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11 Mentors and 10 Foster Parents complete STAP Training. Successful Awareness Campaign “Be The Village Foster A Child” books Results!

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On October 6th, 2022, graduates were told that they will not be sent on this journey alone. “You will have the support of Foster Families Central who provides guidance and advocates on your behalf. A dedicated team of social workers from The Family Guardian Department, will be in close contact with you as it carries out its responsibility for the overall wellbeing of the child”, said SJIS’ Interim Director Cynthia Filemon during the certificate ceremony.

Psychologist Aisheline Maduro, STAP (Selectie Training Aspirant Pleegouders/Selection Training Candidate Foster-parents) Training Instructor, said that these trainings are important to ensure that prospective foster parents and mentors understand the commitment they are making. Every foster child needs someone who is going to be there for him or her. Someone to open doors to a future they thought impossible. Foster parents and mentors, giving from the heart in such a capacity as this affords the opportunity to help shape lives. Co-trainer Ivan Plantein acknowledged the commitment displayed and emphasized the children’s need for good leadership and guidance in their lives.

Also present at the ceremony were Kimberly Dort Brown, Department Head, Court of Guardianship St. Maarten, who spoke of the importance of foster parents and mentors, and Priya Misir, Foster Care Program Manager, Ki Britannia Foundation who said, "I am who I am today due to the positive influence of a mentor. Knowing that 11 youth in foster care will experience that same positive transformation through mentorship brings me great joy.”

Foster Care Coordinator Meredith Concincion said that of the 45 persons that registered 11 mentors and 10 foster parents completed the four-day training. The training included topics such as healthy versus an unhealthy family system; social influences on development when children hurt and live in foster care.

In extending congratulatory remarks, the Department of Youth, under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport extends sincerest congratulations to the management and staff of the SJIS for executing another STAP Training to the volunteers, who have committed and dedicated their time to become successfully trained and much needed mentors or foster parents to our children in the foster care system.

The Department noted that through close collaboration between the Department of Youth and the SJIS “Be the Village, Foster A Child” 2022 Awareness Campaign, the Department of Youth deemed it necessary to support this endeavor, as it addresses a key focal area in Children’s Rights while enhancing and promoting child protection on the island according to Department’s mandate. “In this light, we encourage all past and new mentors or foster parents, to remain steadfast on this journey as together we aim to free our children from abuse, violence and neglect”.

According to Concincion, this is the first and will be the last training for 2022. More trainings will continue when SJIS is able to secure the necessary funding.

The Foundation Judicial Institute St. Maarten continuously recruits foster parents and mentors. Persons interested in becoming a foster parent or mentor or partnering to sponsor future STAP trainings can contact the Foundation's Foster Care Coordinator at email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and mobile number 1721-5264310. 

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40+ Registered for First Annual Senior Padel Tennis Tour of the Americas

SINT MAARTEN (BELAIR) - SXM Padel Club and the International Senior Padel Tour of the Americas are delighted to report that over 40 teams have registered for the First Annual Senior Padel Tennis Tour of the Americas.  The matches are scheduled to begin this Thursday December 1, 2022and will continue through Sunday, December 4, 2022.   

Given the large number of teams participating in this exciting tournament, matches will we be played at both the SXM Padel Club and also at the recently inaugurated tournament court located at the Belair Fitness Center.  

Thanks to the availability of flights from Panama to St. Maarten via Copa Airlines, the main sponsor of the event, many teams from South America are able to attend this truly international event, already demonstrating a great achievement.  Mr. Roque Roasio, founder of the International Senior Padel Tour (ISPT) explains that “many were incredulous when I suggested St. Maarten as the closing venue for the ISPT tour of 2022; but the response from so many teams locally and from abroad has already shown the success of the event!  We can only imagine what the 2023 edition will look like.”  Displaying typical St. Maarten inclusion and diversity, players of all levels from amateur to former professionals, from the following countries, will be participating: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Ecuador, France, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

As of today, the number of teams registered per age category is as follows: 20 teams in the 35+ years category, 7 teams @ 45+ years, 6 teams @ 55+ years, and 10 female teams (all ages). For each category (except females), one of the players of the pair may not be younger than the category they choose.  For example, a team can be composed of two players who are 35 years or older to compete in the 35+ category, and the same applies for the other categories and their corresponding age levels.  Alternatively, older players certainly can choose to play in any of the younger age categories.  

