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"ISLAND HOME LAND NEWS:"RADIO ON LINE" Noticias e Información de Providencia y Santa Catalina Isla - www.islandhomelandnews.blogspot.com - Director y Editor: Robert Britton

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domingo, agosto 21, 2016

El sabor de Providencia con Robert Britton

El sabor de Providencia con Robert Britton

Por: Jenny González
Radio Nacional de Colombia




Robert Britton pertenece a la décima generación de una de las familias providencianas más conocidas de la isla y aunque creció al compás del sonido del mar y el murmullo de los pescadores, a Robert la música siempre lo invitó para que la abordara y escribiera acerca de los asuntos que a él, como raizal siempre le habían inquietado.
Fue así como creó su propio sello musical y montó su estudio, teniendo en cuenta la distancia y las condiciones de la isla, en una de las perlas del archipiélago: Providencia. Desde entonces no ha parado en su misión de apoyar a nuevos artistas emergentes en la isla, conservando los sonidos tradicionales, dándole paso también a las influencias que llegan del caribe e incluso de Inglaterra.
Sus canciones se escuchan en cuanto rincón se haya instalado al lado del mar en las maravillosas playas o incluso en las discotecas de moda en San Andrés. Aunque su sonido aún no ha llegado al continente como espera, Robert Britton ya va en su séptima producción discográfica con canciones tropicales cantadas en inglés, español y Creol su lengua materna.
Si le gusta el buen reggae y los sonidos arrebatadamente tropicales, conozca la producción de este isleño, que como su propio jefe de mercadeo va ofreciendo su propuesta musical de playa en playa y en complicidad con las carreras de caballos, inspirado por el sonido encantador del mar de los siete colores.

domingo, julio 31, 2016

Una beca para promover la educación superior en Providencia


Una beca para promover la educación superior en Providencia
Ella estudiará psicología porque quiere ayudar a las personas a superar sus problemas, él odontología, porque quiere ver sonreír a muchos que hoy no pueden. Esas son las motivaciones de Greyshi Livingston Flatts y Naygel Jonas Livingston para escoger sus carreras. Como ellos, 94 jóvenes de todo el país recibirán hoy los certificados que los acreditan como nuevos becarios de la Universidad del Norte.
Greyshi y Naygel no solo se destacan por sus excelentes rendimientos académicos, que los hicieron merecedores de una beca completa otorgada por la Alcaldía del Municipio de Providencia y Santa Catalina, sino también por sus nombres y acento, que fácilmente los harían pasar como estudiantes extranjeros.
Ambos comparten, más allá de una misma identidad cultural, deseos de regresar a su tierra, en un futuro cercano, para poner en práctica lo aprendido y retribuir así un poco de su agradecimiento.
Son egresados de la Institución Educativa Junin, en la cual, aseguró Naygel, vivieron seis años maravillosos en los que tuvo muy buenas experiencias, hizo muchos amigos y aprendió de los mejores profesores.
Es la primera vez que este joven de 17 años visita Barranquilla, y a pesar de que le propusieron estudiar en distintas universidades del país, afirmó haber escogido la Universidad del Norte por su reconocimiento nacional e internacional, además de poder estar un poco más cerca de sus familiares.
"A pesar que mis clases favoritas eran inglés y sociales, desde pequeño la odontología me llamó mucho la atención, porque quiero ver a las personas sonreír sin temor", comentó, asegurando que le gustaría tener su propio consultorio y poder atender a pacientes no solo en Providencia, sino en todos los rincones del país.
Por su parte, Greyshi, quien desde pequeña le gustó la biología marina, se empezó a interesar por la psicología desde noveno grado, a pesar de que en un principio dudó si escogería Música, ya que desde pequeña asiste a la Escuela de Música de Providencia en donde tomó clases de piano, guitarra y batería.
"Lo que más me gusta de la psicología no es solo poder ayudar a las demás personas, sino comprenderlos, entenderlos y poder dar un diagnóstico acertado para ayudarlos a salir adelante y superar sus problemas, por eso me gustaría ser esa persona en la que ellos pueden confiar, hablar abiertamente y contar sus problemas", afirmó la estudiante.
Para esta joven, para quien también es su primera vez en Barranquilla, lo que más le ha gustado de esta ciudad, en la que solo lleva cinco día, es el ambiente, el cual se asemeja al de San Andrés y Providencia.
"Normalmente si tengo que hacer algo, siempre lo hago con la mentalidad de que no es una obligación, así lo hago con la mejor disposición", afirmó Greyshi y dijo que esta es la clave de su éxito. Además, resaltó que nunca le dará pereza hacer música o cantar, por lo que espera la Feria de Bienestar para poder inscribirse en los cursos extracurriculares.
Apostándole a la educación de calidad
Según cifras oficiales del Ministerio de Educación Nacional, el 72,3% de bachilleres de la región Caribe no logra acceder a la educación superior, siendo el departamento de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina, uno con las tasas más bajas de cobertura a nivel nacional.
Por esto, luego de la visita a la Universidad del Norte del alcalde del municipio de Providencia y Santa Catalina, Bernardo Bent Williams, se acordó otorgar dos becas completas que permitieran a los mejores estudiantes del municipio estudiar la carrera de su preferencia en esta universidad.
"La educación es el futuro del pueblo y pensamos que educar a los providéncianos es el futuro de Providencia, por eso tenemos la idea de invertir la mayor cantidad de recursos en educación", expresó Bent durante su visita a Uninorte.
Las becas otorgadas por la Alcaldía a estos dos estudiantes sobresalientes incluye el 100% de la matrícula de pregrado durante toda la carrera, igualmente cubre los niveles de inglés, además de un subsidio de vivienda, transporte y otro para materiales de estudio.
"Actualmente tenemos alumnos aquí y les está yendo muy bien, son alumnos de los que estamos seguros que le aportarán al municipio y por eso le apostamos a la educación a través de esta universidad, la cual es reconocida por su calidad y excelentes egresados", afirmó.
Kent Duffis, estudiante de octavo semestre de Ingeniería Eléctrica y también becario por la Alcaldía de Providencia y Santa Catalina, es el encargado de ayudarle a estos dos jóvenes a adaptarse a esta nueva etapa de sus vidas.
"No se asusten por las cosas nuevas, afróntenlas, investiguen si tienen dudas, estudien y no se den por vencidos", fue la recomendación de Duffis a sus nuevos compañeros, resaltando que el primer semestre suele ser el más difícil, debido al choque que representa adaptarse a otro ambiente, conocer nuevas personas y adquirir otra rutina.

