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welcome to the Cayman Islands


2015 third Quarter Edition

contents features



Stingray City

A must see and do!


Pirates week festival

Plan to attend the Kick-off events!


Calendar of events

There’s always something to see and do in the Cayman Islands. Find out what’s happening in September, October, November and December.


made in cayman

Add a bit of spice to your cooking with Candied Jalapenos and Cayman Sea Salt’s BBQ Rub!


Cayman islands

20 local cuisine Learn how to make Mr. McLauglin’s Cayman Style Beef for

the holidays.


where to eat

Find out where the locals go for traditional Caymanian dishes.

Dear visitors and friends, The Cayman Islands experience – our inviting and gracious hospitality, world class


diving and snorkelling, white beaches and warm Caribbean Sea with its many shades of blue - is something enjoyed by all. For those of us who call Cayman home, it is essential that we take pride in our unique heritage and share our Caymanian courtesy with every guest we meet. For those of you who are our guests, or business partners, we trust that you will grow to love the Cayman Islands as we do. To assist you in becoming more familiar with us, we designed this reference guide to answer basic questions about the Cayman Islands and to provide you with a ‘snapshot’ of our home. We hope that you find it useful and look forward to your continued support.

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With warm regards,


The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism


Little Cayman Owen Island Owen island is a small islet off the south-western coast of Little Cayman and is commonly known as ‘the 4th island’. It has no inhabitants or developments which is why it is popular with so many holidaymakers. Kayaking there from Sunset Cove will take you approx. 20 minutes on a calm day. For those who don’t want to paddle, Sunset Cove also offers small motor boats for rent. Please call for more details on motor boat rentals.

Three islands. Endless possibilities. Grand cayman | cayman brac | little cayman

Single Kayak Rentals: 1 hour rental - KYD $10.00 ½ day rental - KYD $20.00 1 day rental - KYD $30.00 Sunset Cove business hours: 7 days a week – 8:00am – 6:00pm Location: 34 Wonder Lane, Little Cayman Telephone: (345) 917.7307 Email: info@sunsetcovelittlecayman.com Website: www.sunsetcovelittlecayman.com

Grand Cayman Hell Strange as it seems, there is really a place called Hell…in Cayman’s paradise. Located in the district of West Bay on Grand Cayman, Hell is a unique natural wonder of rugged blackened limestone outcropping. Visitors have been flocking here for decades, for bragging rights that they have “been to Hell and back” or simply taken someone’s advice to go to hell. Opening hours The site is accessible at all times. Free of charge. Gift shops and restrooms are open daily from 8:00am – 5:00pm.

world-renowned for our dining, snorkelling and diving. Nestled in an unparalleled tropical setting. Offering that luxurious blend of sun-kissed beaches and calm, turquoise seas. Legendary as being one of the world’s premier places to indulge in romance, recreation or relaxation. An adventure for people of all ages – and interests. Three islands. Endless possibilities.


The Hell attraction is managed by the Tourism Attraction Board (TAB). For more information about ‘Hell’ the TAB can be contacted at the below details. Telephone: (345) 949-6999 or (345) 623-6999 Email: info@tab.ky Website: www.tab.ky

Cayman Brac Cayman Brac Lighthouse The Cayman Brac Lighthouse is located at the end of Major Donald Drive road and high atop the Bluff. There are actually two lighthouses at this point; an historic lighthouse and a newer model. Both are just lights atop tall towers but the view from this area is dramatic. What makes the view dramatic is the Bluff. It is 153 feet above sea level and is the highest point of the Cayman Islands. A trail weaves its way to the edge of the Bluff and provides excellent photo opportunities. Rocky paths snake their way along the Bluff. Wear hiking boots for this challenge. Site is free admission.


the beginning of Stingray city The stingrays began gathering in the area

A Must Do! Today, Stingray City is a readily accessible, once-in-a-lifetime Grand Cayman experience

decades ago when fisherman used to clean

for anyone who wishes to see one of nature’s

fish on the shallow sand bars. The stingrays

most majestic creatures up close.

would forget their normally shy dispositions and

As you enter the clear waters, the graceful

feast on the guts of the cleaned fish. Soon the

southern Stingrays glide tranquilly past in

Stingrays began to associate the

their natural habitat. Experience the majestic

sound of a boat motor with food. In the late

wildlife of Grand Cayman diving, standing

1980s, divers started feeding squid to the

in only three feet of water. At any time, you

stingrays, one of their favourites.

could be surrounded by more than two dozen friendly Stingrays. An experience in Stingray City is unlike any other brush with sea life and is sure to make your Cayman Islands vacation unforgettable. How to get there? To find watersports companies visit:

s y a r g n i t s e h t h t >Swiamt wi gray city. Stin


Quick Hints & Tips

Stingray City 6

• Kissing a Stingray gets you 7 years good luck. Renew your luck today. • Remove jewellery when petting a Stingray to avoid hurting them. • The Stingrays are friendly and will rub up on you to show they like you.