The rules of the tournament are as follows: each match will consist of 2 sets using the Golden Point system (explained below).  In the event of split sets, the teams shall play a 10-point tie-breaker and the winner of the tie-breaker wins the match.  The Golden Point occurs when the score reaches deuce during any game.  The team that wins the next point wins the game; and the receiving team chooses whether to receive the serve on the right or the left side of the court. 

The tournament finals will be held at the SXM Padel Club opposite the Belair Beach hotel this Sunday December 4th beginning at 5 pm.  Admission is free, and food and refreshments will be available for sale throughout the event.  We encourage St. Maarten residents and visitors to stop by and watch the matches throughout the entire tournament at both locations. In addition, since many of the players and spectators are diehard fans of the Qatar World Cup, the games will be shown throughout the day.  “We are so proud to host this event at SXM Padel Club and to experience how the residents of the island have embraced padel tennis so enthusiastically in such a short period of time.  Additionally, we already see how padel tennis aiding is in the development of sports tourism for St. Maarten, which always has been a goal for us,” said Ricardo Perez, Managing Director of SXM Padel Club.  The support of the sponsors Copa Airlines (main sponsor), Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Prime Distributors, Powerade, Dollar/Thrifty, SXM-Talks.com and Imagen Graphics is vital for the success of events like this tournament. 

Padel Tennis originally was invented in Mexico in 1969.  It is a sport intended to be fun, adapted from tennis and with a similar scoring system. The Padel court is smaller than a standard tennis court and is surrounded by walls made from 10-12 millimeters tempered glass, which also play an important role in the game.  Padel tennis not only is an entertaining and social sport, but it also has many positive impacts on health and is an exceptionally exciting competition for spectators to watch. As a result of these and so many other benefits, Padel tennis has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world. 

SXM Padel Group, the developer of the SXM Padel Club, opened the doors to the club last December 2021, with a fully stocked pro-shop, ping-pong tables and petanque courts.  In addition, this past October it developed two additional courts for the Belair Fitness Center.  One of these courts at Belair is a singles court, the first of its kind in the Caribbean.  St. Maarten/St. Martin now hosts a total five Padel Tennis courts, equivalent to Martinique, establishing the island as an important, central Padel tennis destination.  “With many other Padel tennis courts in the pipeline for St. Maarten/St. Martin, the island soon will be known as a the preferred Padel tennis destination in the region.  Developing the sport contributes to the diversification goal of the tourism product on the island,” said Ricardo Perez, Managing Director of SXM Padel Group. 

Players interested in more information on this prestigious event are encouraged to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at 721-580-0723, +590690-66-34-73 or 721-520-4319.

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Kia Purotu Koe

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY - By Cdr. Bud Slabbaert) - No, it is not gobbledygook. And it has nothing to do with the car brand Kia. “Kia Purotu Koe” is how people say “Hello“ on the Island of Mangareva in Southern Polynesia. It means “May you remain beautiful”. Oh, I tell you, it makes you feel so good. Give it to me 24/7 and this reminder would make me start believing in it, since it is a potential compliment! Don’t you think it sounds better than “How are you today?” day in-day out, all year long? It beats a howdy and a handshake big time. Mind, when you do common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world

If I would try on anyone saying it, they would think that I’m off my rocker and put me on the critical list. Say it to a lady and one may get into a fight with her companion, and he will threaten to take your teeth out one by one, especially when he’s got muscles in places where others don’t even have places. Yet, it is so innocent. I would like to be able to hear my heart what the response with her eyes is. But one always has to be aware of possible consequences of the words that one employs. Like diplomats do. You know? A man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age! Their words are like Teflon, they don’t stick. And he never misses a good chance to shut-up.

