Barbados: Vision 2020 We Gatherin”
Calling all Bajans! Barbados has launched a new initiative, Vision 2020: We Gatherin’, to call home its citizens – and all travelers – to come celebrate Barbadian culture. With an estimated 10 million American citizens able to trace their heritage to Barbados – from Jada Pinkett Smith to Gwyneth Paltrow – it’s time to look at the unique relationship between this Caribbean UNESCO heritage island and the U.S.
Between You and U.S.
Vision 2020 hopes to celebrate the oftentimes surprising ties between the two nations. Barbados and its Treaty of Oistins even inspired much of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Visitors, for example, can head to The George Washington House which celebrates the American president who spent time here – a rare thing for a man who never visited another foreign country. Barbadians even colonized Charleston, South Carolina, now a sister city with the island’s second largest township of Speightstown. St. Michael’s Cathedral on the island offers up lessons on the ties between another colonial town, Boston, and the Bajan people.
Festivals and Events
While visitors explore this centuries’ old relationship, local Barbadian culture continues to thrive and vibrate all year. The newest addition to Barbados’ events scene, Festive Fridays invite visitors to this spectacular showcase of local music, food and dance each Friday evening. All year-round, other festivities including the Holetown Festival (February 16-23), the Oistins Fish Festival (April 10-13), the Crop Over Festival (May – August) and the Food & Rum Festival (October) highlight the best of Barbados.
Barbadian culture isn’t just about parties and food – though it’s an important component! The island’s inhabitants are also focused on preserving their unique ecosystem. From banning single-use plastics in 2019, protecting their sea turtles, opening eco-friendly accommodations, and embracing sustainable food practices, Barbados is a leading island in welcoming you into its culture while taking care of it for future generations. For 2020, the island has put out an ambitious goal of planting over 1 million trees by December 2020 with the help of businesses, visitors and locals.