It’s easy to get swept up in the charm of Harbour Island and be unaware of the socioeconomic impact left behind once you’ve packed your sandy bags and departed. Engage with locals and you will quickly understand that the unemployment rate is extremely high and the cost of living is even higher. As property values reach staggering heights for wealthy vacation home owners, locals are increasingly limited in where they can live. Almost entirely dependent upon tourism, native islanders often work several jobs to maintain themselves. Many are forced to move off Harbour Island to neighboring Eleuthera. The wealth that circulates on Harbour Island among the tourists is gravely disproportionate to the economic reality of Brilanders. One of the greatest risks faced by this enchanted corner of the world is the threat of losing its identity. The best defense of cultural erosion is literacy. A literate people that knows their story and can share it with each other and beyond their community will remain impervious to foreign exploitation. To remain the magical island encountered by tourists year after year, the inhabitants need to prosper and retain their cultural integrity.
Education is the key to moving Bahamians into the future and becoming more competitive. The children should have access to resources early on that will enable them to reach their full potential as adults. We have partnered with the public non profit, Exceptional Education Outreach Bahamas- a proven special ed and literacy outreach program that has been very successful in getting children with special needs to overcome their individual challenges and go on to become successful adults. Conch & Coconut is committed to donating a percentage of profits to EEO to ensure that the next generation of Harbour Island and Eleuthera is a thriving Bahamian population. For more information please visitEEO Bahamas.