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Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchives'MY CARIBBEAN' ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

'MY CARIBBEAN' ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

"MY ISLAND, OUR FUTURE… MAKING THE 21ST CENTURY A BETTER PLACE TO BE."
My homeland is St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The natural beauty of these islands is one of their most wonderful features. I would like to see these plants, sea, and the beaches preserved through anti-litter programs by creating gardens and restricting overdevelopment to make the 21st century a better place to be.
Since the U.S. Virgin Islands are close to the equator it is warm all year round which makes it good for many outdoor sports such as: surfing, tennis, baseball, swimming and others. Tourists usually visit during the winter months because it is warmer here than in the states and other countries. The Tradewinds make it the perfect place for a vacation or to stay through out the year.
The Virgin Islands are rich with exotic and colorful plantlife such as: palm trees, banana trees, orchid, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. Visitors to the Virgin Island are attracted to the vivid hues of the plantlife. You will often find them taking pictures of the plants and themselves next to the plants. The Virgin Islands depend on tourism, so that is one reason why we need to preserve their beauty by enforcing littering fines, and creating gardens.
Many people consider the sea and the beaches to be the most beautiful aspects of the Virgin Islands. We are very lucky to have such clear blue sea. Because of its clarity it is perfect place for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. The beach is on the Virgin Islands are great because they are nice and sandy and many are shaded with palm trees. It is important to protect the natural beauty because it is our main tourist's attraction. To preserve the natural beauty of the beaches and the sea we should keep oil tankers a safe distance from the Virgin Islands because oil spills are disastrous. We should take responsibility for the trash on the beaches and in the water by creating an adopt a beach program where groups of people take care of a particular beach.
Conserving the natural beauty of the Virgin Islands is important. Many people live or visit because they see it as paradise. It is perfect for people who are used to living in cities to see the sunshine, turquoise sea and breath fresh air. Our warm weather, exotic and unusual plantlife, spectacular coral reefs, and unspoiled beaches are all part of our natural heritage that we should treasure for the 21st century and beyond.
Alexander L. Nissman
Manor School
"MY ISLAND, OUR FUTURE… MAKING THE 21ST CENTURY A BETTER PLACE TO BE."
When I speak of the Caribbean, I speak of the most precious tropical region on earth. A place where the sun and sea makes beauty, a place where nature is one with the universe. An envy to all visiting tourists, a treasure to all those who are fortunate enough to live there. A place where most sunsets are golden, where moonlights shine clear and bright, where the night-skies are filled with twinkling shining stars and the beaches are blessed with seashells, corals and shimmering sands. "That is my Caribbean."
Now when you mention The United States Virgin Islands, you are referring to the "Gem of the Caribbean" which is the "Cream of the Crop." Known by many of us as, "Paradise on Earth," it possesses all the qualities that make the Caribbean Islands the number one destination for most tourists from around the world. Also, because we shelter under the flag of the Greatest Nation on earth (The United States of America) we have all the rights and privileges that comes with being a territory of the United States. Our citizens are born with the freedom to come and go as they please, and to travel around the world with ease. That my friends, is "My Virgin Islands." My special island in the Virgin Islands is St. Croix! "The best island in the whole wide world." This is not where I was born, but is where I live, and where I will die to defend. This is where you meet the friendliest people in the world. One reason why I love my island so much is because of the mixture of people who call St. Croix home. We get to learn of different cultures from all the islands around us. The strangers, who visit here, love to see how we all get along during our festivities. I always enjoy our Puerto Rico Virgin Islands friendship week. Although I am still a child, I know that I can pray that God will help us to continue to enhance such traditions, even as we enter the new Millennium. I will continue to pray for my island, and when I am old enough, I will seek to promote programs that bring us closer together as one people. It is my desire to make St. Croix the envy of the world, to be the pattern of Love and Harmony among people. "That, I say, my St. Croix, my Dream Island."
Semone Archibald
Charles M. Emanuel School
"MY ISLAND, OUR FUTURE… MAKING THE 21ST CENTURY A BETTER PLACE TO BE."
My Caribbean, my island with its natural, glorious beauty, compounded by crime-free God-fearing communities, safe and enjoyable for its people attracting many visitors to its shares… this is a dream, I'm sure, that every Caribbean man, women, boy, and girl has as we approach the new millennium. However in order to make this dream a reality, there are many sacrifices and commitments to be made a lot of work to be done. Let us pledge this pledge for our future.
