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A few concerns
Posted by: Sharyn (
Date: May 17, 2010 08:34PM

My husband & I returned after spending 7 nights at the Divi Little Bay Resort (4/24-5/1/10). This was our second stay on the island. We stayed in a hillside villa at Dawn Beach last year in April. I prefer the east coast of the island so if we ever stay on the island again we will try to rent over there as I love the ever-blowing trade winds. Anyway, this year I noted a lot more trash, even in places that I didn't see it last year. Also, the stray dogs everywhere made me so sad & the feral cats at the Divi just broke my heart. I didn't go anywhere without my backpack full of cat food & dog biscuits. As expected, we were constantly approached by the hard-working women on the beaches, I understand that they are just trying to make a living, but, also unlike just last year, we were approached by random men at every single gas station that we stopped at all asking for a hand out. I guess that the island is a poor island, and humans just trying to survive maybe can't be too worried about other creatures or the environment but I would hate to see such a place get worse. St. Martin is like a study in contrasts: Incredible scenery next to dilapidated, uninhabited shells of homes: beautiful beaches/water next to skin & bones dogs wandering around; incredible sun rises/sun sets above streets lined w/litter. I don't know what they really have there for an infrastructure, sanitation, rubbish removal, humane societies but I would hope that there is attention being paid to these issues as if the island looses tourism, what will it have?? That would be very sad.

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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: Barbara1 (Moderator)
Date: May 18, 2010 09:02AM

you describe the contrasts of St. Maarten very well. Those of us who live here know all too well what you are talking about.
There are a handful of us trying to make a difference.


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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: mikentara (
Date: May 18, 2010 10:28AM

Well said, Sharyn.
And if it were not for people like Barbara, and others trying to make a difference, we would not keep returning. We try to do our share, too. We pick up trash, donate to needy organizations on the island, and try to support the local economy.

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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: Sharyn (
Date: May 20, 2010 07:55AM

I'm relieved that what I wrote did not offend anyone as that was not my intent. We really like the island, Despite our concerns, we like it the best out of all of the islands that we have stayed on. We just hope that it does not deteriorate further. If tourism is a main support to the economy, it would not be good for the physical environment to decline further as people don't want to go for vacation where it is dirty & sad looking. If tourism drops, that would further harm the island I am sure. Just like last year, while we saw many people obviously going back & forth for work, we saw a lot of men sitting around during what would be considered working hours. We also saw many school aged children out on the streets during what would be school hours. We wondered what there is for work there, what does the government have going on, what is the educational system like. None of the web sites that we have seen really talk about those topics.

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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: contessa (
Date: May 20, 2010 08:58AM

Absolutely correct!! If it wasn't for the likes of Barbara and many others, it would be in a worse state. Small things really do matter. But, we still love to return!


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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: WOW (
Date: May 20, 2010 09:21AM

You may also want to check out Many people on the site truly love the island!!!

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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: contessa (
Date: May 20, 2010 12:38PM

Also check out, SXM or BUST on Facebook! Lots of familiar faces and experiences.

smileys with beer Contessa

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Re: A few concerns
Posted by: ginarowe (
Date: May 20, 2010 01:40PM

We returned home from my "happy place" on May 8th, after spending yet another 2 weeks in St. Maarten. Although, this was the first time that when we arrived, we were informed to be extra careful, because crime was up, I must admit we had no problems at all. I also, drive around with extra trash bags in our car, to pick up what others just toss out of their cars, or leave behind on the beach, I actually had a little "tiff" with another tourist that, after she spent a couple of hours on the beach, was leaving to get back on their ship, however she incredibly was leaving behind, in the sand the diaper she had just taken off of her son, it will always boggle my mind when people do things like that. And of course when we first arrive and do our grocery shopping, I ALWAYS go to the pet aisle to get food and treats for our furry friends. We felt that our last couple of trips to SXM, that the dog and cat population did seem to improve, and we had learned that the aspca was spaying and neutering to help with the over population. However, any strays that we did come across, we made sure to feed them.
If everyone went out of their way just a little bit, it would go a long way. Looking forward to our return in October. cool smiley

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