Barbados’ dedication to its people and heritage can be made evident in the Vision 2020 We Gatherin’ campaign launched by the Government of Barbados. We Gatherin’ is a homecoming for Barbadians everywhere to reunite with friends and family, reconnect with old Bajan traditions and promote economic opportunities through enterprise and investment.
One country with strong Bajan links is Panama. Many Barbadians immigrated to Panama to work on the construction of the Panama Canal, making up 44 percent and the largest group of the canal workforce. Vision 2020 We Gatherin’ will give Panamanians with Bajan heritage the opportunity to trace their ancestry and understand the deep connection between the two countries. With a nonstop flight from Panama City via Copa Airlines, the Panamanian diaspora can now access more than 100 years of history in less than three and a half hours.
Barbados is not only connected to Latin America through its history, but also its culture and traditions. Similarities can be found in music, with a variety of percussion sounds, carnivals, gastronomy and event sports. For example, Argentina and Barbados share strong links with the game of Polo, and Brazil and Colombia also have yearly Carnival celebrations. Beyond the cultural similarities, Barbados offers year-round activities of interest for the Latin American traveler. From the island’s bucket list-worthy Crop Over Carnival festival to music festivals, marathons, and polo matches, to the renowned Food and Rum Festival, which celebrates a decade this October. Through the We Gatherin’ campaign, visitors will not only have a chance to learn more about the heritage of the island, but also enjoy its varied tourism product.
“This homecoming will be a global celebration of our culture and a recommitment towards the island’s prosperous future. We are looking to trace the global Barbadian community while showcasing everything our beautiful island has to offer. Visitors come to Barbados to experience our unique attractions, but fall in love with our culture and our people, the island’s biggest asset,” said Corey Garrett director of the Caribbean and Latin America for the BTMI.
Vision 2020 We Gatherin’ goal is to celebrate traditional Barbadian ways of life and to showcase the diversity of Barbadian talent. The data captured by this project will also document and strengthen linkage with the global Barbadian diaspora, as well as inform elements of the diaspora mapping process. We Gatherin’ attests to the old Barbadian saying ‘Bajans are everywhere’.