When Brenda and I retired to the Caribbean, and then unretired and started our Caribbean sailing charter business, it was immediately clear that needed more than just another business owner from the states. Living in the Caribbean is amazing. Yacht vacations in the Caribbean are even better. However, these small island countries have needs that can’t be met with tourist dollars alone and we find it impossible to work, and benefit from the islands, without giving back.
Our initiatives to date include a partnership with the Inspiring Children’s Foundation and their founder, Apple Computer’s human of the year, Ryan Woffington. Through his foundation, iyachtclub has been able to host boats full of at risk youth each November. We have also hosted several Make a Wish Foundation trips, Ronald McDonald house gifts, and sponsored trip for the Duke Children’s Hospital. We are proud of our initiatives of the past. And, while we plan to continue them, we know we can do so much more.
The 2021 season will celebrate the start of two new initiatives.
Charter for children. After hurricane Irma, the only orphanage in St. Maarten closed down. There is truly so much need here that it is hard for one to figure out where to start. Starting this fall, we will be working with the yacht club in St. Maarten to assist with funding, and with teaching disadvantaged kids to sail. That is a nice start, but we want to do more. Our long term stretch goal is to open a school here, to teach basic life skills. We don’t want to impose our values on the kids here, but rather, work with them to enhance their ability to succeed, with whatever they do with their lives.
Also new for the 2021 season…. Save the Coconut Retrievers
Island dogs, commonly referred to as coconut retrievers are a real problem in the islands. Local people breed them to fight, or to be sold, and neither ends well. There is a huge over population of unwanted pups in the islands and iyachtclub wants to help. Starting with our 2021 trips, we will donate $100 per trip to assist with the removal of these dogs, back to American, and assist with finding them new homes. If you take a trip with us next year, and you want to “sponsor” a dog for the airplane home, just let us know… we will take care of the rest.