“Kia Purotu Koe” has the flair of a certain “je ne sais quoi”. You may even go further than “May you remain beautiful” by adding the words “May your shadow never diminish.” It will initially take some courage to do it, but courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. The people that you approach this way may think that there is something about you, that reminds them of a fairy tale. It can give them the feeling that you are taking them to the brink of relief and liberation. It is common knowledge that the word of mouth is of great value. This may be a different interpretation of it. However, there is never anything wrong when you can make a person’s heart flutter with warming words, with flavor in your voice, and eternity on your lips and in your eyes. It brings up anyone’s pulse a beat or two. Wow!

There is another thing that may flabbergast when greeting someone! A hand-kiss, also known as Besamanos. A kiss on the back of a hand can convey appreciation or a deep sense of respect. And sometimes like there is more in the package. It may express so much drama, almost like saying, “I am at your behest”. Nothing wrong with that in a customer service department environment or the hospitality industry in general. It is a gesture like a promise. In the modern world, wherein people may be accused of appropriation and even mockery, people have shied away from this old-age tradition. Nowadays people are not accustomed to the brilliance of chivalry.

The hand-kiss is symbolic and shows that one is courteous. It will come over as being considered a person of a high ecclesiastical position. There may be a fear that the meaning will be lost or misconstrued. It certainly will be if the hand-kiss is followed by the words: “Don’t I know you from the Golden Globes Awards celebration?” It may create an unusual and surprising miracle in communication. But then again, the response may come in the form of a blessing for communicating so much admiration. Where did the age of chivalry go where the combination of knightly qualities were expected, namely courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.

“Kia Purotu Koe” doesn’t get out of my head. In my idle time I dream a lot. Maybe it is just the meaning “May you remain beautiful” that intrigues me. Wouldn’t you want to remain beautiful? Well, if anyone intends to get rid of me, give me a one-way ticket to Mangareva and I’ll be on my way. How about a creating a collection for it? Want to come along too? Just to remain beautiful? You may not be committing a mistake! Beauty is never a mistake. Ask a beautician.

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Overtaking Motorcycle and Left Turning Car Results in Accident

SINT MAARTEN (SUCKER GARDEN) - Police Traffic Department are also investigating a traffic accident in which a motorcyclist crashed into a car on the Sucker Garden Road.

At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, the Cetrral Dispatch received a call about a traffic accident that took place on Sucker Garden Road in which a motorcyclist was injured. 

According to the preliminary investigation it appears that the driver of the motorcycle was driving on the Sucker Garden Road overtaking a line of vehicles on the left side coming from the direction of Arch Road and going in the direction of Pin Cushion Cactus Road.

Simultaneously, the driver of a blue Kia who was also going in the same direction, attempted to make a left turn resulting in a traffic accident.

The driver was injured and was later transported by private vehicle to the St. Maarten Medical Center. (KPSM)

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Come Out & Play for AMR on Saturday. Be Informed about Antimicrobial Resistance

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – On Saturday, November 26, 2002, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) students will be out at several pharmacies to provide information about Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and to help complete a questionnaire under the banner of ‘Come Out & Play for AMR’.

The participating pharmacies where the students will be located are Simpson Bay Pharmacy 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM; Friendly Island Pharmacy 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM; and Bush Road Pharmacy 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

This activity is part of a stakeholder campaign in observance of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which is from November 18-24.

The stakeholders involved in creating awareness about AMR are: Collective Prevention Services (CPS); University of St. Martin (USM), PAS (Pharmacy Association of Sint Maarten), the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), and AUC.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

This year, the theme of WAAW is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”

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DCNA’s Board Meeting: working together to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - Last week, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)  hosted its biannual board meeting on Bonaire. The DCNA board meeting provided an important platform for discussing and strategizing the most effective ways to support protected area management organizations (parks) in the Dutch Caribbean and exchanging knowledge and experiences. With a united voice the DCNA aims to safeguard nature throughout the region.  