viernes, junio 24, 2016

On the Colombian island of Providence, the pace is slow but charms come thick and fast

On the Colombian island of Providence, the pace is slow but charms come thick and fast

By Bart Beeson and Annalise Romoser 

We've spent the afternoon at the open-air restaurant of a small fishing co-op that offers everything we've dreamed of in Caribbean cuisine — fresh fish, fruit juices, coconut rice — and a little something we haven't: rondon, the island's prized dish of pig's tail, fish and snails. The co-op also sells seafood, and after eating our fill, we purchase a gorgeous fish for dinner, then stop at a small grocery store on the way back to our lodgings to pick up onions and coconut milk to saute with mangoes for an accompanying creole sauce.
As we swerve up a steep hill on rickety old bikes, taking turns holding the large red snapper by the tail, we have to wonder whether this is the best way to bring home dinner. But as we discover over the course of a week in Providencia, Colombia, that's part of the charm of this Caribbean island, where you're more likely to bring home fresh fish to cook than serve yourself at a buffet, to grab a cold drink at a rustic beachside hut than at a poolside bar, and to bait your hook with a local fisherman than join a chartered excursion.

Providencia, a longtime hangout for pirates, offers 21st-century refuge seekers casual charm, friendly locals and a rich color palette. (Bart Beeson)

We've heard for years about Providencia's beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and distinctive culture, so we've finally decided to make the journey here. The island lies about 140 miles off Nicaragua's Atlantic coast, belongs to Colombia and, largely because of its history as a base for English pirates, is mostly English-speaking. The extremely welcoming locals move effortlessly between English, Spanish and a unique creole tongue, and throughout our stay are eager to point us to a good local restaurant or the nearest beach.
To get to Providencia, we first stop in nearby San Andres, a larger and more commercial island, where you can catch either a quick flight or a catamaran to Providencia. After landing at Providencia's minuscule airport, we jump into the back of a pickup truck — the informal local taxi service — that takes us to our hotel to drop off our bags. The open-air ride is a perfect introduction to the island. We drive along the main road, which traces the shore, zooming past colorful houses, through several small towns and up and over hills with superb views of the sea. The water surrounding the island is known as the Sea of Seven Colors, and it lives up to its name with truly spectacular hues of turquoise and blue set against pristine white sand beaches.

