Category: blog Created on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00 Written by Nadia Glacean
Bring Caribbean islanders living abroad closer to the centre of our plans, urged seasoned St. Lucian businesswoman and hotelier, Eroline Lamontagne.
Lamontagne is the proprietor of the Fond Doux Holiday Plantation resort in the old colonial St. Lucian town of Soufriere. She has criticised the region’s approach towards leveraging the intellectual resources and financial capital of the diaspora.
She said that instead of treating Caribbean peoples living abroad as an afterthought “diasporic relations must be central to our development strategy”. She also renewed her call on the Caribbean’s public and private sector leaders to get behind the diaspora to help move the region forward.
Speaking at Saint Lucia’s 33rd Anniversary of Independence Gala last month, the successful entrepreneur pointed to remittances, travel, investment and philanthropy as four areas in which members of the region’s expatriate community contribute the greatest.
Lamontagne advocated for a more deliberate approach to harness the goodwill and skills of the diaspora. She said “we must formalise our ties for their impact to be even better felt and their contributions to be better appreciated.”
The Fond Doux Holiday resort signed on as a sponsor of the Saint Lucia 33rd Anniversary of Independence Gala held in Brooklyn, New York. The Independence Gala is a celebration of St Lucia’s independence from Great Britain. St. Lucia gained its independence from Great Britain on February 22, 1979; this year therefore marks the island’s 33rd year of independence.
The activities were organised by the Saint. Lucian House Foundation, an umbrella group of St Lucian organisations based in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in concert with the Saint Lucia Consulate General in New York.
Lamontagne said that “St Lucians at home owe a debt of gratitude to our nationals living abroad for honouring their homeland each day by championing issues of importance to our country, by contributing to local charities and by constantly promoting our fair isle to their friends and associates.”
Jeremiah Hyacinth, the Foundation’s New York based public relations officer, said that the Foundation was “quite pleased with the outpouring of support it received during “The Saint Lucia House Foundation is quite pleased with the outpouring of support it received during this year’s activities in New York”. He also thanked patrons, sponsors and the island’s external affairs minister, Alva Baptiste, for making the activities a success.
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