Author: Angelina (---.cpe.metrocast.net)
Date: 08-21-08 23:11
Woah! Want a conversation. First, always vote, it is one of your greatest freedoms in a Democracy. The issue it seems is crime, not progress. Crime could be linked to youth who need an outlet for their energy, an education, a job, a volunteer position, and most importantly strong adult role models and accountability. Progress is another animal, although related. With "progress" more jobs may come and so may more tourists. What it sounds like you don't want is "development", a lot of big fancy hotels, and the like that will ruin the environment, cause run-off and that will ruin the reefs, which will eventually mean the tourists will stop coming because the natural beauty of the island will be ruined.
So, then the question to ask yourself and fellow voters is this... Which candidate for mayor will address the problems of the youth, crime, and the unemployed without bringing "developers" who will ruin the island? I am sure there is a way to have carefully planned progress, so as to provide the necessary infrastructure (water pipe lines, schools, etc) and jobs, without destroying the environment and beauty of Culebra. Never lose that which makes your place special and unique! Instead build on your strengths; peace, beauty, the coral reefs, diving, snorkeling, good local food, local handicrafts, and art, history, etc.
Otherwise if you "develop" more hotels, fancy restaurants, chains, malls, etc. You have lost what makes you unique and just become like every other Caribbean island. Then you have more competition and nothing that makes you special, nothing that makes Culebra stand out in the crowd when a tourist is looking for a place to visit. How about your mayor offers incentives to attract a biological research school to study the reefs to locate on the island. And/or a eco-tourism "resort" that educates people on how to protect the oceans and ecosystems, while also bringing in tourists. And/or a cooking school based on your local seafood and the diverse ethnic heritage of the island could be reflected in the food. In that way you bring in "developers" and their money, jobs, and tourist but you have careful planning of what can be built and how to minimize it's impact on the natural surroundings. I would call it "carefully planned, and controlled sustainable development". If no canidate offers you that or offers you a solution to get actively involved in mentoring your youth, then get a group of citizens and bring it about yourself, if the mayor has good sense he/she will see the worthiness of your plan and support it. As for mentoring the youth, work with your local churches.
Not that you asked me :)