Grand Cayman Kick-Off Events Friday, November 13 Fireworks, Street Dance & Food Festival Saturday, November 14 Pirate Invasion & Landing, Parade, Street Dance & Food Festival

Heritage Days: Saturday, November 7 Cayman Brac Heritage Day Monday, November 16 George Town District Heritage Day Tuesday, November 17 East End District Heritage Day What is the History behind Pirates Week? Pirates Week was started in 1977 by Jim Bodden, then Minister of Tourism. On the contrary, it was not started to celebrate actual pirate history, but to boost tourism during the country’s low season (October-November). It has since grown into the biggest entertainment event in the country and is considered the National Festival of the Cayman Islands. The 2015 Pirates Week Festival runs November 12 - 22, and will be another 11 fun-filled days with fireworks, music, street dances, costumes, competitions, games, local foods and drinks, kids day, parades, sports events, pirate invasion. The event will also feature Heritage days for each district including the Sister Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. There’s just too much going on for you to miss out on!


Wednesday, November 18 West Bay District Heritage Day Thursday, November 19 North Side District Heritage Day Friday, November 20 Bodden Town District Heritage Day Friday, November 27 Little Cayman Heritage Day Contact the Pirates Week Administration for full calendar of events and heritage days. For more information, visit www.piratesweekfestival.com Phone: (345) 949-5078 Email: Pirates@candw.ky 9

calendar of events {September – December} weekly events in the cayman islands Market at the Grounds every saturday • 7:00am - 12:00pm

A vibrant and lively place complemented by the natural beauty of its surroundings. The Market is a place to unwind with friends and family, sample traditional Cayman cuisine and get fresh ingredients for home-cooked meals - all of which are grown right here in Cayman. Produce go fast so get there early! Telephone: (345) 947-3090 www.thegroundscayman.ky

Farmers & Artisans Market every wednesday • 12:00pm – 7:00pm

Discover an array of local purveyors offering products and experiences found only in Cayman at Camana Bay’s weekly market. Come early for the widest selection of fresh produce and farm goods then browse an eclectic selection of artisanal products and handicrafts. The festivities pick up throughout the evening as more artisans join and the Market is infused with entertainment, including art and cultural demonstrations and live music. Location: The Paseo, Camana Bay Telephone: (345) 640-3483 www.camanabay.com

LIVE Music by Hi-Tide Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Hi Tide, an acoustic duo from the Cayman Islands, is well known for their live performances as well as their recordings of classic covers and catchy contemporary original pop songs.

Farm to Table Dinner Every Thursday

‘Farm to Table’ is truly a Caymankind culinary experience hosted by the Cayman Cabana Oceanfront Restobar and a partnership with Cayman’s own Plantation Organics and local fishermen. All dinners are prepared fresh and are complimented by a fusion of delicious locally inspired cuisine. Please see contact details below for more information. Reservations required every Wednesday before 10:00am Location: Cayman Cabana Oceanside Restobar, North Church Street, George Town, Grand Cayman Dinner time: 7:30pm Telephone: (345) 949-3080 Email: caymancabana@gmail.com www.caymancabanarestaurant.com/ #!cayman-cabana-menu/cfpj

Month of October grand cayman Thursday, October 1 – Saturday, October 31

Restaurant month will be happening from Thursday, October 1 – Saturday, October 31. It is a great culinary experience for all, whether enjoying a night out for a romantic date, family outing, birthday celebration or simply to try a new culinary experience. For more information about Restaurant Month and this year participating restaurants contact the Cayman Islands Tourism Association at (345) 949-8522 or visit www.restaurantmonthcayman.com

Location: Decker’s Caribbean Inspired Grille, Seven Mile Beach, West Bay Telephone: (345) 945-6600 Email: hitide@candwky.ky www.hitidemusic.com



september 2015

october 2015

wednesday, september 23 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Turtle Stew A true delicacy and perhaps the most traditional meal in the Cayman Islands, ‘turtling’- or farming for turtles, dates back to the 17th Century, and even now turtle stew is a favourite among locals.