The DCNA is a non-profit conservation network which provides support to the parks of all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. The DCNA board meeting created an important opportunity for each of the parks to collaborate, share resources, and exchange information and ideas. By working together, each island can learn from the other islands, maximizing their successes and learning from the more challenging experiences.  

Critical components which were discussed during the Board Meeting were the DCNA 2030 strategy, the disbursement of the DCNA Conservation Trust Fund, and the fundraising strategy. In the coming years, DCNA will increase its fundraising efforts to secure sustainable sources of funding for nature conservation. During the meeting DCNA’s first draft of its project portfolio was presented, based on project wishes by the parks which will help searching for targeted project funding.  

Furthermore, updates were provided by the secretariat and DCNA working groups set-up to improve research and monitoring efforts and youth participation. Also, presentations were given by major donor Blue Marine Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF–NL), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). Aside from conservation managers and the various experts of the DCNA Board, these organizations joined as observers together with BirdLife Netherlands.  

On the last day of the Board meeting, the participants went on a fieldtrip with the Mangrove Maniacs. They learned about the impressive mangrove restoration work of Mangrove Maniacs in Lac Bay and helped widening a channel. Valuable lessons have been learned and are taken back to the other Dutch Caribbean islands.  

The next DCNA Board Meeting is planned from the 12th-16th of April, 2023, on St Eustatius.   

Stay Informed 

To follow DCNA’s activities, stay tuned to DCNA’s social media pages- Facebook (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance), Instagram (DCNAnature). For the latest in research and monitoring in the Dutch Caribbean make sure to sign up for the free monthly digital Newsletter BioNews

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CPS reminds the community about the importance of handwashing to prevent gastroenteritis this Thanksgiving

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, reminds the community, and those working at food establishments and/or catering services, to properly wash their hands and prepare meals properly to prevent gastroenteritis this Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday season.

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestine a.k.a. stomach flu, which is usually due to acute infection by viruses or bacteria resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea and vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhea (three or more episodes within 24 hours). You might also have stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache.

Viruses and bacteria can be transferred through poor hygiene. They spread through contamination of hands, objects, hard surfaces, or food infected with the aforementioned. The virus enters your body via your mouth, this type of transmission is fecal-oral. Viral gastroenteritis may also be spread through coughing and sneezing.

For example, if someone does not wash their hands after going to the toilet, any viruses or bacteria on their hands will be transferred to whatever they touch, such as glass, kitchen utensil or food. Upon coughing and sneezing without using proper cough etiquette can spread viruses and bacteria.

To prevent the spread of the infection, wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food; clean the toilet, including the seat and handle, with disinfectant after each bout of vomiting or diarrhea; don’t share towels, cutlery and utensils with other household members; practice proper cough etiquettes and good hygiene practices and in consultation with your physician, you should not return to work until 48 hours after your last bout of vomiting or diarrhea.

Practicing good personal and food hygiene are essential in preventing gastroenteritis. Good food hygiene entails properly and regularly washing your hands; properly and regularly clean preparation area/surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water; never store raw food and cooked foods together; avoid cross contamination of foods; make sure that food is properly refrigerated; always cook your food thoroughly; and never eat food that has expired (past its shelf date or sales date; and check for expiration dates).

Good personal hygiene entails properly and frequently washing your hands prior to preparing food; ensure your clothing and food preparation area are clean; practice proper cough etiquettes in your food preparation area.

Consult your family physician if you have the vomiting/diarrhea and/or persisting symptoms so that your physician can refer you to the laboratory for confirmation and typing of the clinical diagnosis.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Focus group Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN) on Sint Eustatius launched

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Deputy Secretary-General Abigail Norville of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) chaired the first meeting of the ZJCN focus group on the 17th of November.

The focus group is tasked with bringing care-related issues to the attention of ZJCN. Ingra Bennett and Riana Bennett have been found willing by ZJCN to advise ZJCN on Statia. A third member is still being sought.

It was a fruitful meeting. The aim of the focus group is to proactively share tips and concerns with ZJCN. ZJCN started recruiting for the St Eustatius focus group in the second quarter of 2022.

