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Lebawit Lily Girma 📷🌴☀️  Writer + Photographer | Cultureholic | Pubs: CNN, AFAR, DeltaSky+| Guidebooks: Moon Belize, Moon Dominican R., Rough Guide Jamaica | Caribbean expert🌴


JAPEX 2017 - Jamaica's annual tourism trade show - was enlightening, and as I sit here working beside this view in #Jamaica, I want to leave you with this quote from Jamaica's Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett during a breakfast press conference earlier this week: "We are mindful that a large swath of our global market is geographically challenged, and they don’t know the difference beween Bermuda and Barbuda. Or Dominica and the Dominican Republic. And when they hear the word Caribbean, they say it's Jamaica. So an important part of our communication has to be to enable this enlightenment." ##
Indeed, there has been such confusion that even my editors are emailing me asking what is going on, for example, in the DR and if things are normal. That's when I realized that we journalists on the ground will need to fill in the gaps and reaffirm over the next few months: the Caribbean is open for business! A handful of islands were damaged but many remain unaffected, like Jamaica, the DR, St Lucia, Guadeloupe, and more. Keep visiting and don't fall into the media sensationalism. Your travel dollars will help the affected islands because those who are standing are helping those who have fallen. That's how we roll in the Caribbean! Now let me get back to my view...
#jamaica #travel #caribbean #allright @visitjamaica @godomrep

It's that blazing hot September sun making my forehead shine, but who cares with this phenomenal 360 infinity view over Montego Bay? At the new, chic Breathless Resort. #japex2017 #jamaica #caribbean. Sponsored by @visitjamaica

Who else has a bar first thing after you enter the trade show floor? Yes man. #jamaicaallright #jamaica #japex2017 #caribbean - Sponsored by @visitjamaica

Current situation: All Right. 😉 #Jamaica #montegobay #japex2017 #nicetoseeyouagain

I was seriously wishful thinking and teasing when I posted on Facebook: "Can someone please put a copy of my Moon Belize book in Machel (Montano's) hands and take a pic please, he's one of my favorites?!" I should have known... my Caye Caulker peeps saw and came through! The King of Soca--I last photographed him in 2010 at Jamaica Jazz-- is currently in Belize and will be performing live on September 20 at the 4th Annual Soca Jazz Festival in Belize City. Stacey and Charlie, thanks my dears, you rock a million, and so do you of course, @machelmontano! It has been a thrill to see you traveling through Belize and discovering all of its incredible culture! Hope to make it to T&T one day, my missing Caribbean link. #belize #travel @moonguides @kokoking.belize #caribbean @purplepassionbeautystudio

This gorgeous, hidden cove on Grande-Terre Island is called "la douche" or the shower. Find it, and many other special spots in my AFAR Guide to Guadeloupe Islands - link in Bio ☝🏽or afar.com/travel-guides/Guadeloupe/guide. It's the perfect time to head back to the Caribbean and show some love to the region while the others hit by Irma recuperate. #Caribbean #GuadeloupeIslands #Guadeloupe #islands #travel

Let's help our beautiful Caribbean neighbors recover from Irma. The devastation is unbelievable in places like St Maarten, Anguilla, St Barts, St, Thomas, St. John. Let's help them recover. Any bit helps. You can find out how in the latest post on my blog - go to http://bit.ly/HelpCaribbean LINK IN BIO ☝🏽☝🏽#

Please open your hearts and give any amount you can to the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Hurricane Relief Fund - http://gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto This will directly help the CTO member islands that were hit hard, such as St. Maarten, Anguilla, St. John & St. Thomas, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, and Turks & Caicos.

I will also be updating the blog (same post) with additional vetted links for donations. Let's help our neighbors and your vacation favorites get back on their feet! #Caribbean #islands #HurricaneIrma #Irma #travel

After a surprisingly calm morning in the capital of #SantoDomingo, with just light rain, now the winds have picked up since about 30 mins ago and we are being pounded by rains, howling winds, thunder and lighting. Street power has gone out - currently using the inverter (hopefully batteries dont run out because that happens if you use the back up for too long). But have candles in case and flashlight. North coast areas apparently being pounded by rains all day long --a lot more than we have down here. Praying Irma moves on soon from the #dominicanrepublic, and thinking of all our neighbors still on her path. Am staying indoors in my solid colonial home. 🙏🏽 #caribbean #irma #hurricaneirma #dominicanrepublic #dr

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