wednesday, september 30 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Swanky Swanky is a traditional Caymanian drink that is made using limes, native sour oranges and brown sugar. The recipe can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some locals find pleasure in adding rum for a unique drink.

october 2015 Friday, October 2 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) Each year the Cayman Islands hosts the annual dinner and induction ceremony where the Pioneers, Artists and Entrepreneurs are presented with the prestigious award for their outstanding contributions to the sport. The Board of Directors of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame maintains the high standards of the Hall of Fame and oversees the prestigious induction ceremony. These Board members are internationally recognised individuals who have contributed to the sport, are actively involved in the scuba diving industry and are leaders of their local dive community. To attend this amazing event, you can purchase your tickets from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) or the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA). Telephone: (345) 949-0623 www.caymanislands.ky/eventsoffers/ scubadivinghalloffame.aspx 12

wednesday, october 21

Saturday, November 7

Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Rundown A rich stew normally of fish or salted beef cooked with coconut and breadkind.

wednesday, october 28 Saturday, October 3 Cayman Islands National Museum 25th Anniversary celebration The Cayman Islands National Museum will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in November 2015. To help defray cost of the special exhibitions and events for this celebration they will be having a fundraising dinner on 3rd October. The dinner will feature prizes, music and a silent auction. Tickets are now available, purchase or reserve yours today from Eziethamae “Zeta” Bodden at contact number (345) 916-1559 or at the Museum Gift Shop (345) 949-8368 ext. 2031. Event location: Cayman Turtle Farm Admission: CI$ 50.00 (per person)

wednesday, october 7 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Cassava Cassava, a popular ingredient in the Caribbean, is the root of a shrubby tree. Known for its high starch content. It’s used to make a variety of Cayman dishes, perhaps the most common being a dessert dish. Grated cassava, brown sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, sea salt, cornstarch, butter and a few spices are combined to create a heavy, golden-brown cake. Cassava Cake is frequently served with a scoop of ice cream.

wednesday, october 14 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Breadkind Breadfruit, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, plantain and cassava are eaten as a staple.

Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Conch The large sea crustacean with firm, white flesh is eaten in stews, soups and fritters. Often presented as a ceviche - raw slices marinated in lime juice, with other flavourings.

november 2015 Monday, November 2 The Cayman Islands Triathlon The Cayman Triathlon is one of the premier annual sporting events held in the Cayman Islands. The event attracts a strong field of local and international competitors, as well as keen amateurs and spectators. You can participate in sprint or Olympic distances. Two or three person team entries are welcomed for the Olympic distance. Location: Public Beach on Seven Mile Beach, West Bay Telephone: (345) 949-8522 Email: cita@triathlon.ky www.triathlon.ky

Pirates Week Festival – Cayman Brac Heritage Day

A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food and fireworks.

Time: 3:00pm – 8:30pm Location: TBD Telephone: (345) 949-5078 Email: pirates@candw.ky www.piratesweekfestival.com

wednesday, november 11 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Fish and seafood Seafood is prominent in the diet of many Caymanians. The tropical waters of the Cayman Islands give the opportunity to eat fresh seafood which can be cooked in various ways.

Friday, November 13 Pirate Week Festival – Grand Cayman Fireworks Display The fireworks display on Friday marks the opening of the Pirates Week festivities. This is a free event open to the public. Time: 8:30pm – 9pm Location: Harbour Drive, George Town, Grand Cayman Telephone: (345) 949-5078 Email: pirates@candw.ky www.piratesweekfestival.com

wednesday, november 4 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Naseberry Fruit with brown, rough and sticky skin when ripe. The seeds are inedible while the flesh is pasty and sweet.

Friday, November 14 Sister Islands Tourism Association Little Cayman Cook-off Every year this fun event gets a little bigger and a lot more fun. The event features a cook-off competition and live music. For more information see contact details below. Telephone: (345) 916 4874 Email: info@sita.ky www.sita.ky


november 2015

december 2015

Friday, November 16

Friday, November 20

Wednesday, december 2

Monday, December 7

Pirates Week Festival – George Town District Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games and local food. Festivities begin at 11:00am - 2:00am.

Pirates Week Festival – Bodden Town District Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food and fireworks. Festivities begin at 11:00am 2:00am. Fireworks begin at 8pm.

