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 Support for Local Artisans Being Championed by Beaches Resorts and the Sandals Foundation

Local Artisian Winnifred McIntosh (L) and BTC's Social Media Coordinator Emmathanael Thervenin

Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation, continue to invest in the vibrant culture of the Turks and Caicos Islands and supporting local artisans with the recent addition of a sun mural, cementing a positive message at the Cultural Marketplace.

 

To commemorate its 15th anniversary, the Sandals Foundation recently gifted 13 communities across nine islands with sun murals, cementing a positive message that inspires hope. The Cultural Marketplace was deemed the ideal location for TCI’s mural in an effort to enhance the shopping experience and trade of the local artisans.

 

‘This mural is a tangible reminder of the strength and beauty that lies within each of us and can be seen as a symbol, reminding communities that they are powerful beyond measure,” says Patrice Gilpin, Public Relations Manager of the Sandals Foundation.

 

BTC local Artisian Esther Stubbs with one of her handmads craft items

Local artist, Zachary Solomon, was commissioned to design and paint the mural with a key feature to insert the inspirational words of “dream”, “hope”, “joy”, “love”, and “believe”, among others.

 

Beaches Turks and Caicos is committed to maintaining its relationship with the talented craft entrepreneurs which serves a dual purpose of helping to create a viable source of revenue and independence for many while also exposing the local culture and artistry of our people to the rest of the world.

 

For the Beaches Turks and Caicos guests who want to explore the rich culture of our island through artistic artifacts, the craft market may be easily accessed through the Italian Village gate. Additionally, there are a select number of craft vendors who are granted access to the property on Wednesdays and Fridays, offering guests more opportunities to discover our island’s treasures.

 

An unveiling ceremony was held with key stakeholders where Managing Director, James McAnally shared, “This mural helps to beautify the community, but it also has a longstanding message of hope and love and imagination, and dreaming big, and believing. It highlights all those positive thoughts, feelings and values that we should share.” McAnally explained that anyone who comes to the marketplace feeling down, the inspirational mural is definitely something that will lift their spirits. “It’s also a beautiful backdrop for taking selfies and family photos,” he noted.


BTC Local Artisian Winnifred McIntosh shows off one of the locally designed dolls

Karen Cox, the appointed spokesperson on behalf of the craft vendors shared, “As vendors, we appreciate the partnership with Beaches and the Sandals Foundation. They have helped us a lot with the market. They keep beautifying it so that it always looks attractive. They also give us the opportunity to go on property to sell our products.”

 

Winnifred McIntosh, owner of Winnie’s Craft store at the Cultural Marketplace, boasts of being one of the first craft vendors in the Turks and Caicos Islands. She continues to find great pleasure in weaving straw to make baskets, bags and fans. She also does beadings and carving of shells for jewelry and hair accessories. The handmade dolls which are donned in TCI’s local dress are also ideal for having patrons take a piece of local history back home with them, given the significance of the colours of the ribbons. “I enjoy what I do, and I like to teach others the craft because it is very important that these aspects of our culture continue. If someone needs something specially made, once they place their order, I set about doing my designs and stitching. I am so happy when I know that my customers are happy,” Winnifred shared.

 

BTC local Artisian Winnifred McIntosh stands at the Sandals Foundation 15th Anniversary mural

Seventy – nine-year-old, Esther Stubbs, who has been a craft vendor since 1971, recommends that other entities build a relationship with the craft entrepreneurs. “I am grateful for what Beaches Turks and Caicos has been doing for us, but more can be done by other entities. For example, music festivals can be held at the Cultural Marketplace. This will remind people that we are here while guests and locals can come and enjoy the culture.”

 

Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Managing Director who also serves as President of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), encourages all the hoteliers to establish a partnership with the local craft artisans.  “This partnership stands to enrich not only guest experiences but also our communities. Our local artisans bring extraordinary creativity and cultural heritage to life through their work. I encourage you to host artisan fairs in your lobbies, feature their work in your gift shops, integrate their products in your room amenities, and visit the market with friends and family. All the citizens have our part to play in promoting and supporting, through our purchases, the artisans of the Cultural Marketplace and elsewhere.”

 

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the recently unveiled Sandals Foundation 15th-anniversary inspirational sun mural. This stunning artwork not only adds charm to the space but also serves as a beacon of inspiration. Whether you're purchasing a one-of-a-kind piece or snapping selfies against the backdrop of the inspirational mural, the Cultural Marketplace provides countless picture-perfect moments for all visitors to cherish.

 

From skillfully crafted straw and shell creations to intricately designed beadwork, wood carvings, and stylish clothing, the Cultural Marketplace showcases the exquisite beauty of the Caribbean’s natural resources. As citizens of this island, let us lead the way in showcasing the beauty and diversity of our local cultures. Together, we can create a win – win situation for our hotels, our guests, and our local artisans.

 


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