The group will consist of three (3) members who will have conversations with ZJCN every other month. ZJCN will bring important developments in the healthcare sector to the group in order to include their advice at an early stage.

A focus group for Saba and Bonaire will be realized in 2023. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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UPDATED: Hit & Run Driver Arrested after Leaving Pedestrian Dead

SINT MAARTEN (SUCKER GARDEN) – Traffic Department personnel arrested a male suspect on Sunday afternoon, November 20, 2022, in relation to a fatal hit-and-run accident that took place early Sunday morning.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of a dark gray car had struck the victim in the vicinity of the intersection of Arch Road and Sucker-garden Road and then continued driving away. He later abandoned the car in the area of Upper Princess Quarter.

After a brief investigation conducted by traffic personnel, they later discovered who the driver of the gray car was. He was arrested in connection with this incident. Following his arrest, the suspect was taken to the police station where he was detained pending further investigation.

So far, the victim who was discovered deceased on Sucker-Garden roadside has not have been identified. The victim about is about 1.80M tall, light brown skin, braided hair with a full beard. He was dressed in red/black long sports pants, black shirt, black shoes with a neon green vest.

Police urges anyone who has information regarding this incident of who may know the identity of the victim to contact the Police Traffic Department and assist with information to better aid the investigation.

Contact can be made via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by

telephone number 542 2222 ext. 241/239.

The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM also reminds the community of its Whatsapp

Feature: “See Something, Share Something” on its website: www.policesxm.sx.

The Sint Maarten Police Force expresses its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. The investigation into this tragic event is still ongoing.

 

ARCHIVED - On Sunday morning around 5:00 AM the Central Dispatch received information about a man laying on the side of Sucker Garden Road who was not showing any signs of life.

At the location, the investigating officers found a male victim who had already passed away close to the crossing with Arch Road.

Detectives and Forensic went to the location and upon the preliminary investigation, have determined that the victim was struck by a vehicle who fled the scene of the incident.

The suspect vehicle involved in the incident was later found in Upper Princess Quarter.

Officers of the Traffic Department are now also involved in the investigation.

Additional information will be forthcoming in an update.

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Visit of Commander of the Navy/Director Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard to the Windward Islands

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - This week the Commander of the Navy in the Caribbean, also in his capacity as Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG), Frank Boots, paid a visit to the Windward Islands, the DCCG said in a press release on Friday.

“During his visit he met the new Governor of Sint Maarten, Ajamu Baly. After his meeting, he sailed with a Coast Guard vessel to Saba, where he met with Lieutenant Governor Jonathan Johnson. The Head of the Substation of Coast Guard Sint Maarten, Roberto Levenstone and Arie Noordam, Commander of the Sint Maarten Detachment were also present.

“During his visit to the Lieutenant Governor, various safety topics and deployment of the Coast Guard around Saba were discussed. Later during the day, the Coast Guard cutter Poema, sailed the delegation to Sint Eustatius, to attend the festivities of Statia Day on November 16th.

“Here the delegation was welcomed by Alida Francis, Government Commissioner of Sint Eustatius. During the festivities the delegation attended the commemoration of the 'First Salute'. With this salute, 246 years ago, as the first country the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognized the United States of America.

“This happened with the firing of the famous 'first salute' for the treatise of Oranjestad. Besides, on this day, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was officially opened. The Coast Guard held an Open House during the festivities, whereby visitors could have a tour on the Coast Guard cutter Poema and get an opportunity to have a detailed look on board of the Coastg Gard Metal Sharks.

“Back in Sint Maarten, on Friday morning Frank Boots met Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs where they discussed various Coast Guard and Defense matters during their meeting. It was a valuable visit to the Windward Islands, where discussions were held with various partners in the field of security, in order to further strengthen ties and cooperation in the Dutch Caribbean Region,” the DCCG press statement concludes.

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Visit to Saba.

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The start of the visit to Sint Eustatius for "Statia Day."

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