Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Gracita: “Rotterdam showed overwhelming support for Sint Maarten and its people in the aftermath of hurricane Irma”.

Gracita ArrindellPHILIPSBURG  — Gracita states: “just recently back home after attending an intense work-shop of the ‘Living University’, this time in Rotterdam, Holland, I am grateful for the overwhelming support extended during the seminars to the People of Sint Maarten in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.”


Professor Gunter Pauli together with his team (Javier Morales, Charles van de Heijden) special guest-lecturer, legendary Dr. Anders Nyquist founder of EcoCycleDesign and attendees many who hail from a diverse innovative -professional backgrounds, dedicated part of the sessions to provide hands on solutions to some of the immediate challenges facing our small nation, which has been ravaged by Irma”.

Arrindell said; “The team that hosted this year’s event in Rotterdam, Siemen Cox and Mark Segers, owners of the successful start-up business (RotterZwam) growing delicious mushrooms from coffee grounds, were exceptionally supportive not only as hosts of this year’s workshop, also because of the moral support extended to my family and I personally. Heartfelt thanks were expressed in return to all present. It was a great opportunity to show some before and after photos as well, as a superb moment to explain more about our island and our collective Faith we have and resilience as a People to overcome challenges faced.”

“The well-attended workshop and field trips produced not only ideas for new start-up small businesses in general to the attendees. The intense and creative presentations provided hands-on information by owners and managers of already established successful companies. Many can be replicated and started in Sint Maarten in a relatively short period of time thereby creating much needed new jobs and economic activity, by extension producing new revenues for our almost empty coffers. Enterprises employing people living here, and using many products found in and around our island.”


Gracita continues; “Right now, hundreds of people are unemployed and more are expected to lose their jobs in the months ahead, including bread-winners of large household where both parents, young adults of one family are unemployed.
Many colleagues expressed willingness to come to Sint Maarten and assist in the set-up and start-up of small enterprises that will create much needed and well earning businesses. Some of these types of concerns that can be implemented successfully are; seaweed processing company as bases for the production of Spirulina, organic mushrooms grown from coffee grounds, recycling of diapers, production of paper made of crushed rocks ( yes I have some text books to prove this) recycling and the introduction of LIFI light based internet. The latter will serve the people smarter, safer thereby transform our society for the better.

Where there is a will there’s a way, goes the saying. I always believe in and support this notion.

Now more than ever before in Sint Maarten’s social economic history is the time, need and opportunity to attract and create new economic activity that benefits our island. Activities that will stimulate our citizens to be in first instance responsible for one self and your future. Small business is the back-bone of a strong and resilient nation, this must be supported and actively stimulated.

Arrindell concludes: “To conclude with a inspirational quote from Professor Gunter Pauli shared at the work shop : Quote “ Blue economy is not a technique. It’s a way to act and a way to live. Remain connected with each other, especially after experiencing a disaster” Unquote.

More information about the living university and of the abovementioned companies and programs can be found at the following addresses: www.theblueeconomy.org; www.rotterzwam.nl; www.EcocycleDesign.com; www.attero.nl; www.plantfiveforlife.org; www.e-kaliteri.com, www.cobouw.nl; www.ekofungi.