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The University of South Carolina will submit a plan to build and operate a new earth sciences observatory (ESO) on St. Croix's East End, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, reports CANA (April 14, 1999):

A report prepared by the Belle E. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research proposes a hurricane research center, tropical ocean and invertebrate disease centers, a marine turtle research program, and fisheries research and other advisory programs including eco-tourism in the Caribbean;

The ESO would be run by a core resident staff of 8 scientific and technical personnel plus 10 support staff and would accommodate up to 20 visiting scientists and technicians and 40 students year-round. Construction will cost US$7.6 million, and it is expected that operation expenses will be US$1.3 million per year. The observatory would replace the old West Indies Marine Laboratory destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.


. Aruba(florin)-- 1.79 . Barbados(dollar)--2.0113 . Bahamas(dollar)--1.00 . Belize(dollar)--2.00 . Bermuda(dollar)--1.00 . Cayman Islands(dollar)--0.82 . Costa Rica(colon)--232 . Cuba(peso)--21 . Dominican Republic(peso)--14.00 . Eastern Caribbean(dollar)--2.70.70 . El Salvador(colon)--8.755 . Guatemala(quetzal)--6.03 . Guyana(dollar)--140 . Haiti(gourde)--16 . Honduras(lempira)--13.2 . Jamaica(dollar)--34.00 . Netherlands Antilles(N.A. Guilder)--1.79 . Nicaragua(gold cordoba)--10 . Panama (balboa)--1.00 . Suriname(guilder)--410 . Trinidad/Tobago(dollar)--6.19

Note: These currency exchange figures, versus the U.S. dollar, should be used ad as a rough guide only, since in some cases they fluctuate daily. More than one rate means, in the following: (1) official; (2) parallel/financial, an alternative authorized rate for certain specified transactions; (3) free/black market, which is a rough approximation, since in some countries they are clandestine.


Caribbean UPDATE derives its information from numerous sources, including personal contacts with key government and corporate officials. We receive reports and press releases from international agencies, governments, corporations, and chambers of commerce. We subscribe to the daily service of Caribbean News Agency (y (CANA), based in Bridgetown, Barbados, which provides coverage of significant news in the region. We scan various major trade publications in fields that include tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, and shipping. We also receive numerous publications from, or about, the region. These include: The San Juan Star and Caribbean Business (Puerto Rico); The Tico Times (Costa Rica); Central America Report (Guatemala); Caribbean Report (London); U.S.-Cuba Trade & Economic Council (New York, N.Y.); Washington Report on the Hemisphere (Washington, D.C.), Multinational Monitor (Washington, DC); Island Properties Report (Woodstock, VT); Lagniappe Letter (New York, N.Y.); Aviation-Latin America & Caribbean (Miami FL); Latin American Telecom Report (Washington DC); Travel Weekly (Secaucus NJ).


(Readers are invited to submit information on relevant activities, at least 45 days prior to date of your activity. Mail to: Caribbean UPDATE, 52 Maple Ave., Maplewood, N.J. 07040. U.S.A. Fax: 973-762-9585. Email: Some dates are tentative, all are subject to change; readers are urged to reconfirm prior to making travel plans.

If you would like Caribbean UPDATE distributed at your meeting or conference, please contact us at least 10 days in advance of the event: Tel. 800-647-9990, or 973-762-1565. Fax: 973-762-9585.

May 30-June 2: 19th Annual Conference of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC) convenes at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Topics to be discussed include "The Caribbean Reinsurance Pool," and "Reflections on Hurricane Georges".

June 2-6: 3rd annual Weather Conference, Sheraton Grand Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas. Addresses the issue of Caribbean hurricanes and tropical storms. To be attended by more than 100 broadcast meteorologists, as well as scientists. Details: Aileen Zerrudo, BSMG Worldwide. Tel: 212-445-8143. Email:

June 7-8: CAIC Annual Caribbean Private Sector Conference, Barbados. Organized by the Caribbean Association of Industry & Commerce. Contact: Felipe Noguera, CAIC (

June 8: Barbados: Enhancing your Global Competitiveness. Business symposium at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, 102 Carnegie Center, Princeton NJ. Details: Ezra A. Catwell, Barbados Investment & Development Corp., 800 Second Ave., NYC NY 10017. Tel: 212-867-6420. Fax: 212-682-5496. Email:

June 13-16: CHIC '99, Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference, Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino, Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Provides a forum for allied members to showcase and demonstrate their products and services. Details: 787-725-1839. Fax: 787-725-9166.

