detour will be via Caines Drive.

The work will be carried out by Washington Construction Company N.V.

The Ministry of VROMI thanks the residents in the particular area and impacted motorists for their patience and cooperation during the road construction.

The Ministry of VROMI apologises for any inconvenience caused.


Prime Minister attends UNGA 2023

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs embarked on a significant diplomatic journey, participating in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City. This historic visit underscores the importance of Sint Maarten’s presence on the global stage and emphasizes the vital role our island nation plays in addressing critical global issues. The UNGA started on Sunday, September 17 and featured panels on energy, gender equality, violence against women and girls and a UNICEF reception.

The Prime Minister’s participation in the UNGA reflects Sint Maarten’s unwavering commitment to international cooperation and sustainable development. As the leader of our vibrant and resilient island nation, Prime Minister Jacobs brings a unique perspective to the global community, one shaped by the challenges and triumphs of a Small Island Developing States (SIDS) facing the impacts of climate change, economic resilience, and social development.

Prime Minister Jacobs expressed gratitude for the opportunity to represent Sint Maarten at this prestigious event. “On our agenda this year, there is a distinct focus on SIDS, Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, energy transition, women’s and children’s rights, access to financing, and Social and economic development for our people. During my bilateral meetings I will focus on developing new and strengthening old relationships with regional and international leaders as well as Kingdom partners.” Said Prime Minister Jacobs.

Her participation in UNGA 2023 reaffirms Sint Maarten’s dedication to working collaboratively with the international community to address the world’s most pressing challenges.


Lions Club & Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset Collaborate in International Coastal Clean-Up Day

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – “As we come together to recognize International Coastal Clean-Up Day, we also celebrate the power of unity and collaboration. The Sint Maarten Lions Club, alongside the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset, embarked on a remarkable joint project, a Coastal Clean-Up along the Walter Nisbeth Road Ring Road section.

“I’m thrilled to announce that this project has been a tremendous success. It serves as a testament to what can be achieved when service clubs join forces to protect our environment. Today marks not just the end of this clean-up but the beginning of future endeavors and projects.

“As we stand here today, we see the potential for even greater achievements when we come together and work in harmony. Let us extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Rotary Club for initiating this endeavor.

“This project paves the way for future collaborations, bigger projects, and a more profound impact on our communities.

“Let this day serve as a reminder that by joining forces, we can conquer challenges, achieve more, and make an enduring positive impact. Together, we can make our world a better place. Kindness to others is service to ourselves,” Lions Club President Felix Richards stated in a press release on Sunday.

lions rotarians caostal clean up



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