Regional Heritage Cooperation: The ACH and SIMARC Sign MoU

On Friday, May 24, 2019, historian Rosemarijn Hoefte, who is currently Senior Researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast and Caribbean Studied (KITLV) and the President of the Association of Caribbean Historians (ACH) and SIMARC President Ellinger Paul and Director Professor Jay Haviser signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions to stimulate and facilitate cooperation and collaboration in the promotion and development of Caribbean History and Heritage.

Meeting in the new SIMARC office in St. Maarten, the representatives from both organizations agreed to support their mutual interests in the field of education and research. Prof. Hoefte emphasized that “both organizations share an interest in pan-Caribbean history and culture and we value the work of community-based organizations”. The two entities met ahead of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association of Caribbean Historians at the University of Curaçao from May 26-30, 2019. Paying a courtesy call to long-time colleague, Jay Haviser who is also President of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology (IACA), Prof. Hoefte brought greetings from the over 50 year old professional organization of Caribbean Historians and commended SIMARC on its enduring commitment to protecting and preserving the archaeological heritage of St. Maarten and neighbouring islands in the wake of the 2017 Hurricane Irma which devastated the island and destroyed the building storing a number of important artifacts and papers documenting St. Maarten’s heritage.

At the signing, Dr. Haviser emphasized “the importance of the country St. Maarten to be more formally integrated and active with international and regional cooperation programs regarding the preservation of heritage in the Caribbean.” SIMARC is now in active recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Irma and is participating in a number of heritage projects on the island that will help the island to Build Back Better -- hopefully using the resilence of heritage resources to inform the process.

For some photos documenting SIMARC's post-hurricane recovery taken by Director Dr. Jay Haviser, please click here