Posts Categorized: Community

Meet DaraMonifah, St. Thomas Super Nova of Art and Culture

DaraMonfiah Virgin Islands

Native St. Thomian DaraMonifah Cooper is one of the bright stars of the Virgin Islands art world. An artist of many talents, she is also major community organizer and educator who dedicates herself to working with St. Thomas’ youth and teaches them about their culture through music, art, performance arts, and engaging in technology through… Read more »

Most Complete Guide to St. John Festival, Ever!

Cooper Penn Grande Marshall St. John Festival

St. John, US Virgin Islands, affectionately nicknamed “Love City,” is the scene for some of the most fantastic Festival revelry in the Caribbean. The St. John Festival is a month-long celebration that kicks off energetically with live music and performances and ramps up to an awe-inspiring fireworks display in the Cruz Bay harbor on the… Read more »

The Low Down on Low Key Watersports – 31 Years of Extraordinary Scuba Diving

Low Key Watersports

When Bob Shinners imagines the movie of his life it opens with him as a young man standing on a Milwaukee bridge in a thick parka. He climbs the safety rail, closes his eyes, and jumps. As he plunges into the icy water, his steel toed boots and heavy winter clothes suck him into the… Read more »

The Real Carolyn Goodlander – A Peek Behind the Curtain of Fatty’s Empire

Carolyn Goodlander is truly a woman of the world. When I met with Carolyn to share lunch and words at the Cruz Bay Landing on St. John, she had just returned from her third circumnavigation aboard the sailboat home she shares with her writer husband Captain Fatty Goodlander, the editor-at-large at Cruising World Magazine, author… Read more »

What Kind of Sailor Are You, Yachtie or Cruiser?

Lots of cruising sailors wash over the collective bow of St. John. Many are capable and navigate the Sir Francis Drake Channel like it was a lake. Others fall into the category of quirky and fade quickly from memory. Others just stick because they are so real. John St. John is one cruiser that I… Read more »

Local, Sustainable and Wild – A Virgin Islands Culinary Revolution

“He just bought 1000 earthworms on Amazon,” Mathayom Vacharat’s girlfriend whispered to me as I sat down next to her at Ground Breaking, one of the themed full moon dinners presented by St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs at their St. John event venue at the Windy Level. “Mysterious purchase,” I laughed, but we… Read more »

Your Essential Guide to St. Thomas Carnival | April 1st – April 29th, 2017

Every year Carnival has a theme and 2017 celebrates our Centennial anniversary when the Virgin Islands officially became a part of the United States. St. Thomas is home to one of the largest festivals in the whole Caribbean and features food, games, music, and entertainment for people of all ages. It is an annual highlight… Read more »

Community Gardening Comes Alive on St. John

Last year I wrote an article about the unavailability of fresh produce in the Virgin Islands. The story went viral with over 17,000 people reading the blog and 2,500 sharing it on social media. Although my readership was greatly increased, which was a positive outcome, I was in for a rude awakening. The backlash was… Read more »

What It Was like Living on St. John 100 Years Ago – Folk Life Festival

In an age of unlimited streaming movies, music and video games, how do we convince the next generation that folk ways have value and beauty? When any product we dream of is mass produced, available and affordable, why keep oral storytelling, boat building, basketry, herb lore, woodwork and sewing alive? These questions can be answered… Read more »

Chasing Hurricanes – Surfing in the Virgin Islands

The story of surfing in the Virgin Islands is an exciting one. This might be hard to believe if you’ve spent any time on one of the VI’s world famous beaches. The gentle ripples on tranquil turquoise bays don’t bring to mind the incredible thrill of cutting down the face of a ten foot wave…. Read more »

6 Must Dos During the Yearlong Virgin Islands Centennial Celebration – Happy 100 VI!!

If visiting the Virgin Islands has been on your to-do list, this is definitely the year to do it. 2017 marks the one hundred year anniversary of the Virgin Islands transfer from Denmark to the United States. There are dozens of fantastic events scheduled throughout 2017 to celebrate our rich yet complex cultural heritage –… Read more »

Change Isn’t Always Easy (Plastic Bag Ban in the Virgin Islands)

In August 2014, California was the first state to enforce the law that banned the use of plastic bags in retail stores. On January 1, 2017, the Virgin Islands, like many other states, will follow suit and enforce the law to ban plastic bags. For years, many have voiced their concerns about the hazardous effects… Read more »

The Hallelujah of the Reef Bay Trail

The Virgin Islands National Park celebrates its 60th birthday this year. In 1956, Laurance Rockefeller had the foresight to donate 7,259 acres of St. John land to the US government under the condition that the lands be protected from future development. Due to Rockefeller’s passion for wilderness conservation, 60% of St. John remains pristine. The… Read more »

12 Caribbean Recipes to Spice Up Your Thanksgiving

Expect a delightful twist on stateside traditions if you visit the US Virgin Islands for Thanksgiving. We watch football games, yes, but projected on hotel linens strung up between palm trees. Instead of wrestling over deep discounts at day-after sales, you’ll find many VI residents sailing in a regatta or sharing leftovers at a beach… Read more »

Caribbean Writers Meet The NaNoWriMo Challenge

Close to two thousand Caribbean writers have registered for the upcoming National Novel Writing Month 2016 (NaNoWriMo). Beginning November 1st, seasoned and green authors alike will dare to write 50,000 words in one short month. (That’s 1666 words per day.) Started in 1999, this personal challenge has grown from a handful of writers (21 the… Read more »

Zenning Out With Ramon Correa

As the sun began it’s descent, the colors radiated a golden hue and a zen vibe enveloped the space. The chaos of the busy town seemed distant from our 260 degree perch. The only intrusions were the distant sounds of church bells, a steel pan band practicing and the odd rooster. I asked this extraordinarily humble man about his life as a disciple of martial arts, a conscious excavator and his hopes for humanity and his Virgin Islands community. Our conversation seemed as limitless as the azure sky overhead.  Read more »

King Exodus

I don’t think I’m a singer, I’m more of a chanter. Chanting is more spiritual to me. Not that singing isn’t. I feel like when you chant a song to The Most High, you chant up an invocation, you don’t really sing it. I bring words of positive messages and try to tap into someone’s train of thought. This is where I like to aim my frequency. Read more »