Port St. Maarten one of the main sponsors of the International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology to be hosted here.

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Dr. Jay Haviser (2nd from left) receiving Port St. Maarten’s contribution for the upcoming IACA Congress from Hector Peters, Governmental Affairs Port St. Maarten while two port staff members are also present.

POINT BLANCHE, St. Maarten – Port St. Maarten – Port St. Maarten is one of the main sponsors of the International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology (IACA).

Preparations for IACA, to be hosted on St. Maarten July 19-25, 2015, are progressing at a dynamic rate, according to Dr. Jay Haviser, archaeologist.

The IACA Congress is the largest gathering of professional archaeologists specializing in Caribbean studies in the world, with representatives from over 23 countries and over 300 delegates; it is the place to be for cutting-edge research information about heritage in the Caribbean.

Port St. Maarten Management and Supervisory Board of Directors, is fully behind heritage tourism development.

Port St. Maarten sees heritage tourism as preserving and sharing where it concerns Fort Amsterdam, Emilio Wilson Estate and the Great Salt Pans near Sucker Garden just to mention a few.  Heritage tourism encompasses elements of living culture, history, and natural history of places that community’s value and steward for the future.

Port St. Maarten fully endorses the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 40+ years World Heritage Convention that calls for the conservation, protection of outstanding universal value sites of shared heritage.

UNESCO says that world heritage properties are important travel destinations that if managed properly, have great potential impact for local economic development and long-term sustainability.

The UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme represents a new approach based on dialogue and stakeholder cooperation where planning for tourism and heritage management is integrated at a destination level, the natural and cultural assets are valued and protected, and appropriate tourism developed.

The local host organization for the IACA Congress to be hosted here is the St. Maarten Archaeological Center (SIMARC), with St. Maarten archaeologist, Dr. Jay Haviser as Chairperson, along with cooperation from French Saint Martin and Anguilla.

The venue for the Conference will be the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. There will be daily research paper sessions, guest lectures, field trips on island as well as to Anguilla, and cultural reception nights, throughout the week-long event.

The priority sponsors for this 2015 IACA Congress besides Port of St. Maarten is also Leiden University (Netherlands).

Port St. Maarten invited the SIMARC to be a part of the 21st Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Convention, held last October 2014.

This led to SIMARC receiving not only international exposure, but it provided the organization, but more importantly the opportunity for SIMARC to show pride in our own St. Maarten Heritage.

At the October conference SIMARC had the chance to educate the professional cruise market public about the key role that St. Maarten has played in uniting the histories of Europe and the Americas, with Fort Amsterdam being an historical link between Amsterdam and New York. The display about St. Maarten’s iconic historical site, Fort Amsterdam, was appreciated by all.

For more information please check the website at:  www.iaca2015sxm.com

PHOTO CUTLINE: Dr. Jay Haviser (2nd from left) receiving Port St. Maarten’s contribution for the upcoming IACA Congress from Hector Peters, Governmental Affairs Port St. Maarten while two port staff members are also present.