Freedom of expression is a vibrant force and Religion is ever present in the life of St. Maarten, some religious forms are practiced openly and other forms secretive, like this scene of ritual practice hidden in the cemetery under a cloak of darkness. Yet all these expressions are a testament to the vibrant diversity that is the island’s cultural mosaic. We are all striving to bring those many and diverse forms of vibrant force into our ordinary lives, each of us in our own way, for self-expression, spiritual needs and community unity.
Wooden shingles decompose with time, and old buildings are lost from a neglect of attention, all vulnerable to the natural elements. Yet perhaps the greatest vulnerability for our cultural heritage on St. Maarten is public apathy, that ‘look the other way’ attitude when heritage features disappear. There are only a handful of these old shingled houses left on the island, when will we look straight at them and say ‘that is my heritage, that is to proud of, that must be preserved’?