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Construction starts on first Caribbean Escape Rooms.

dutchblonde03082021PHILIPSBURG:--- This month, construction has started on the first Escape Room in the Caribbean. This was announced by its founding partners Caribbean Brewing Company B.V. of St Maarten and Gam Masters from Canada.

Escape Rooms are a rapidly expanding phenomenon within the entertainment industry. Themed rooms are designed professionally and provide a group puzzle to solve. According to the research bureau Analytical Research Cognizance (ARC), the Escape Room industry was valued at $8.6 billion worldwide and is to grow to over $22 billion in 2025.

Popular moments to embark on the group challenges are the beginning of nights out with friends, family day trips, team building, and company outings, and stag and hen parties.

The one to open in Philipsburg will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean. "Blackbeard’s Brig” (1716 AD Pirate’s Adventure) is expected to be the main attraction, connecting the themed room with the expanding St Maarten export beer of Caribbean Brewing Company. In addition to this joint venture with Canadian specialists GameMasters, three other Escape Rooms are being developed at the same location.

Laura Hawkins of Canadian partner GameMasters is elated about opening its first Escape Rooms in the Caribbean region after designing and executing 90 Editions in North America. "We are happy to be part of this landmark development of bringing this popular concept to St Maarten and the region, contributing to a great destination".

Director Sunil Vaswani of Caribbean Brewing Company B.V. assesses the first room to open early September: "One of the key attracting factors of destination St Maarten is its wide variety of activities. We are convinced this attraction will add to this offer - more specifically, to provide a whole new day - and more importantly, evening - an activity to our capital Philipsburg and its famed Boardwalk".

The main reception to the four rooms will be the Dutch Blonde Beach Bar on the Boardwalk, whereas a second entry will be put in place for tourists coming from the Frontstreet Wathey Square area.

People interested in both the binational project and taking part when open can contact the Dutch Blonde Beach Bar.

Parliament invites the public to nominate persons for Annual President of Parliament Award 2021.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Parliament invites the public to send in nominations for the Annual President of Parliament Award.
The application can be found on the Parliament’s website. Persons have until August 13, 2021, to submit their nominations.
The website address is: and can be found under the public section of the site. Select the President of Parliament Award and you will be able to fill in the application form.
The purpose of the President of Parliament award is to honor and award young persons of Sint Maarten who have contributed to the community and the country positively whether it be academically, voluntary or sporting achievements.

Any citizen of Sint Maarten who believes that an individual meets the criteria can send the nomination to the Parliament of Sint Maarten.
The eligibility criteria are:
• the candidate must have Dutch nationality and/or has been legally residing in Sint Maarten for 10-years or more consecutively and has been registered in the Civil Registry for that period of time
• must be between the ages of 15-24 years
• has made a worthwhile contribution to the development of the community and the country
• these contributions/achievements must have taken place within the last three years
• contributions/achievements must have been made while the individual was acting as a private citizen, not as an appointed or elected government official
• and must have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and ability to motivate

An award committee consisting of three Members of Parliament reviews the nomination prior to the selection meeting and selects three nominees.
During the selection meeting, the President of Parliament selects the recipient of the award based on the recommendations of the award committee.
The award is presented yearly to the recipient during the reception ceremony at the Opening of the Parliamentary Year.

Nominations for the Annual President of Parliament Award may be submitted by any citizen of Sint Maarten who believes that the individual that he or she is nominating meets the criteria abovementioned. Nominations can be sent to via hardcopy to:
The Parliament of Sint Maarten
Attn: Annual President of Parliament Award Committee
Wilhelminastraart 1
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten or via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Africa in My Skin wins USA graphic design award for St. Martin book publisher

pielafrica03082021PHILIPSBURG:--- HNP has won the American Inhouse Graphic Design Award 2021 for África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau, according to Gordon Kaye, publisher at Graphic Design USA (GDUSA).
The winning book cover for the trilingual poetry collection by Rafael Nino Féliz, a Dominican Republic educator — was designed by Gina Rombley of BEOS, Inc.
House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) received the award in July on behalf of both companies from GDUSA in New York City, said Jacqueline Sample, president of the St. Martin indie press.
This year marks the 58th anniversary of the GDUSA design awards. “We saw 6,800+ entries; only the top 10 percent – including you! – were selected as a winner,” wrote awards director Sasha Kaye-Walsh to HNP in a July 29 email.
Among the winning brands and companies for the 2021 graphic design award are “AARP, Amazon, American Bar Association, Art Institute of Chicago, Citibank, Doritos, E&J Gallo Winery, Gatorade, National Community Pharmacists Association, PepsiCo, Prudential, State Farm, Walmart, and many more,” according to Kaye-Walsh.
“Many thanks to Gina Rombley for her stunning book cover design,” said Sample. “Thanks also to GDUSA for selecting HNP among its awardees in 2021.”
Sample also congratulated “Professor Rafael Nino Féliz. I can’t thank him enough for deciding to publish África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau with HNP.”
África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau is available at Van Dorp and Arnia’s bookstores in St. Martin, bookstores in Santo Domingo, DR, and at Amazon and SPDbooks
HNP also won the GDUSA Award in 2017 and 2018, with cover designs by Carole Maugé-Lewis for Plastered in Pretty by N.C. Marks and Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell, said Sample.

28 confirmed COVID-19 cases today.

omarottley23022021PHILIPSBURG:--- As of August 2nd, there were twenty-eight (28) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, fourteen (14) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to ninety-five (95). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand seven ninety-eight (2798).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring eighty-nine (89) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-four (34).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand six hundred sixty-nine (2669). Sixty-six (66) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 441 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 35, 043 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to remain cautious when in public places. We are seeing an increase in the numbers and encourages everyone to wear your mask, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

South Omega Leo Club hosted its first service activity for the Leonistic year

leoclub02082021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Sint Maarten South Omega Leo Club hosted its first service activity for the Leonistic year July 1st, 2021-June 30th, 2022, whereby the members came together on Sunday, August 1st, and thoughtfully provided homemade soups and johnnycakes for the most vulnerable persons within the community. The Leo Club also distributed homemade soups to the God Bless Nurse Monique Nanny Nurssy Foundation. The President of the Omega Leo Club, Leo Javid Hurtault remarked, “Our members fully understand the importance of working together with the goal to collectively reinforce and engage the community in building a better place for all. The Club aims at working with more Organizations to ensure it expands its outreach efforts to as many vulnerable persons as possible.”

Through this initiative, the intention of The Sint Maarten South Omega Leo Club is to be a beacon of hope in the community especially for persons in need, recognizing that the Club’s support can go a long way as the island continues to maneuver its way through the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a Service Club, we believe it is important to help and provide for the less fortunate in our community by supporting them at their most vulnerable times,” Leo President Javid added.

The Sint Maarten South Omega Club encourages persons within our community to continue to support their efforts and sincerely thanks its members for their continued dedication.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. -Henry Ford


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