The Les Fruits de Mer association has published a new book, Stories of St. Martin. In this book, 12 St. Martiners tell stories from their lives in their own words. Each story captures a unique part of life on St. Martin, and each story captures a unique voice. They are stories of work, hardship, accomplishment and inspiration.
“Reading this book is like sitting down with a neighbour while they tell you a story,” said co-editor Jenn Yerkes. “It’s a great way for St. Martiners of all ages to share the living history of this place, from major events to daily life back in the day. The stories really come alive because each one is told in a unique voice.”
These stories were recorded on St. Martin between 2016 and 2021. Topics include salt and salt harvesting, storms and renewal, work and service, and local traditions. Each one is part of an oral history tradition on St. Martin that stretches back hundreds of years, and continues today. This important process has preserved knowledge, customs, and culture, including the local language, by passing them down from generation to generation.
“We are excited to publish this book in French as well as English,” said co-editor Mark Yokoyama. “People living here who don’t speak the island’s mother tongue don’t have many opportunities to learn about the lives of St. Martiners. We hope this book promotes deeper understanding and connection.”
Free copies of Stories of St. Martin will be given away at Amuseum Naturalis on Saturday, January 29, from 9:00am to 12 noon thanks to sponsor Delta Petroleum. Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of nature and heritage located in French Quarter, St. Martin. It is open every day from sunrise to sunset.
The Les Fruits de Mer association has published 12 books about St. Martin nature and heritage. All are available in both English and French. The association is currently working to develop new books on local topics for all different ages. Their long-term goal is to give a free book about St. Martin to every student on the island, every year they are in school.
Stories of St. Martin was produced with support from the Collectivité de Saint-Martin, the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires, and Delta Petroleum.