My Two Cents / NonProfit

“Localish”

My grandmother took her kids and their descendants (all 20 of us) on a cruise over Christmas this year. (twas so great to be with the fam!)

Some of us toured the Seven Fathoms rum distillery in Grand Cayman, the only distillery on the island. Check it out if you’re ever there! The name “Seven Fathoms” comes from the fact that they chain the former Makers Mark barrels now turned Seven Fathoms barrels full of soon-to-be-rum 7 fathoms deep under the water so that the ocean waves keep the concoction churning until it’s ready. Random Fact: My Aunt’s done a lot of work for Shell and how you distill rum is apparently similar to how we get oil.SONY DSCThe best part of Seven Fathoms was getting to talk to the guy running their gift shop which is called One Two Tree Four and describes itself as “Localish”.

Ha my aunt said, “Give it up!” when talking about preserving the “localish” culture on the island.Trying to “keep it local” is totally cool and you can see why some Grand Cayman islanders would feel the need to foster some sense of “community” and bonding amongst the permanent residents since the place is almost completely dependent on tourism. But heck–no one is really local to the Grand Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman was empty until about 400 years ago when the islands started taking transplants. In fact even the central ingredient to Seven Fathoms Rum, sugar cane, isn’t naturally on the island. Christopher Columbus imported it back in the day.SONY DSCSo why would someone spend $35 on a tank top at One Two Tree Four to support Localishism when they could get a cheesier one at the shop next door for $10? The gift shop guy explained that most shirts and all other random souvenirs on the island are made in China. Hardly any of it is actually made in Grand Cayman. Local creatives find it difficult to compete with the cheap China prices, and who knows what the workers making the cheap shirts are getting paid.SONY DSCOne Two Tree Four not only supports its artists and designers, but they also put money into projects that “preserve culture” on the islands. For example they put money into elementary school programs to teach them about island food, cooking, and traditions. While it’s ironic that they’re financially supported by cruise ships (the walmart of vacations), Seven Fathoms and the gift shop get that. Therefor the “ish” in Localish.SONY DSC

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