st eustatius

To the people who have no way to get out of Irma’s path:

My prayers are with you.

While it is absolutely important to keep Florida in mind, please also ensure that international agencies and relief efforts do not forget about all the other places being devastated by this storm. Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba are ALL in the storms path too, and it is important to make sure we do not forget about them when the recovery, rescue, and restoration after Irma begins.

Irma has already made landfall in Barbuda (as of today, Sept. 6th 2017), and it is imperative that we remember these countries, islands, and occupied states are all about to be devastated too. And you know the USA is not going to help the occupied territories it has.


The Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima) is a large arboreal lizard endemic to the Lesser Antilles. Another common name for it is the West Indian iguana. It is one of two species of lizard of the genus Iguana and is in severe decline due to habitat destruction, feral predators, hunting, and hybridization with its sister species, the green iguana. The Lesser Antilles iguana has a more blocky, shortened face than the green iguana and lacks the distinctive stripe pattern present along the green iguana’s tail. The feature that most easily distinguishes these two species is the large, round scale that the green iguana has below each ear hole but which the Lesser Antillean iguana lacks.

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His Majesty the King and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, will arrive in Curaçao on Sunday 10 September 2017.
They will be received by the Governor of Curaçao, Lucille George-Wout, and proceed to METEO, where they will attend a presentation about the preparations for the relief and assistance operation on St Maarten. At Parera Naval Base they will meet with the Prime Minister of Curaçao, Eugene Rhuggenaath, and receive a briefing on the current situation. The King and Mr Plasterk will then visit a hospital where hurricane victims and patients evacuated from St Maarten have been admitted.
On Curaçao, the possibility and timing of visits to St Maarten, St Eustatius and Saba will be considered.

Source: Royal House of the Netherlands Het Koninklijk Huis
Photos: RVD, ANP


Queen Maxima’s foreign visits → The Netherlands Antilles, 2002

For her second official visit, Maxima went to the extended Dutch realm when she toured the Netherlands Antilles with her husband, visiting Aruba, St Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire and Curacao. Several countries within the Island group are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and they all share historical and cultural ties with the European nation. In 2002 they were looking to break away from their ancestral homeland so the Dutch state visit was designed to smooth relations and capitalise on post-royal wedding excitement. The connection to the Netherlands was clear throughout their visit as they took in two separate sites called Fort Orange, named after the Dutch signature colour. But they also experienced the culture of the islands with cultural displays, the Rincon Cultural Market in Bonaire and a colourful carnival in Curacao. The islands are known for their beautiful natural landscapes and so Maxima and Alexander ensured they traversed the Sandy Cruz Trail in Saba and the Salt Mountains in Bonaire. The rest of their visit focused on philanthropy as they visited schools, youth projects, medical centres, retirement homes, and projects for the disabled. The visit was a resounding success and Maxima’s warmth, charisma and boundless energy won her legions of fans in the former Dutch colonies. 


Queen Maxima’s foreign visits → Dutch Caribbean, 2011

In 2011, Maxima accompanied her husband and mother in law on a visit to the islands which made up the former Dutch Antilles. A year before, the Dutch Antilles had dissolved in a ceremony attend by Maxima and Willem Alexander but the Netherlands maintained a strong relationship with the islands and the Dutch royals were immensely popular. The visit was a joyous one filled with several occasions where the family could let loose. They wore masks at a multicultural festival in Aruba, dance the night away at a party in Curacao, and danced with locals in Sint Maarten and St Eustatius. In amongst the parties they also visited a number of local sights and charitable projects including a women’s shelter, a youth and family foundation in Bonaire, a training and youth education centre named after Beatrix’s sister Margriet, schools for hospitality students and nurses, and a community centre in Saba. The family always feel a certain amount of freedom during their time in the Caribbean, highlighted by the fact Willem Alexander co-piloted their flight to St Eustatius! Although this was Maxima’s third visit to the island group since her marriage, she was just as impressed as she had been during her first trip. When she took a tour through Aruba’s national park it was clear to see why the islands are some of the most desirable tourist spots in the world. 

A lot of Dutch people have the idea or the impression that Holland is doing us a favor with this status that they incorporated us in against our wishes. Because the Statia people never opted to be a special body, or what they call that thing again? A special municipality [of the Netherlands] that nobody can explain what it is to this point. The Statia people never opted for this.
—  Joshua Spanner