Bonaire is a destination for mindful spirits – we care about the environment, people, wellness, community, art, identity and culture. Basically the things that matter in life. Lets keep it that way.
Bonaire is rare and it should be treated with care. We need to remain mindful about who we invite to our little paradise on earth. There are many other places for the non-mindful creatures to visit or reside. But only one Bonaire. Lets not sell ourselves for cheap.
We need to be wiser about who we target for tourism, investment and residency on Bonaire. Not all tourist are the same: not every dollar or euro is the same: and not all residents subscribe to the ‘Bonairean’ way of life. Lets be selective, have a clear vision, and a holistic approach about maintaining our mindful spirit. This can only happen if we have a ‘master-plan’ (and not piece-meal) view about the development of Bonaire. One that prioritises a ‘low volume, high margin’ community, and is in harmony with the Bonairean way-of-life.
Mindful destinations generally tend to become high end and quality destinations, appealing to selective people. These folks look for quality in life, and are not content with a commodity and ‘volume’ experience. These people also care about the identity and tranquility of a place. They respect where they go. And how they behave when they are there. They also aren’t super-wealthy – though some are.
But rich or poor, we just ask that the ones that visit and live on Bonaire have a ‘mindful spirit.’
Of course, a lot has to be done on Bonaire to pursue such a vision. It will require a new approach to policy, investment, infrastructure development, education, professional training, crime prevention, governance etc. We will need to pursue some BIG ideas. Sadly, today we can’t even do simple things on Bonaire, like having roads that are not obstacle courses, or bike paths that prevent accidents – and isn’t that ironic, given that we are a special municipality of The Netherlands!
Is it easy to bring about change on Bonaire? No, it won’t be easy. But if great things were that easy, everyone would be doing them. Even so, future generations won’t forgive us if we don’t do our part to preserve Bonaire’s way of life.
Mindful living is good for Bonaire. It is also good for the Caribbean, for the Kingdom of The Netherlands, and for the world. Without labeling them as such, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations/World Bank Group, etc., are lived in practice on our island. This point is important to emphasis: we are already the kind of place that the world wants to become! Lets celebrate and protect this aspect of Bonaire.
As you reflect on this article, keep in mind that great ideas can come from small places. In a world of broken souls, a mindful destination can mend your spirit.
Will you join us as we further develop Bonaire as a destination for mindful spirits?