The gift of hospitality
Eager to get on the water, we find a guide, Atanasio Howard, who runs a small hotel and arranges kayaking, snorkeling and fishing trips for visitors. We'll be back in the coming days to take him up on the latter two options, but on our first afternoon, we want to go kayaking in Old Providence McBean Lagoon. We slowly make our way through tangled mangroves, home to colorful crabs and elusive little birds, to reach the lagoon. There we take a break for a quick hike up Iron Wood Hill, which showcases the tropical dry forest on the east side of the island and provides a stunning view of the turquoise sea.
After kayaking, we return to our lodging to relax in the shade. Given its off-the-beaten-path location, Providencia has remained largely undeveloped — it hasonly one upscale hotel — and like many visitors, we've chosen to stay in a posada, a small home rented out to visitors. Ours is Posada Miss Rose, which sits on a verdant hill just off the main road and consists of a two-story, two-bedroom wooden house with a kitchen, a front porch and a second-story balcony with a partial ocean view. One local resident commended us on choosing a posada over a hotel. "You learn how islanders live and where our people will tell you all their stories," he said. "That's what makes this Providencia. It's what makes us different, and why we will never compete with five-star destinations."

The soft sands of the Colombian island of Providencia would be the perfect place to practice biking while carrying a big red snapper. (Bart Beeson) 
Miss Rose, which goes for about $75 a night during high season (Christmas to mid-January, Easter week and mid-June to mid-July), comes with hospitality included. Owner Luisa Canencia Britton lives directly behind the guest house, and every morning during our five-day stay, she provides us with small island gifts: a bowl of refreshing local plum-like fruits, warm bread or books about the island. She also kindly advises us on how to cook up the snapper we bring home from the fishing co-op.
"I really enjoy having people here, and I think gifts are an important part of life," she says. "People here have huge hearts, hearts that are not found in the rest of the world. It is the treasure of this island."
From our house, it's a five-minute walk down a long, steep hill to Almendra Bay, which cradles a small, secluded white sand beach, surrounded by rocky outcroppings and lush green hills punctuated by a handful of colorfully painted homes and other wind-worn houses. The only facilities at the beach are a few plastic picnic tables and a small shack, whose owner cheerfully serves up cold soft drinks, beers (oddly enough, Old Milwaukee is quite popular) and simple seafood dishes. Like almost all the beaches in Providencia, Almendra Bay is ideal for swimming, which we do often, careful to avoid stepping on the giant starfish that dot the sea floor.
Busy but relaxed
Each day we set out from Miss Rose's on the somewhat dilapidated bikes that we've rented for the week. On our first full day, we bike around the entire island, which you could probably do in an hour if you just kept pedaling, but we take frequent breaks, exploring several beaches and stopping in the town of Santa Catalina for some much-needed ice cream.
We also head to El Pico Forestry Reserve for a two-hour round-trip hike inland. Making our way up through the forest shadows to the peak ("el pico" means "peak"), picking fresh mangoes as we go, we're rewarded with a 360-degree view of the island and the waters below. But soon after we arrive at the top, dark, imposing clouds roll in, and we have to hurry down from our exposed position to seek shelter from the lightning, if not the drenching rain.