June 14-16: 2nd International Workshop on Herbal Medicines in the Caribbean, Hotel on the Cay, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Hosted jointly by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development and the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station. Details: 340-692-4093.

June 14-18: 2nd International Convention on Environment & Development, Havana International Conference Center, Cuba. Aimed at politicians, managers, educators, scientists, professors, technicians, community leaders, farmers, entrepreneurs and all those who consider that sustainable development constitute the main objective on the next century. The convention will feature the: 2nd Congress on Economy and the Environment; 2nd Congress on Environmental Policy and Law; 1st Congress on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development; Symposium on Integrated Coastal Management; Congress on "Environment and Health Risks at the threshold of the 21st Century; 1st Congress on Conservation and Management of Soils and the Environment in Watersheds; 1st Congress on Planning and Management of Protected Areas; 2nd Congress on Integrated and Environmental Management and the Protection of Waters in Watersheds; 2nd Congress on Biodiversity Conservation and Management; 2nd Congress on Environmental Education for Sustainable Development; Conference on "Sustainable Development and Energy". Details: Direccion de Analisis Macroeconomico, Ministerio de Economia y Planificacion, La Habana, Cuba. Tel: (537) 81-6424/81-8954. Fax: (537) 33-3387. E-Mail:

June 16-18: 3rd annual Latin America Tax Update conference, Loew's Miami Beach Hotel, Miami, Florida. Organized by the Council for International Tax Education. Details: Tel: 914-328-5656. Fax: 914-328-5757.

June 17-18: The Center for Business Intelligence has announced its 2nd Annual Private Power in Central America conference, to be held in Miami, Fla. This year's event explores privatization and development opportunities, financing mechanisms, new wholesale market structures and reliable fuel supply strategies. Details: Kim Hunter, (800) 817-8602, (outside the U.S. 781-939-2438) or Email:

June 17-19: Expo USA '99 in Santo Domingo. An exhibition of U.S.-made products and services. This three-day event will allow U.S. exporters to: (1) Participate in briefings on the Dominican Republic marketplace, business practices, and trade procedures; (2) Test or expand their market through exposure to a selected audience of qualified sales representatives and buyers.

In past years, Expo USA has attracted more than 30,000 local and regional visitors. In 1997, the value of U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic was US$3.18 billion. The exhibitor's fee is US$1,600. Details: Ms. Sheila de Andujar. Tel: (809) 221-2171 ext. 408. Fax: (809) 688-4838. E-Mail:

June 20-24: "Natural Gas in the Americas - The Road Ahead," conference in Trinidad, sponsored by the state-owned National Gas Co. of Trinidad & Tobago and the other partners and principal contractors in the billion-dollar Atlantic LNG project, BP Amoco, British Gas, Repsol, Cabot LNG, Bechtel and Phillips Petroleum.

June 23: Cuba Roundtable, Four Seasons Hotel, Ontario, Canada. Sponsored by the Economist Conferences. Among the speakers will be John Kavulich, President, U.S.- Cuba Trade & Economic Council. Details: Tel: 212-554-0659. Fax: 212-698-9732.

June 28-29: Heads of state and government of the European Union and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly. The agenda for the meeting will cover political dialogue, economic and trade issues, and cultural, educational and human affairs.

July: Feria Ganadera de Liberia, Guanacaste (beef cattle livestock show), Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Details: Mr. Adolfo Rivas, Coordinator, Camara de Ganaderos de Liberia. Fax: 506-666-2026/666-0290/666-0224.

July 5-8: International conference on the use of steam-powered locomotives, rail transport and tourism, Havana, Cuba. Hosted by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Tourism.

