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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bonaire Receives Islands Magazine and Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award

Bonaire announced today that it is the recipient of the prestigious Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award.  The Island was awarded the honor in recognition of their longstanding commitment and leadership role in marine conservation and for their proactive measures in protecting the marine environment.

The award was presented by Mr. Ty Sawyer, the Editorial Director for Islands, during an awards luncheon at the 10th Annual Sustainable Tourism Conference in Turks and Caicos.  Bonaire’s Lieutenant Governor Herbert Domacasse accepted the award on behalf of the Island and was accompanied by Mrs. Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism and Elsmarie Beukenboom, Director of STINAPA.

“Bonaire is particularly gratified by this honor as our commitment to preserving and protecting the environment is a deeply held Bonairean belief and guiding principal behind our tourism policy,” said Lieutenant Governor Herbert Domacasse.  “We especially thank Bonaire’s visitors, who continue to support our community and inspire us to remain leaders in sustainable tourism.”

The Sustainable Tourism Award recipient was selected by a panel of judges from Islands Magazine and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), who reviewed all of the entries submitted by CTO member countries.  Last year, three of Bonaire’s eco-programs were honored in the Islands Magazine Hot 100 Blue List, and in 1994 the Bonaire National Marine Park won the Islands Magazine Ecotourism Award.

Bonaire continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism as reported by National Geographic Traveler magazine (March 2004) and Islands magazine (December 2007), and as one of the top diving destinations in the Atlantic/Caribbean for six years in a row in the Scuba Diving magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards (2003-2008).

Image caption:  Hon. Wayne Garland, Executive Chariman Turks & Caicos Tourist Board; Elsmarie Beukenboom, Director of STINAPA Bonaire; Bonaire’s Lieutenant Governor Herbert Domacasse; Ty Sawyer, Editorial Director of Islands Magazine; Ronella Croes, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire.  (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 30, 2008 at 2:21pm AST
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Airlines Offers Net SAAver Fares from San Juan to Bonaire

American Airlines announced today that they are running a special from San Juan to Bonaire (roundtrip) for $234.00 via their Net SAAver Fares. 

Fare rules allow for departures anytime between Tuesday, May 6, 2008, and Friday, May 9, 2008.  Returns may be anytime between Monday, May 12, 2008, and Wednesday, May 14, 2008.  Tickets must be purchased by this Sunday, May 4, 2008, 11:59 p.m. (CT).  Fare of $234.00 is for round-trip coach class travel.  Other taxes, fees and conditions apply.

For additional information, visit www.aa.com. (Source:  American Airlines)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 29, 2008 at 1:10pm AST
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Rincon Celebrates Queen’s Birthday with Dia Di Rincon

Wednesday, April 30, is a traditional holiday within the Dutch kingdom, when everyone celebrates the Queen’s birthday.  The village of Rincon on Bonaire goes one step further, offering Dia di Rincon, a street fair of gigantic proportions, offering food, drink, music, dancing, traditional costumes, and other festivities.

Starting early in the morning and continuing all day and into the wee hours, visitors will find a cornucopia of offerings showcasing Bonaire’s unique history and culture.  There are stalls offering food, drinks, and things to buy, and there are several stages where folkloric dance groups will perform during the day and live bands take over at night.  Simply meandering down Rincon’s main street will bring any visitor close to beautifully costumed dancers, singers, and other well known Rincon inhabitants.

In conjunction with the festivities, the Bonaire Bikers Club will hold their third Parade to Rincon.  Beginning at Captain Don’s Habitat, the bikers will make their way through Bonaire’s neighborhoods and end in Rincon.  This parade is to show the group’s support to the village of Rincon and to celebrate the importance of its people.

It should be noted that the following two days are national holidays as well, and many stores, banks, and other businesses will be closed.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter and Bonaire Bikers Club)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 28, 2008 at 1:22pm AST
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Friday, April 25, 2008

First Annual Barracuda and Sedrebo International Open Water Swim Competition is June 1, 2008

The Bonaire Aquatics Club Barracudas and SEDREBO, the island sport federation, invite you to participate in the 1st Annual Open Water Swim Competition on Sunday June 1, 2008. The competition will take place along the shore of Bonaire’s main town of Kralendijk.

Race distances are 500m for ages 10 and under and 1.5km and 5km for 11 years through adults. Swimmers of all ability levels are welcome. Supporters can easily view the race course from the seaside promenade, so bring the whole family for a day of competition and fun.

An awards ceremony will be held afterwards at Kas di Regatta.  BBQ Lunch, snacks, and beverages will be available.  Musical entertainment will be offered along with a raffle with great prizes.  For additional information, click here(Source:  Barracuda Swim Club Bonaire)

Note Update April 29, 2008:
We’ve just been informed that the date of June 1st will need to be postponed.  Plans call for the competition to be still held in the month of June, but the new date will be announced soon.  We’ll post it as soon as we hear. (Source:  Barracuda Swim Club Bonaire)

Note Update May 16, 2008: The Bonaire Insider has just learned that the new date for this swim competition will be June 15, 2008.  Click here for more details. (Source:  Barracuda Swim Club Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 25, 2008 at 1:41pm AST
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bonaire Celebrates Earth Day with a Klein Bonaire Beach Cleanup

As it has in past years, STCB (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire) collaborated with STINAPA to organize a beach cleanup during the Earth Day celebration.  This year it was decided to prepare the beaches on Klein Bonaire for a good start of the 2008 sea turtle nesting season, which begins in May.

