The 2017 Hurricane Season has managed to leave a large scar on the Caribbean, as many of its beautiful islands have been ravaged by two major hurricanes – Irma and Maria. It saddens us deeply to know that so many people have lost their homes and their livelihoods.
Many of our friends have asked how they can help. To that end, and with her permission, I am sharing a post created by the talented (and super sweet) Chrissann Nickel, founder of the website Women Who Live on Rocks.
Every new photo I see out of the islands that have been ravaged by Hurricane Irma & Hurricane Maria sickens me. Imagining how truly terrified everyone must have been during the storm and the dire situation the survivors are in now makes my soul ache. I wish I could take that pain away from our fellow islanders. I wish I could rescue them from the hell they are living in now. I am at a loss for words. And hurricane season continues to wreak havoc. My heart breaks for all those who experienced Irma and are still there, in need of rescue and basic life services.
I happened to already be away on vacation when the storms hit and have watched this horror from afar. I, like so many others, have lost my home, most of my possessions, and the island life that I loved so much. It is a surreal feeling – knowing that when I closed up my home to leave for vacation, I was walking away from everything I know and cherish. But I am one of the lucky ones. I did not experience that storm and I am safe in the US now.
The islands you love need your help desperately.
If you are a tourist who has ever visited these islands, please help. If you are someone who has ever dreamed of living in “paradise,” please help. If you used to live on an island, please help. If you are a fellow islander, please help.
People have lost their businesses, their livelihoods, their homes, and all of their worldly possessions. They are in need of food, shelter, and evacuation. The situation is immediate and dire. The widespread destruction throughout the Caribbean is unprecedented.
I have tried to compile a list of ways you can help NOW for each of the islands effected. If you have additional organizations that you think need to be shared, please add them in the comments space of this post below or in the comments of the link of this post shared on our Facebook page.
Here is what I have so far, by region:
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN
THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS
TURKS & CAICOS
I know this is overwhelming. There are so many places that need help. But contributing literally ANYTHING that you can is what counts. And if you can keep contributing over time (add it to your monthly budget!), that would be even better. Pick one, pick several!
Please share this with everyone that has ever been touched by these beautiful islands – even if it’s just through a screensaver.
Additionally, keeping these islands and their people at the forefront of the media is essential. People quickly forget, but these islands will need help in the long haul. Any news coverage you are able to obtain to feature the islands in need would be incredibly helpful. Think local, think global.
Thank you for caring. The islands will come back to their glory one day. Now’s the time to point them in that direction.
For almost two months we’ve been working on a secret project. We’ve spent hours watching, waiting and studying, all the while trying our best to respect this beautiful gift that Mother Nature bestowed upon us. We’ve been so eager to share bits and pieces of this with you, but we needed to see it through to completion. Now we can finallly reveal our secret from start to finish.
Special thanks to Bruce Zavon for contributing photos and a video.
Photos by Steve Schnoll, Meredith Schnoll and Bruce Zavon.
On July 2nd, Echo held an open house at Kunuku Dos Pos in Rincon. For those who aren’t familiar with this organization, Echo is a non-profit group with a mission to protect the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot (Amazona Barbadensis) on Bonaire and in the Caribbean. We attended the open house to learn more about this wonderful organization and its mission here on the island.
One of Echo’s main projects is reforestation of the habitat of the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot in Bonaire. By growing and planting indigenous trees at sites all around the island, Echo is helping to restore the unique habitats favored by this amazing bird. In addition to the extensive reforestation effort, Echo also conducts research (such as nest monitoring and roost counts) and rehabilitates injured and illegally captured parrots.
At Echo’s Kunuku Dos Pos, they also have an indigenous tree nursery, at which members of the public can purchase indigenous trees (which are favored by the Amazon Parrots) to plant on their own property.
Echo conducts public tours each Wednesday at 4:30. Please visit if you are interested in learning more about its important work.
Email – Info@echobonaire.org
Call – 701 1188
When most people think of “birds” and “Bonaire”, they picture the island’s unofficial mascot – the Caribbean Flamingo. Bonaire’s flamingos are undoubtedly a thing of beauty and awe, but they are only part of the picture when it comes to Bonaire’s avian life.
Over 210 species of birds call Bonaire home. From shore birds to sea birds to land birds, Bonaire is an often-overlooked haven for birders and bird photographers. It’s our goal to spot and photograph as many of these fliers as possible.
Luckily, we don’t have to leave the house to find beautiful subjects. Our own yard is a rich source of inspiration.
Bonaire’s shore birds and wading birds can be found throughout the island in the mangroves, salinas, and ocean shores.
Easily identified by its bright red beak, the American oystercatcher, true to its name, enjoys a diet of oysters, clams and mussels.
Sharing the shore with the oystercatcher is the common Brown pelican. Although it seems rather large, the Brown pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican.
Approximately thirteen species of Herons and Egrets are found among Bonaire’s shores.
And finally, we’re excited to announce that scientists have discovered a new Bonairean bird species with a wingspan of 60.3 m (197.83 ft)! We finally managed to photograph it in its native environment.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
What is your favorite bird on Bonaire?