Exuma, October 18, 2017: The Crusaders Junkanoo Shack located in Hooper’s Bay, Exuma, Bahamas, has been rebuilt thanks to a donation of US$12,000 by The Sandals Foundation. The Shack, which was completely destroyed last year by Hurricane Matthew, serves the wider community of Exuma by promoting Junkanoo traditions as well as offering music classes and summer camps for young people numbering approximately 200 per year.
“The Sandals Foundation is pleased to assist with the rebuilding of this vibrant community space,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “We understand and appreciate the importance of Junkanoo to Bahamians and hope that this facility will encourage more youngsters to get involved.”
Group leader of the Crusaders Junkanoo Group, Mr. Kenneth Nixon, said that this support by the Foundation for the new band house provides “An amazing opportunity for the community including the schools and youth groups on the island to have a home for Junkanoo and costume building as well as for the mentorship program of the Group which develops the gifts and talents of each individual. The benefits of this Shack will not only to be displayed at the annual parade but will also help to build character for generations to come.”
While the Sandals Foundation paid for all building supplies, volunteers from the Crusaders Junkanoo Group provided the labour making this a true example of a project built by the community, for the community. The Crusaders Junkanoo Shack was officially opened on Friday, October 20, 2017.