We begin by putting God first in our lives. We go to church, pray, and ask God for guidance. We try our best to do the right thing. We show kindness and concern for each other. We assist the homeless by providing food and shelter and we do favors, not expecting anything in return. We show concern for our neighbors by talking to them and exchanging and sharing ideas. We make a commitment to wipe violence and crime out of our lives and our communities. We pledge to make domestic violence, rape, murder, burglaries, and other crimes a thing of the past. We show pride in our surroundings by keeping them clean. We protect our natural environment as much as possible and care far our animals like we care for each other. We try to preserve our history and keep our culture alive. We try not to be selfish. We share with all people. Finally, we love everybody regardless of skin color, hair texture, nationality, jobs or anything that tends to cause division among people.
For this new millennium, this is our Caribbean pledge, our goals in the name of love and with the help of God.
Raquiima A. Doway
Lockhart Elementary School
"MY ISLAND, OUR FUTURE… MAKING THE 21ST CENTURY A BETTER PLACE TO BE."
When you visit the U.S. Virgin Islands you will find extraordinary culture. I think the true spirit of my homeland St. Croix is shown in the people and their customs. I think that in the 21st century the customs and culture should be preserved because they make the U.S. Virgin Islands distinct from anywhere else.
People have moved to the Virgin Islands from all over the world. They have come from St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Trinidad, Tobago, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, other Caribbean islands, Europe and United States. They have influenced the food, the music, the architecture, the language, the sports and the festivals. Tourists admire the mixture of cultures, which give the Virgin Islands their character. We should preserve the culture by encouraging participation in the local events.
One of my favorite local events is the Christmas Village. At the Christmas Village tourists and locals can sample local foods. One of the most popular dishes is the JohnnyCake. Other local dishes I enjoy are fried plantain, breadnut and fried dasheen. The Christmas Village is a place where there are a lot of families that get together because it's for the children and the adults, there are rides for the and music for the adults. One way to ensure that the Christmas Village stays for many years is to make sure it's well advertised.
The Agriculture fair is an annual local event that goes on during president's day. The Agri
culture fair is especially appealing to locals because there are many things for families to do. At the Agriculture fair you can see and handle some of the livestock on St. Croix, and you can also observe ostriches and emus. There is an enormous pavilion where you can sample local fruits and buy plants. There are also food stands where you can sample local dishes and drinks. We should make sure that special events like these should be better advertised so that more tourists would be able to experience them.
I think that the events such as the Christmas Village and the Agriculture fair represent the true spirit of the Virgin Islands. The wide variety of people that live in the Virgin Islands epitomized its personality. I think some of the best way to preserve these traits is to promote by advertising and by getting more local people to take part in these events.
Ade E. Raphael
Manor School
"MY ISLAND, OUR FUTURE… MAKING THE 21ST CENTURY A BETTER PLACE TO BE."
I am a Virgin Islands child and I am very proud of my island and its people. I am proud because I, too, share a bond with a group of people known for their unique Virgin Islands hospitality. Yes, we are truly a hospitable group of people.
This spirit of hospitality, which seems to be the heartbeat of our culture, brings out the best in each of us. It is not unusual for a Virgin Islander to greet a stranger on the street with a friendly hello, how are you, and a smile; or extend an invitation for him or her to visit his or her home.
Here in my island, this is considered good manners. We connect these good manners with such conditions as honesty, high ethical standards, and responsibility. We first look for the best in people. We treat people the way we would like to be treated.
For example, Thanksgiving Day in St. Thomas is also a time when the spirit of Virgin Islanders open their homes to the occupants of the Navy ships personnel visiting our islands. Families are known to have taken two to twenty sailors to enjoy the traditional trimmings of Thanksgiving. Many of them have indicated that they have been treated royally in every sense of the word. They have enjoyed the local cuisine, games, and good old family conversations. Virgin Islanders truly have a very special way of making everyone regardless of race, religion, or color, feel at home. Almost immediately, the stranger begins to feel as if this is someone he has known for years.
As a Virgin Islands child I would like to see this wonderful, unique hospitable spirit continue from generation to generation. I think training in good manners has to start almost from the instant Virgin Islands children are born. We must also teach them to say "please" and "thank you" and model for them how to behave in a polite manner. We must continue to greet each other and treat each other like family. We must emphasize to the students that being hospitable is an important part of our culture and that we should never lose it. It has helped to form a strong tourist economy and it has helped to build a strong family structure.
As we approach the new millennium it is important that we remember that our actions are reflected in the lives of everyone with whom we come in contact good manners and courtesy come alive.
Winsome Nisbett
Peace Corps Elementary School

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