Rotary Club of Cayman Brac Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Cayman Brac’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Location: Cardinal Avenue, George Town

Location: Harry McCoy Park/ Nurse Josie Senior Centre, Gun Square Avenue

Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Cayman Peppermint Candy A traditional Cayman Christmas is not the same without Cayman Peppermint. Our peppermint candy is boiled with sugar, lime, and peppermint oil.

Sunday, december 6

Wednesday, december 9

wednesday, november 17 Pirates Week Festival – East End District Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food and fireworks. Festivities begin at 11:00am - 2:00am. Fireworks begin at 8pm. Location: Heritage Field, East End

Wednesday, November 18 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Bammy Caymanians pronounce it as Bawmie. It is usually made from grated cassava that has been wrung of its starch, slightly dried (often in the sun), moistened with a bit of water or other liquid, seasoned with salt and slowly fried in very little oil. Looks similar to a potato cake but tastes starchier.

Saturday, November 21 Annual Christmas Tree Lighting The annual Christmas Tree Lighting is held at Camana Bay each year. It features a giant Christmas tree decorated with thousands of fairy lights and is switched on by Santa himself. Enjoy the carol singing and the Christmas market. Location: Camana Bay, Grand Cayman Time: 8pm Telephone: (345) 640-400 Email: info@camanabay.com www.camanabay.com

Wednesday, November 25 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Oxtail Oxtail braised in a broth with spices, including thyme. It usually includes fava or butter beans and comes as a warming, thick stew.

Pirates Week Festival -West Bay District Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food and fireworks. Festivities begin at 11:00am - 2:00am. Fireworks begin at 8pm.

Friday, November 27

Location: Heritage Park, West Bay

Location: McCoy’s Lodge

Thursday, November 19 Pirates Week Festival – North Side District Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food and fireworks. Festivities begin at 11:00am - 2:00am. Fireworks begin at 8pm. Location: Water Key Public Park (next to Kaibo) 14

Pirates Week Festival – Little Cayman Kick-off Dance The kick-off dance will begin at 9:00pm – 2:00am.

Saturday, November 28 Pirates Week Festival – Little Cayman Heritage Day A fun filled day of music, competitions, games, local food, fireworks and a Float Parade. Festivities begin at 3:00pm - 7:00pm. Fireworks will begin at 7:00pm. Location: Hungry Iguana

Cayman Thanksgiving Cayman Thanksgiving is a national celebration to honour Caymanian heritage, culture and way of life. This is a time for fellowship among family, friends and neighbours while allowing an opportunity for our Caymanian community to express gratitude for our many blessings. The first Sunday of December is centred around a traditional Caymanian meal. Email: info@caymanthanksgiving.ky

Location: District Administration Front Lawn, 19 Kirkconnell Street, Cayman Brac Telephone: (345) 948-2222

Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Cayman Style Beef

Cooked in a large Dutch pot, Cayman Style Beef encompasses a delectable mixture of season pepper, garlic, and other seasonings. Caymanians find it a treat to eat the shredded beef especially during the holidays.

Cayman Islands Marathon The event consists of a full marathon, half marathon, 4-person relay and a Kids Fun Run. See details below for more information. Location: The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa Time: 5:00am Telephone: (345) 623-8822 Email: info@caymanislandsmarathon.com www.caymanislandsmarathon.com


Saturday, December 12 One Three Four Five Culture & Arts Festival The One Three Four Culture & Arts Festival is a celebration of the Cayman Islands culture and heritage. This spectacular annual event will feature handmade products, arts and crafts made by some of Cayman’s best local artists. See contact details below for more information. Location: Cayman Cabana Oceanfront Restobar Telephone: (345) 949-3080 Email: caymancabana@gmail.com www.caymancabanarestaurant.com


december 2015 Wednesday, december 16 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Fruit Cake

Fruit cake is another popular holiday dish. The variety that’s most popular in the islands is made by soaking a variety of fruits in rum before adding ingredients such as nuts, brown sugar, brandy, rum mincement and nutmeg.

Wednesday, december 23 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Sorrel

Sorrel blooms in December when its deep red flower becomes an unrivaled floral decoration. The flowers are dried and then steeped in water to make a bright red drink that has a slightly tart taste. A traditional Caribbean holiday beverage.


Wednesday, december 30 Camana bay Farmer’s Market Pick of the Week: Fish Tea Similar to a Rundown, fish tea is more like a soup than a stew. Often made from boiled fish heads, the cook’s fish of choice is combined with onions, peppers, salt and pepper, as well as green bananas, to make a hearty dish that’s especially delicious with some crusty bread. It is a staple of Caymanian cuisine.

