Ashley named essay finalist

Fourteen years ago, Condé Nast Traveler magazine conceived the idea for the ‘My Caribbean’ Essay Contest, which has become an integral youth component of the annual Caribbean Tourism Conference.

The contest is designed to introduce the benefits of tourism to the children of the Caribbean between the ages of eight and 12 years old.

The Cayman Islands finalist for the 2006 Condé Nast Traveler My Caribbean Essay Competition is 10-year-old Ashley Amador. A student at East End Primary when she was selected, Ashley is now a Year 7 student at George Hicks High School.

Students from across the Cayman Islands were asked to imagine being a reporter for Condé Nast Traveler assigned to write a story about their country. Their challenge was to maintain Condé Nast Traveler’s motto – Truth in Travel – by looking beyond the surface to show people more than just the usual tourist spots. Ms Amador’s essay emerged as the best from five semi finalists’ entries that were submitted.

Ashley’s mom describes her as quiet and conservative, except for when she is with family. Ashley loves to read, especially the adventures of Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins. When she is not reading or enjoying the beach with her family, Ashley can be found watching Disney movies with her younger sister Juana (pronounced Hwannah).

Ashley is an avid Law & Order fan, and aspires to be a lawyer in the future.

Ashley Amador’s winning entry

Reporting for CNT…

Good day travel enthusiast.Today our travel abroad brings us to the beautiful Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands? Where is that? You may be asking. The Cayman Islands consist of three small islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman located in the North West Caribbean. Grand Cayman is just one hour by plane from Miami, 180 miles North West of Jamaica and 150 miles South of Cuba.

The country enjoys a very pleasant climate all year round, with temperatures rarely dipping below 70 degrees Fahrenheit or rising above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The coolest season is from November to April.

Caymanians are renowned for their friendliness and are devout, church-going people. They are proud of their multiracial and multicultural origins. Approximately one in four are European, mainly descended from British settlers. A further quarter is of African descent, and the rest claim mixed ancestry. The official language is English, and Spanish is also spoken.

Most Caymanians made their living from turtling and seafaring. Today the country is a thriving international finance center, home to the world’s leading banks and financial service providers. The mainstay of the economy, banking, dates back to the passing of the first banking and trust laws in 1966.

The local currency is the Cayman Dollar (CI$), however the US Dollar is also widely used and trades at a rate of CI$0.80 to US$1.00.

Tourism is also a vital area, thanks in large measure to the islands excellent weather, wide choice of accommodations, glorious beaches, fine restaurants, coral reefs and crystal clear seas – home to some of the world’s best diving spots. For the thousands of tourists who arrive on the island by air or by luxury cruise ships, duty-free shopping is another attraction.

Festivals have long been a key feature of Cayman life. Locals and visitors can let their hair down at the Batabano carnival, the islands major springtime festival. The biggest public celebration is the Pirates Week Festival held throughout the islands every October.

Its main event takes place in George Town Harbour and involves an ‘invasion’ of authentic-looking swashbucklers and pirates.

Just to name a few places of interest that you would not want to miss seeing: The Turtle Farm, Hell, Pedro Saint James Castle, Stingray City, Rum Point, The Mastic Trail, The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, The National Museum and of course the famous Seven Mile Beach.

So what do you say? Take a few days, come on down to the jewel of the Caribbean – Cayman, and enjoy the true Caymanian lifestyle. See you there!

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