After The Storms: How To Help Resort Staff
A funny thing happens when you visit Caribbean. You go expecting to be intoxicated by breezy white-sand beaches, dreamy sunsets, Windex-blue water and (let’s get real, here) more than a few kick-ass rum punches. And you’re not disappointed.
But then you come home, and you realize that you were seduced by something else.
You realize that you’ve fallen in love not just with the ample physical assets of the destination, but that you’ve also become completely enamored of its people. The bartender who, by the second day of your stay, made your Planters Punch exactly how you liked it; the taxi driver who took you to his favorite down-home lunch spot; the hotel gardener who cut you a fresh spear of aloe to relieve your sunburn.
At resorts all across the Caribbean, members of staff become friends of the people they’re employed to serve, and lasting relationships are forged over beachfront breakfasts and, yes, midday margaritas. Repeat visits cement the bond, and before you know it, those hotel friends begin to feel like our own family.
Which is part of the reason we feel so deeply for the Caribbean people whose lives have been upended by hurricanes Irma, José and Maria. And it’s also why I’m sharing these resorts’ (and bars' and restaurants' and other hospitality employees'!) relief funds, so you can directly help the families who’ve so warmly welcomed yours.
I’ve put together this list from the individual businesses’ websites, so you can be confident that your donations will go directly to the people who need it most. However, you'll notice that Dominica, St. Maarten/St. Martin and Puerto Rico are conspicuously absent or very few. The devastation and lack of telecommunications there means that I don't have any immediate information, but I'll be updating the listing the moment I do. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can also contribute to the Caribbean’s official regional relief funds, here and here. Please give. And please GO BACK! Thank you.
Your contribution will help replace the roof of the Blossom Centre, Anguilla's only facility for children with special needs.
Antigua's Curtain Bluff is accepting donations toward storm relief and rebuilding on their sister island of Barbuda through the resort's Old Road Fund. Please send cheques payable to "Old Road Fund" to Old Road Fund, c/o LDPR, 72 Madison Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10016.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
This popular independent wedding and commercial photographer is also selling 100 limited edition 2018 St. Croix Mini-Calendars that feature some of her best island images. Proceeds will help her recover and relaunch her business.
ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
** I’ll be updating this list as funds are added, so drop me a note if you’’d like to add your resort, restaurant or bar. LAST UPDATED: OCTOBER 8, 2017