Events at a Glance… • • • • •

Miss Cayman Islands Pageant 2015 – January Cayman Cookout – January Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival – February Annual Agriculture Show – February Red Sky at Night Festival (CayFest) – February • Dress for culture Day – February • Mardi Gras Festival – February • The Cayman Islands Orchid Show – February • Batabano Carnival Junior Parade – April Further event details will be in the next quarters edition.


Cayman Sea Salt – BBQ Rub A blend of salty, sweet and smokeyhot seasoning. Delicious rub for pork, chicken or it can be sprinkled on roasted vegetables and popcorn. To order simply email your request, we

Candied Jalapeno Peppers

will advise of cost with posting and

Dianne Sherer is a chef based out of

handling, normal posting time is usually

Little Cayman at the Pirates Point

two weeks.

Resor t. She specialises in homemade Hot Pepper Jelly, Mango Chutney and her newest item the Candied Jalapeno Peppers. Dianne’s products are always made with the freshest ingredients.


Retail Outlets • Kirk Supermarket, Grand Cayman • Pirates Point Resor t, Little Cayman

Retail Outlets • Kirk Supermarket • Hurley’s Supermarket • Foster’s Food Fair (at all five locations) • Mermaids Boutique Little Cayman

contact information Telephone: (345) 948-1010 Email: piratept@candw.ky

contact information Telephone: (345) 943–SALT (7258) Email: caymanseasalt@candw.ky


www.caymanseasalt.com 19

Cayman Style Beef Cayman Style Beef is one of Cayman’s most popular traditional fares. You will most likely find the famous Cayman Style Beef available at most local restaurants.


Vivine’s Kitchen grand cayman

Ingredients: 10lbs Fresh Beef (Pieces of every cut including portions with fat) ½lb Onions, diced 4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped 2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (to taste) 1 Tbsp Black Pepper 1 ½ Tbsp Salt Seasoning Peppers (to taste) Cooking Directions Trim portions of fat from lean meat and set aside. Season beef with salt, pepper, finely chopped garlic and diced onions. Add in diced and seeded seasoning peppers to taste. Place fat portions in a large heavy pot heating until rendered. Place the seasoned beef in pot and reduce heat to simmer. Place whole scotch bonnet peppers over meat. Cover with a tightly sealed lid and simmer on low for 4 to 6 hours depending on tenderness desired. Remove whole peppers carefully after cooking to prevent bursting, then stir and allow meat to shred. Serve with rice and beans and your choice of stemmed vegetables.

Recipe by: Mr. Alvin A. McLaughlin (East End, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)

Miss Vivine’s house in Cayman is the backdrop for her charming restaurant on the water in East End. Cool breezes rustle the sea grape trees around you, large sea birds dive into the water fishing for sprats right in front of you and though it is rustic the place is truly a delight. The food is as authentic Caymanian as it comes and her ingredients - Fresh Fish, Conch, Welks, Lobster and Turtle are all sourced locally. Opening hours Daily: 11:00am – 8:00pm Location: Austin Conolly drive, Gun Bay, East End Telephone: (345) 947-7435 www.caymangoodtaste.com/restaurants_detail.asp?restaurantID=87

Star Island Restaurant Cayman Brac Star Island Restaurant specialises in an array of local dishes. It’s home style dining area is said to give you that at home feeling. When in Cayman Brac be sure not to go back home without having tried some good ol’ Brac food. Opening hours Daily: 7:00am -10:00pm Location: West End, Cayman Brac Telephone: (345) 948-8406 Email: star.island@rocketmail.com www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Reviewg147370-d4042562-Reviews-Star_Island_ Restaurant-Cayman_Brac_Cayman_Islands. html#photos

Hungry Iguana Restaurant & Bar Little Cayman The ‘Iguana’ serves a combination of American fare (soups, sandwiches, and salads) along with some zesty dishes from the Islands (seafood, conch chowder, and lobster). You can either dine inside the cozy, marine theme restaurant or choose to enjoy your meal at water’s edge on our large dining patio. Opening hours Lunch: 12:00pm – 2:30pm Dinner: 6:00pm - 9:00pm Location: Paradise Villas, Little Cayman Telephone: (877) 322-9626 Email: info@paradisevillas.com http://hungryiguana.com/



Caymanian Symbols

Our coat of arms

Who Ya Fa? Caymanians have a unique dialogue when they utter their words in a slow fashion especially when talking to their peers or family member. Here are a few of the sayings & meanings behind the words.

