We took a holiday down to the Turks and Caicos in June and concluded that it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. As with all of these smaller countries, they are not without their fair share of issues. The financial collapse due to a corrupt President who thought he was a movie star, the reversal of $5M island sale to a group of developers with a few ‘consulting fees’ paid on the side (Island valued at $176M), a tourism based society that is struggling due to the slow economic recovery and Britain’s take over of the island’s government due to the corruption. In one story of excess, a fellow told me about the company who took over the building of the bankrupt Mandarin resort; they recovered enough usable wood and quality discarded building materials in the site’s dump to build a full workers camp.
I personally like the article Failure to follow the rules at the heart of TCI’s problems for so clearly stating the obvious:
The gap between the law and practice in the main pillars of government in the Turks and Caicos Islands was what facilitated the corruption, Transparency International has revealed in a new report. The global anti-corruption watchdog’s country report revealed weaknesses in the system, which are not dissimilar to some raised in the Cayman Islands by the auditor general’s office and others recently. Transparency International said important mechanisms providing transparency in governance, such as the Register of Interests’ rules were unobserved, accountability instruments like the Public Accounts Committee did not function effectively and ministerial breaches of public service regulations and encroachment on the independence of the public service were common.s
The findings of the watchdog were probably cut and pasted from their findings on Africa, the emerging soviet bloc, large chunks of Central America, South America and of course parts of Asia.
All of the above were well outlined in the Bloomberg article Caribbean Hangover which is a fascinating look into the President, the spending, the jet set lifestyle and how the subsequent real estate and economic collapse have hurt the island.
That aside, it is beautiful and we will go back. We stayed at The Veranda and had a spectacular week after a very wet and cold Canadian spring. A few photos below; The first is we snorkelled their reef, which keeps the water smooth and calm. It is spectacular. I cannot wait till we start scuba as a family.
Of course, snorkelling was so much more enjoyable thanks to the Lasik.
A few photos from Iguana island, an island reserve filled with … iguanas.
Unfortunately you cannot walk around the island as the majority of the boardwalk has been destroyed and there is no money to replace it (One less flight from the ousted President’ would have paid for it … but priorities!). It was destroyed a few years ago in a hurricane.
This 3 foot long Iguana let me get very close.
A storm on the way.
I asked what these were. Old ropes that were used to hold large cruise ships in place. They now go to a purpose built port.
It does not get much prettier than this.
On our way back from the reef, Jo Jo the local dolphin joined us. I had never seen a dolphin so close ….
One last shot, the view from the roof top restaurant.
A beautiful island to visit. I wish that they would join Canada.