WHY WE GATHERIN'


We Gatherin’ Barbados…..to celebrate who we are! This is Vision 2020: The Prime Minister’s vision for An all-inclusive Bajan homecoming! She gave a call to action at our Independence Day Parade last year, for all Barbadians….those at home and those anywhere in the world …… Bajans by birth, Bajans by descent, Bajans by choice… and those who love Barbados…… to join heads, hands and hearts to help “build the best Barbados…. together”. This will be a catalyst for national transformation.

So let’s get ready! 2020 is the year We Gatherin’ Barbados! – its a year-long campaign when we as Barbadians…. recommit to the core Barbadian values that define who we are as a proud, caring and industrious people with an outstanding tradition of excellence across every nook and cranny of Barbados.

We Gatherin’ will focus on rebuilding that spirit of community at the core of our traditional Barbadian way of life. It will provide opportunities for all Barbadians to celebrate, participate and invest in events and projects across the entire island.

Our future is now, and this vision gleams brightly for 2020. Together we will use the valuable tools and lessons of the past so magically reflected almost every week in our articulate centenarians. We will embrace the positive exuberance of our innovative youth to ensure our digital competence will serve us well beyond today and into many tomorrows. Who we are as a nation is firmly rooted in the memory of what we have overcome and what we can achieve together, hand in hand, parish by parish


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THINGS TO KNOW

QUICK FACTS ABOUT BARBADOS

SIZE & LOCATION

Barbados is the easternmost Caribbean island located at 13˚ North; 59˚ West. It is 430 km2 and is divided into 11 parishes.

EMERGENCY SERVICES NUMBERS

POLICE – 211

AMBULANCE – 511

FIRE – 311

DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE – 411

OPERATOR – 0

LANGUAGE

English, although the Bajan dialect can be heard all around the island.

BIM

Many Bajans whom I asked over the past few days cannot tell me why the nickname for Barbados is “Bim“. A quick search around the Internet indicates that it’s a left over from the long connection with England, where Barbados was named “Bimshire” or Bim for short

TIME DIFFERENCE

4 hours behind GMT in the winter and 5 hours in the summer. 1 hour ahead of US Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the winter and the same during US Daylight Saving Time.

HEALTH CARE

Barbados is recognized as having the most modern medical facilities in the Eastern Caribbean. Medical services are provided by the two major hospitals: The Queen Elizabeth and Bayview and several well equipped clinics, health centres and nursing homes. In addition, FMH Emergency Medical Clinic and Sandy Crest are private accident and emergency medical centres

GOVERNMENT

Democratic. The House of Assembly, modelled on the British system, is the third-oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

POPULATION

The current population of Barbados is 285,493 ( 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates)

CURRENCY

The Barbados dollar is tied to the US dollar at a fixed rate of US$1.00 = BDS$1.98. The approximate rate of exchange for:

Great Britain: £1.00 = BDD $2.49

Canada: CAD$1.00 = BDD $1.52

European Union: € 1.00 = BDD $2.12

Eastern Caribbean: XCD $1:00 = BDD $0.75

US currency is readily accepted everywhere on the island, while most hotels, restaurants and large stores accept most major credit cards as well.

ELECTRICITY

115/230 volts 50 cycle. Many hotels provide converters for European or Asian appliances. North American appliances will not need converters.

WATER

The water service in Barbados is reliable and the water supply is safe and refreshing to drink straight from the tap.

DRESS CODE

Outfit yourself for the warm tropical climate: shorts, T-shirts, wraps and sundresses would be your best bet for daytime wear, and “elegantly casual’ wear for evenings. Bear in mind that swimwear should be kept for the beach and suitable attire should be worn when going shopping or dining out.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Barbados has a modern telecommunications infrastructure with the latest in digital technology and fibre optics systems. The International direct distance dialing code for Barbados is (1-246), followed by a seven digit local number.

TAXES/TIPPING

17.5% VAT (Value Added Tax) is included in all prices in shops, supermarkets and restaurants. In hotels, a 10% service charge will be added to your bill. Many restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge to your bill, so you would be wise to check before tipping additionally.

Usually 10% – 15% is acceptable when tipping