How the Cayman Islands got its name The Cayman Islands was first sighted by European explorers on May 10 1503, owing to a chance wind that blew Christopher Columbus’ ship off course. On his fourth and final voyage to the New World, Columbus was en route to the island of Hispaniola (home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic) when his ship was thrust westward toward “two very small and low islands, full of tortoises (turtles), as was all the sea all about, insomuch that they looked like little rocks, for which reason these islands were called Las Tortugas”. Columbus named the islands after the turtles he saw in the waters around them. The two islands sighted were Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. A 1523 map showing all three Islands gave them the name Lagartos, meaning alligators or large lizards, but by 1526 the name Caymanos was being used. It is derived from the Carib Indian word for the marine crocodile, which is now known to have lived in the Islands. This name, or a variant, has been retained ever since. Thus the word eventually developed into Cayman and adding the word Islands, we became the ‘Cayman Islands’.


Caymanian English Wha Happen?

Hi or How are you?

I coming Errectly

I’ll be there soon

Wha happen to unna?

Whats up with you?

Who you for?

Who is your mother?

Who ya daddeh Is?

Who is your father?

Who you Fuh?

Who’s your family?


Pet name for a guy


Pet name for a lady

Wha do you?

Whats wrong with you?

Soon come

It is happening - but don’t wait!

Come yah

Come here

Rite down deh

Right there

Na too far

Not too far

It jus rite dere

It’s just right there

It nuh too far from ya

It’s not very far from here

I tink so innu

I do think so

Doon fugget now

Don’t forget


You See

Wha ya sayin bobo

What’s up, how are you today?

Trouble Don’t Blow Shell

No warning when troubles arrive

A fascinating insight into the history of some of our symbols.

The Cayman Islands coat of arms consists of a shield, a crested helm and the motto. Three green stars represents our Islands and rest on blue and white wavy bands representing the sea. In the top third of the shield, against a red background, is a gold griffin “passant guardant” representing Great Britain. Above the shield is a green turtle on a coil of rope. Behind the turtle is a gold pineapple. The turtle represents Cayman’s seafaring history; the rope, its traditional thatch-rope industry; and the pineapple, its ties with Jamaica. The Islands’ motto, He hath founded it upon the seas, is printed at the bottom of the shield.

Silver Thatch Palm Tall, slender silver thatch palms are especially conspicuous at the eastern end of all three of the Cayman Islands, where they sway in the trade winds high above the low, dry thickets of native trees and shrubs. The leaves are what give this tree its common name; they are green on the top and silver on the bottom. Up to the early 1960s, the silver thatch palm played an important role in the lives of Caymanians. Unusually strong, the leaves have a variety of uses, from roofing for houses to the plaiting and sewing of hats, baskets and fans. In earlier years, thatch rope made from the thatch palm was highly prized in Cuba and Jamaica for use in shipping, fishing and sugar industries. Exporting rope was Cayman’s largest source of revenue.

The Wild Banana Orchid The woods provide shelter for several varieties of flowering plants, including orchids. Probably the best known of Cayman’s 26 species of orchids is the wild banana orchid, of which there are two varieties - one which originated on Grand Cayman, and the other came from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Both varieties have scented flowers with purple lips. The flowers appear at the top of a long curved spike at the bottom of which cluster banana-like pseudo-bulbs that give this orchid its name.

The Cayman Parrot About 2,000 parrots inhabit Grand Cayman, while the quieter, smaller Cayman Brac Parrot maintains a stable population of about 400. Nesting in tree holes in old-growth forests, the colourful parrots depend on undisturbed woodlands and black mangrove forests for survival. Cayman’s parrots have iridescent green feathers with darker edges over the body, a white eye ring, red cheeks, black ear patches and brilliant blue wing feathers which are only obvious when in flight. Historically, parrots were common family pets. Today, however, it is illegal to take a parrot from the wild and keep it as a pet.


the Cayman Islands


“Only in Cayman”

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Soul Magazine 2015 (3rd Qtr Edition)  

Learn about what makes a Cayman Islands’ vacation different. Our people, the water, and the traditions that make these three islands unique...

Soul Magazine 2015 (3rd Qtr Edition)  

Learn about what makes a Cayman Islands’ vacation different. Our people, the water, and the traditions that make these three islands unique...