I only wanted to react to some negative comments about my island that I’ve read on this sitehttp://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Caribbean_Vacations/ . Feel free to answer if you don’t agree but this is mine.
I agree with many people about the fact that SXM has a lot of crimes and poverty but in all countries you have those two things and I will make you see that where crimes are concerned SXM is still not the number one. It is far from being easy to control poverty and criminality. Measures are taken but nothing is ever guarantied. Besides the first people to complain about this are the Saint-Martin people because this kind of criminality is a quite new phenomenon for us. Violence like what we have now we did not have it a few years ago but again it is something that happens all over. Whenever economies develop so does criminality. About the poverty I will only say that we cannot change it like that without closing our frontiers. Not meaning to be racist or whatsoever so please don’t understand me wrong. In SXM we have flux of very poor people that come to SXM hoping to have a better life than in their islands but the truth is the same for all immigrants rather in SXM, in the USA or in France, when you reach in another country you discover a different reality. Our governments are hardly able to provide for the St-Marteners so you imagine for those whom come from abroad without resources. I won’t say there is no St-Martener in that case but truth is they are very few in that kind of poverty. It is not one of the most beautiful aspects of our island that’s sure but show me one island where you find none of those two things.
Yes I love SXM as most I love most Caribbean islands and I think what makes the charm of this island is well the difference of cultures and the difference between French and Dutch side. For the natural side, it is far from being a real tropical island, it is unique. There are islands that are more beautiful I cannot deny it but as said before it is not just the natural aspect that makes it one of the most beautiful it is the friendliness of our island. People here are welcoming. They accept you don’t matter your religion, your color or your nationality. We are not perfect but no one is. There are things that are good others are bad. Some people love SXM mostly because of the contrast between the active Dutch side and the relaxed French side. Others like it for the nightlife, some for its shopping and its gastronomy, around 360 restaurant on 35 square miles, great choice! Prices that rane from the cheapest to the most expensive… So yes again SXM really has more than just physical aspects.
Now for the fact that SXM lacks Caribbean feeling I’ll say it is true but it is the same in most Caribbean developed islands: beach, sea, sun, sand and modernity. Did you expect when you visited it to see people living as in Stone Age or cooking outside as 50 years ago? Time changes and so do people. What is your perfect Caribbean image? St-Maarten like most islands is losing its Caribbean feeling. I’m the first to admit it but still I love my island even if I find this bad. Too much capitalism is not always good and here we see it because we think more business and profit than anything else. It is true that something has to be done. But from there to say it is the worst it is a lie.