July 13-14: Cuba Business Roundtable, Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sponsored by The Economist Conferences. Details: Tel: 212-698-9730. Fax: 212-698-9732. Email: Internet:

July 28-31: The Caribbean Culinary Federation holds its 5th annual Taste of the Caribbean conference at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami. Seminars, tastings, workshops, receptions, ceremonies. Details: Caribbean Hotel Association. Tel: 787-725-9139. Fax: 787-725-9108. Email:

July 29-31: 3rd annual Mustique Summer Arts Festival, on the private Caribbean island of Mustique. Details: Mustique Co. Ltd., PO Box 349, St. Vincent, West Indies. Tel: 809-458-4621. Fax: 809-456-4565. And: Laura Davidson Public Relations. Tel: 212-696-0660.

August 2-6: The U.S. Commercial Service in Santo Domingo is organizing a Hotel and Recreational Equipment Trade Mission that will visit La Romana and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Details: Ms. Sheila Andujar, Events Manager, Tel: (809) 686-7155 and Fax: (809) 688-4838.

September: Feria Ganadera de Guapiles (livestock show, beef cattle & horses), Limon, Costa Rica. Details: Mr. Dionisio Mora, Coordinator, Jersey Association. Tel: 506-224-0696. Fax: 506-253-7429.

September 23-25: Caribbean Tourism Organization Conference, CTC-23, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tel: 212-682-0435.

October: ITIFAS, a showcase for Surinamese producers. Details: Mr. Robert Ameerali, President, Surinamese Chamber of Commerce. Tel: 597-464-536. Fax: 597-474-779.

October 6-10: The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) and The Onyx Coalition host an Economic Summit for relationships and business partnerships between professionals from the U.S. and Barbados at the Sherbourne Conference Centre, Barbados.

October 7-9: Regional Conference: Environmental Technologies for the Food Processing Industry. San Jose, Costa Rica. Details: CEGESTI, Apdo. 1082-2050 San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Cristina Bermudez, Ms. Hildegarde Van de Voorde. Tel: 506-280-8511. Fax: 506-233-4054. Email:

October 10-15: Third Ernest Hemingway International Forum, marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famed U.S. writer who spent many years in Cuba. To be held in Cuba. The event will include concerts, a movie festival, and seminars.

October 14-17: 4th annual Carib News Multinational Business Conference, Carambola Beach Resort, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. A forum for business executives, investors. Details: Amy A. Atkinson, Martin Public Relations. Tel: 804-698-8809. Fax: 804-698-8802.

October 15-20: 55th General Assembly of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), Westin Galleria, Houston, Texas. Details: IAPA, 2911 NW 39th St., Miami FL 33142. Tel: 305-634-2465. Fax: 305-635-2272. Email: Internet:

October 26-28: Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tel: 305-446-7297.

November: Iberoamerican Summit, Havana, Cuba. Officials say the summit will go ahead as planned despite suggestions some Latin American countries may be considering a boycott.

November 6-13: 3rd Annual Dive Festival, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Includes evening events, parties, daily dives. Details: Tourism Corp. Bonaire, Tel: 800-BONAIRE. Website: 2: 2:

November 11-13: Virgin Islands Charteryacht League hosts semi-annual charter yacht show on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Designed for brokers. Details: 800-524-2061 or 340-774-3944. Or: Amy A. Atkinson, Martin Public Relations. Tel: 804-698-8809.

December 7-11: 23rd annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean & Latin America, Inter-Continental Hotel, Miami, Florida. Up to 1,500 participants gather annually. A major forum for interaction between business and government leaders from the hemisphere and beyond. Details: C/LAA, 1818 N. St. NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20036. Tel: 202-466-7464. Fax: 202-822-0075. Email:


February: FERCORI Trade Show. Consumer productucts, including some food. San Jose, Costa Rica. Details: Lcda. Flor Carreras, President and/or Arch. Francisco D'Arsie, Gerente General, PO PO Box 1843-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica. Tel: 506-233-6990/233-6331. Fax: 506-231-5791.

February: Exposicion y Feria Ganadera de Perez Zeledon (livestock ck ck show), Costa Rica. Details: Mr. Roberto Carranza, Coordinator, Mercadeo y Agroindustria, PO Box 598, San Isidro General, Costa Rica. Fax: 506-257-2168. Tel: 506-257-9355, Ext. 218.

April: Cuba will host the South Summit 2000 in Havana. The decision was made by the Group 77 (G-77), an organization comprised of 132 underdeveloped nations and China.
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Publication:Caribbean Update
Date:Jun 1, 1999

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