Vendor relocates under tree

Rayburn Ebanks, left, at his newly located stall, sells a slice of melon to a customer. - PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY

When street vendor Rayburn Ebanks was removed the site where he sold goods alongside the Owen Roberts International Airport fence in 2013, he simply moved across the road to the cricket pitch.

Recently, when he was told to leave the area of the cricket field, Mr. Ebanks moved across the road and set up shop on the sidewalk under an almond tree and conducted business as usual.

Many who commute that stretch of road are familiar with the 74-year-old seaman selling his assortment of goods.

Mr. Ebanks says he is fearful of the future, and that soon he will be moved again.

As with his last stall, the scale hangs from the limb of a tree. On a clothes line, pegs of ripe plantains and bags of seasoning and Scotch bonnet peppers hang; a coconut, a breadfruit, a bottle of soda, pumpkins and a slice of watermelon sit on a table.

Mr. Ebanks was moved from the airport fence area in 2013 because of claims his stall was an eyesore. At the time, Mr. Ebanks had this to say: “There are people struggling to get by in Cayman today. I’m not talking about those who don’t want to work or are lazy; but good honest Caymanians who know how to put in a hard day’s work. I’m talking about people who work hard every day and strive to improve themselves and their situation. I know it is rough right now for everyone but there are people who need to eat.”

With the arrival of the new farmers market on Huldah Avenue, beside the cricket grounds by the airport, many thought Mr. Ebanks would find a permanent spot there, but now strapped for cash, he said that was near impossible.

“I can’t afford to pay the fees at the farmers market, because some days I don’t make what they are charging,” he said, adding that he was told he would have to pay $29 a day for one of the stalls.

Hamlin Stephenson, one of the farmers spearheading the farmers market, said stalls range from $8 to $29 or more depending on the size of the stall that suits vendors’ needs.


  1. Mr Stephenson why don’t you offer Mr Ebanks one of the stalls for $8.00 per day , since he is trying so hard to make a dollars to survive. That might be the best for him and the farmers market . Or would you rather see him continue on the side of the street and don’t make it , and resort to some other way to get a dollar.

  2. The more I read this story , the more I see how caymanians are been deprived of a chance to survive and to make a honest dollar in their own country. Here we have a honest , hard working , and a elderly man that still have to have still work to put food in his mouth every day like us all .

    I believe that Mr Ebanks did go to the farmers market and was told that the stalls were $29 .00 per day.
    Is the Cayman Islands Government involved with the farmers market in any way ?
    If they are then why don’t the government secure him Ebanks a small spot in the market , rather than chase him from spot to spot .

    This story remind me of back in the early 80s , when this investor came to me and told me I could not continue to make my living the way I knew , my reply was you can go back to where you come from and tell those people how they can make their living , and gave him the name and address of my Attorney , and after that we became friends and attitude changed , and today I am still his friend.

  3. This is a very touching story. I share the views express in each person’s comments. Here is an elderly man who is determined to make a honest living by selling what every human needs, that is, food. He admits he can’t afford the $29/stall per day at the farmer’s market. Would he be able to afford the $8 stall and would that give him the space he needs. I hope due consideration and understanding will be given to Mr Ebanks to allow him to remain where he presently until he is able to meet the requirements of the farmers market.

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