On Sunday, April 20, a beach clean-up was conducted successfully on Klein Bonaire, which is Bonaire’s most important nesting beach for both hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. Maintaining unobstructed access to beaches for egg laying female turtles is extremely important to the survival of these endangered animals.

A total of 90 volunteers participated during this clean-up and 105 bags of trash were collected and sorted for further classification and analysis. Volunteers were mainly residents from the island, with a large group of teenagers from Jong Bonaire participating with two of their youth leaders. The Coast Guard was also part of this clean-up. Another group, with the CIEE Research Station Bonaire, was in charge of classifying and documenting the collected trash. Results from the data collected provides a good tool to determine the origin of this inadequately disposed garbage on Bonaire.

Thanks go to STCB, STINAPA, Coast Guard, SELIBON, Jong Bonaire, Kantika di Amor, and all the volunteers who participated in this clean-up.  (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 24, 2008 at 1:13pm AST
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shooting Great Images of Bonaire’s Flora and Fauna, Bonaire Photographers Share Their Tips--Part Two

Continuing in our series of showcasing some of Bonaire’s resident photographers, Marlies Seelos shares her hummingbird images with us, as well as her tips on how to capture these elusive birds with a camera.  Her images can be viewed in the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Marlies observed that hummingbirds would visit a certain plant in her garden each day at the same time.  In order to let the birds get accustomed to her, she spent some time with them each day.  When she was ready to start shooting, she placed a ladder so she could be at the same height as the birds.  It took about fifteen minutes for the birds to get used to her on the ladder, but after that, they resumed their normal feeding and simply ignored her.

Marlies set her camera so that it would shoot multiple images with one depression of the shutter release.  This is especially important because of the fast movement of the birds and their beating wings.

As she did with her iguanas (see previous Bonaire Insider story by clicking here), she attempted to use an upward angle as much as possible, to keep the hummingbird against a simple blue sky background.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter; images by Marlies Seelos, Marlies Sail & Canvas)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 23, 2008 at 10:00am AST
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

STCB (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire) Publishes Progress Report 2007

Many of Bonaire’s diving and snorkeling visitors have, through the years, contributed to STCB’ efforts with turtle sighting reports, images, and other information they have gathered on Bonaire’s turtle population while diving or snorkeling in the coastal areas.  With this help, today STCB has developed into a professional conservation group, with stated goals and visions.

STCB has recently published their 2007 Progress Report, and we thought our readers may find it of interest.  It covers the year’s events in research (nesting beach monitoring, foraging ground surveys, presence of disease on Bonaire’s turtle population, and the turtle tracking study), conservation issues such as beach cleaning, rescuing turtles, and other related issues, education and public awareness, training, and other important subjects.  If you’d like to review the report, you may do so by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  MINA)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 22, 2008 at 9:15am AST
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Roomer Hotel and Restaurant to Hold Mother’s Day Brunch

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, 2008, Roomer Hotel and Restaurant will hold a Sunday brunch around the pool at their property in Belnem. 

There will be an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet from 12:00 PM until 4:00 PM with live music from “Los Amigos” and a special guest.  The brunch buffet contains all locally prepared dishes from our chefs, Mylene and Shirley, with such favorites as goat stew, fish in creole sauce, etc.  Sweet tooths will be satisfied with a dessert selection of home made cakes.  Price is $25.00 per person (FL 44.50), and children under 5 are free, while those 5 through 12 years are at half price.  Reservations are required and can be made by calling 717-7488.  (Source:  Roomer Hotel & Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 21, 2008 at 11:23am AST
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Rotary Club Bonaire To Hold Annual Fundraiser Auction To Benefit the Breakfast in Schools Program

Last year, Bonaire’s Rotary Club held its first auction to benefit the Club’s community service programs, and especially it’s Breakfast in Schools project, which ensures that over 250 local children receive a healthy and nutritious breakfast each and every school day.  This year, the auction will be repeated on May 2nd, 2008 at 6:00 PM at the Caribbean Point Restaurant, Plaza Resort.

The auction is slated as being of “intense high speed and fun”; Rotary Club will be auctioning off “extravagant and extraordinary items.” Entertainment will be by Kaumati Thriller and the requested dress code is Tropical Elegance with a tropical hat.  Per person cost is FL 150.00 (USD $84.27), and includes beverages and a Caribbean buffet.  Tickets are available at It Rains Fishes and Sunbelt Realty, or call 785-0809 or 795-7835 for tickets. (Source:  Rotary Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 18, 2008 at 1:50pm AST
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

UNEP Publishes Paper on the Degradation of Caribbean Coastal Waters

We thought our readers would be interested in a paper recently published by UNEP (The United Nations Environment Programme) regarding the degradation of Caribbean coastal waters.

By now, those who live in or travel to the Caribbean have heard about the problem of runoff or suspended solids that can lead to severe environmental impacts on an island or region.  This paper looks at the various causes of sedimentation in the Caribbean region, as well as how livelihoods of local people will be affected if the situation is not addressed.  View the UNEP paper by clicking here(Source:  MINA)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 17, 2008 at 10:30am AST
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