The water surrounding Providencia is called the Sea of Seven Colors. (Bart Beeson) 
The next day, we return to Atanasio Howard for a guided snorkeling excursion. His son takes us out to explore parts of the nearly 20-mile-long Providence barrier reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the Americas. It sits inside theSeaflower Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Marine Protected area.
We take advantage of the trip to talk language, learning more from our guide about the local San Andres-Providencia Creole, which mixes expressions from Spanish and African languages. There'll be time to talk fish after we surface from the waters below, where we encounter endless brain and fan coral, a stunning array of brightly colored fish, and the occasional fluttering squid.
Afterward, Howard's son drops us off at Crab Cay, a popular day-trip destination that's smack in the middle of the most brilliantly colored part of the surrounding waters. The vista from its rocky peak is mesmerizing.
Another day, we rent kayaks and snorkeling gear on our own and paddle out to Morgan's Head, a locally famous rock outcropping named for pirate Henry Morgan, who used the island as a base for raiding Spanish colonies in the late 1600s. It's rumored that he hid still-undiscovered treasures in Providencia, and the rock formation sits near an unexcavated pirate-era fort that exudes mystery. There's great snorkeling just off the shore, and we spend a good chunk of time lazily paddling around before scrambling up the rocky cliffs and jumping into the clear water below.
We fill the rest of our days hitting our favorite beaches, reading on the porch at Miss Rose's and enjoying long meals at seaside restaurants. Our favorite is El Divino Niño, a local institution on South West Bay beach that serves a generous mixed platter of seafood that's supposedly for two but can easily feed three. For about $20, the platter comes piled high with Caribbean delights: whole red snapper, lobster, crab claws, sauteed conch, soup, coconut rice and fried plantains. From our outdoor table, we're able to watch the weekly horse race, in which local youths ride speeding horses bareback down the white sand beach, while seemingly half the island's population places friendly wagers and cheers the riders on. This is the only fast-paced event we experience in Providencia.
Despite its tiny size, the island keeps us busy but never overwhelmed. There are just enough options for us to feel that we accomplish something each day, but still allow us to have the relaxing beach vacation we were looking for. Before coming, we'd contemplated getting certified in scuba diving, but we decided to save that for another trip.
Still, we did pick up a new skill. And who knows? Being able to steer a bike with one hand while holding a snapper in the other might come in handy some day.
Beeson is a freelance travel writer based in Burlington, Vt. Romoser works for an environmental organization in Washington and travels frequently to Colombia.
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IF YOU GO
Getting there
COPA and Avianca airlines offerone-stop flights from Washington Dulles to San Andres, Colombia, where Satena offers flights to Providencia two to four times a day for about $128 round-trip. Two catamarans (www.catamaranelsensation.com) also operate between San Andres and Providencia for $32 one way ($23 for children).
Where to stay
Posada Miss Rose 
Sector Camp
011-57-8-514-83-27-80
posadamissrouse.medianewsonline.com 
From $55 per person in low season.
Posada Coco Bay 
Maracaibo Bay
011-57-8-514-8226
Cell: 011-57-311-804-0373
www.posadacocobay.com 
No-frills posada just feet above the sea. Owner Atanasio Howard arranges gear rentals and offers tours of Crab Cay and nearby mangroves, as well as fishing expeditions. Rooms from $44 in low season.
Hotel Deep Blue 
Maracaibo Bay
011-57-8-514-8423
hoteldeepblue.com 
The only luxury hotel on the island, remodeled in 2010-2012. No direct beach access but guests enjoy a private dock. Rooms from $185.
Where to eat
El Divino Niño 
South West Bay
Generous portions of seafood, outdoor seating. Entrees from $9.
Café Studio 
South West Bay
011-57-8-514-9076
Tucked away among the trees, offers delicious pasta and fish dishes, many made with fresh herbs from the owner's garden. Entrees from $12.
Old Providence Taste 
Pueblo Viejo, Via Al Paso
011-57-514-9028
www.fishandfarmcoop.blogspot.com 
Affiliated with the Fish and Farm Co-op, offering full Caribbean meals with seasonal juices, locally caught fish and heavy fish soups. Entrees from $11.
What to do
Felipe Diving Center 
Agua Dulce Beach
011-57-8-514-8775
felipediving.com 
Offers dive packages, first aid and rescue courses, night dives and a "Discovery Scuba" course for those new to the sport. Open-water or advanced courses can be arranged for around $320. Daily snorkeling gear rental about $5.
Roland Roots Bar 
Manzanillo Beach
011-57-315-238-5980
Cocktails, beer, bonfires and music sent out over loudspeakers accompany low-key parties on the beach at this mostly outdoor bar. Live music offered some nights.
Hiking Morgan's Head 
Santa Catalina
Walk over Lover's Bridge from Providencia to neighboring Santa Catalina. A 20-minute walk uphill takes you to the top of Morgan's Head for stunning sea views. Swim and snorkel in the waters below to cool off after the trek.


sábado, febrero 27, 2016

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