Guestpost Jamaica

New Life for Bluefields Westmoreland Jamaica

tarting early November 2021, the Bluefields Best Kept Street Competition’s initiative, which is the brainchild of Keith R. Wedderburn of Bluefields Organic Farm, will celebrate and recognize the hard work and creativity that many residents put in into making their local neighborhoods a beautiful place to live. 

  • Awards are geared at encouraging civic pride in their local areas, encouraging environmentally friendly practices, increasing environmental awareness, and rewarding people who look after their streets.
  • Residents will collectively or individually enter a street, then the judges will be tasked with finding the street best suited for:
  • 1. Most Visually Attractive Award 2. Most Attractive Front Garden Award 3. Best Recycling Practice Award 4. Best Kept Street Anti-Litter Award and 5. Young persons in Best Kept Street Award. 

The town of Bluefields was established in 1519. Annotto Bay and Sevilla La Nueva or New Seville are two towns that preceded Bluefields. Henry Morgan the Buccaneer, Captain Blight (brought breadfruit and ackee to the island), and Henry Gosse, a famous writer on West Indian birds, have all stayed in Bluefields. There were also several plantations around which remnants of the Bluefields and Shafton plantations still stand today. So far members from the communities are very enthused about the proposed project. A Steering Committee has been formed to manage the project led by Keith Wedderburn and they have already secured some sponsorship support and commitments from Bluefields’ family members living overseas.

Once the competition starts, they are anticipating a complete transformation. In addition to the cleaning, beautification and maintenance of the spaces, the expected outcomes are many. For example, Garbage will be managed in a responsible way going forward, there should be no more burning of garbage nor illegal dumping. Participants will be encouraged to participate in workshops related to solid waste management and composting which will result in them learning how to separate their waste and start using organic material for composting. Also, garbage collected will not be left behind. For better garbage management, the relevant authorities will be required to collect waste materials such as plastic, glass bottles, aluminum files etc. at intervals on each street. 2 Some responses so far are: “Good idea which we endorse as one of the Countrystyle Villages as Businesses projects and will give you support and information too” – Diana McIntyre Pike, Community Tourism Developer Consultant “I welcome the idea because it would make the people in the community have a sense of PRIDE of where they live, with incentives to go with it. I give you my commitment, I’ll support you.” – Ralva Ellison, a member of Belmont community, who presently resides abroad. “Sounds good and a very good initiative.” Says Sergeant Berry of the Bluefields Police Station.

“Wise Ideas. I am on board to contribute whenever needed”, says Robblin Wedderburn, former resident of Belmont and retired Deputy Superintendent of Police who currently lives in the US “Excellent initiative. Build it around the youth for long-term sustainability.” Says Wolde Kristos, Community Developer and resident of Belmont “Great idea. I believe something like this will be good for the community.” – Nickeisha Robinson, resident of Belmont “Excellent… If possible, kindly send a proposal to my email address. I will definitely get a buy in from the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation” –

Michael Jackson “Would be delighted to partner with you. We are offering a free night for a prize.” – Linda Cheddister (Luna Seas Hotel) “Sounds like a good project. I will be happy to be a judge on this project. Please provide me with more information” – Barrington Taylor (Watershed Projects NEPA) “Thank you for reaching out. Feel free to email me the above information and any further details” – Rochelle Forbes (Sandal South Coast PR Manager). According to the Chairman of the Bluefields Community Competition Steering Committee, “This would not be made possible without our dedicated team of volunteers working behind the scenes. These include Mr André James, Mrs Alrica Whyte-Smith, Ms Tracey Edwards, Mrs Diana McIntyre-Pike, Ms Tracey Spence, Mr Charles O. Wilkinson aka Sir W One, Ms Alison Massa, Ms Adrianna Parchment and Mr Kelon Wedderburn. We are thankful to our sponsors, friends, and families of the communities. We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage others from this area, who may be away, to come on board. 

The time to join hands and help spruce up your individual street is now! This will be your beautiful Jamaican space to look forward to, on your return. All donations will be used towards the awards and to assist participants with preparation, where possible. This project will motivate participants towards other positive actions, and it could also be easily adopted in other areas of Jamaica and become a catalyst for changes in communities.

WTM London 2022 will be taking place from 7-9 November 2022. Register now!

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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