A museum to tell the story of St. Martin

by Les Fruits de Mer
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A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
A museum to tell the story of St. Martin
School visit season is coming up.
School visit season is coming up.

Thank you so much for supporting Les Fruits de Mer and Amuseum Naturalis. We’re getting ready for school visits to the Amuseum this fall and expanding an amazing book project. And we’re doing it all thanks to your support!

Each year we offer free school visits to the Amuseum, where we lead classes through fun activities that teach them about local nature. We even fund bus transport for classes in low-income neighborhoods. Your support helps us maintain the Amuseum and purchase supplies for activities. Our target this year is 24 class visits with sponsored transportation, in addition to visits by any classes and youth groups that have their own transportation.

We also have an amazing book program. We have been producing books for different target ages about St. Martin nature and heritage. We distributed 6,000 free books to students and schools last year and hope to give away 10,000 books this year. These books are great companions to Amuseum visits, and also help us reach students who aren’t able to visit.

Our long-term goal is to give a free book about a local subject to every student on the island every year they are in school. We are already well on our way in developing books for different ages and subjects. Your support helps us advance this project.

Our latest books are a coloring book and nature journal about local insects, Insects Around Me, and a book about the marine algae that has transformed the Caribbean in recent years, Suddenly, Sargassum! We have several more titles that will be published this year. In addition to free printed copies for students on St. Martin, all our books are available for free download.

Thanks so much for your support! Download some free books! There’s fascinating stuff for kids and people of all ages. If you are able to make a donation, it will do something good! Our printing costs start at $2/book, so even a small donation can impact many kids.

Thanks!

Insects Around Me coloring book and nature journal
Insects Around Me coloring book and nature journal
Suddenly, Sargassum!
Suddenly, Sargassum!

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Bilingual Poetry Exhibit
Bilingual Poetry Exhibit

Thank you so much for supporting Les Fruits de Mer and Amuseum Naturalis. Over the last few months we have been busy developing and launching new exhibits and materials.

Our most exciting launch at the Amuseum was a set of three new exhibits of local poetry presented in French for the first time. Throughout history, almost all St. Martin poetry has been written in the island’s mother tongue, English. Today, there are more French speakers on the island than ever. Presenting local poetry in French helps them connect with the culture of the island where they live.

We also developed new exhibits about the plants that live only on St. Martin, or only on a few islands. These new panels tell a story about adaptation to the unique, and often challenging, environment on St. Martin.

We have many other exciting projects underway, including books and exhibits about sargassum seaweed, and local marine life. We have also been busy applying for grant funding to support the Amuseum and our programs to give free books about local heritage and nature to St. Martin's schools and students. You can help! For two of our grants, we are required to contribute 20% of the finances for the project. Every $1 you give helps us secure $5 of project funding. Each and every donation helps!

Thank you for your support!

Bilingual Poetry Exhibit
Bilingual Poetry Exhibit
Endemic Plants Exhibit
Endemic Plants Exhibit

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Super St. Martin!
Super St. Martin!

Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for helping us do so much in 2021!

With the new year, we reflect on some of the major challenges facing St. Martin:

  • There is a lack of information about local nature, heritage and culture, both in schools and in society at large.
  • St. Martin’s natural and cultural heritage is disappearing due to rapid development, natural disasters and the simple passage of time.
  • Many students are struggling to develop the reading and writing skills they need to be successful. This contributes to high unemployment, poverty and social unrest.

Les Fruits de Mer is addressing these challenges in several ways:

  • Sharing information about local nature, heritage and culture at Amuseum Naturalis, in our books, online, and by donating materials to schools. 
  • Documenting natural and cultural heritage before it disappears, and sharing it in ways that can survive for generations.
  • Creating and distributing multilingual books on local subjects to students to promote book reading and ownership and better educational success.

Over the last year, with your help, we were able to accomplish a lot!

We welcomed hundreds of students to Amuseum Naturalis for school visits. We were able to engage them in learning about St. Martin’s amazing nature. We saw the serious challenges students here have with reading and writing, especially after the massive disruptions in education caused by Hurricane Irma and the pandemic. On the French side, most speak English at home, then attend school taught in French by teachers who may not know how to speak English. It is easy to see how this is challenging for these kids. But we were also able to see how students were able to use their reading and writing skills when activities were relevant to them, like the ones at the Amuseum.

We also created other ways to bring the Amuseum to kids and educators, to overcome limitations to physical visits caused by the pandemic. We distributed 5,000 books about local nature and heritage for free to students and teachers. This included 2,000 bilingual coloring books about St. Martin nature and 2,000 bilingual activity books about the island's nature, heritage and culture. Our long-term goal is to give a free book about a local subject to every student on the island, every year they are in school. 

We produced our first book of oral histories, Stories of St. Martin, in both English and French editions, building from oral history exhibits at the Amuseum. This book features stories from the lives of twelve St. Martiners, told in their own voice. We hope this is the first of many books that will document and preserve local heritage for future generations. 

Thank you for your support! It has made all the difference. As we move ahead with our work in 2022, we appreciate your continued help in this exciting and rewarding adventure!

School visit to Amuseum Naturalis
School visit to Amuseum Naturalis
New poetry exhibit, Reflections.
New poetry exhibit, Reflections.
New poetry exhibit, Season of Storms.
New poetry exhibit, Season of Storms.
Stories of St. Martin
Stories of St. Martin

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The Last Frontier
The Last Frontier

Wherever you are, you can add a little Amuseum Naturalis fun and learning to your life. Download a free copy of Animals Around Me: St. Martin Wildlife Coloring Book and Nature Journal from our website.

We’ve been busy the last few months! We launched a beautiful exhibit called The Last Frontier. It is all about French Quarter, the town where the Amuseum is located. It features etchings of people and places in French Quarter made by Sir Roland Richardson. It also includes his memories and commentary on the etchings.

The start of school has been delayed this fall, so we relaunched our Amuseum@Home program to share educational activities every day for free. We have also made printouts available at the Amuseum for anyone who can’t access the activities online.

We are looking forward to a busy fall with more new exhibits and books coming out. We will be doing our best to make sure kids have access to education about their own island despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Thank you for your support! It really makes many wonderful things possible. If you are able, we could really use your help right now. It’s how we keep all our projects running throughout the year. Any amount helps!

Stay safe and thank you!!!

Animals Around Me
Animals Around Me
Amuseum@Home
Amuseum@Home
Amuseum Naturalis
Amuseum Naturalis

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New outdoor exhibits.
New outdoor exhibits.

Wherever you are, we hope you are safe and doing well. Here in St. Martin, we’ve been working hard at Amuseum Naturalis, helping share the amazing nature and heritage of this island.

We recently added a couple new exhibits. One features stories from the oral histories of six St. Martiners. They tell how they survived storms, cooked, taught painting and built a business. Another exhibit explores a unique 19th century journal from the island. In it, a St. Martiner recorded remedies and other important information from the time. 

We’re happy to have the Amuseum open right now. All the exhibits, gardens and viewpoints are outside, with plenty of space for the visitors who come to enjoy them. Mask-wearing, distancing and other pandemic protocols are in place. We have carefully restarted free school class visits, too. 

Thank you for your support! It really makes many wonderful things possible. If you are able, we could really use your help right now. We are depending on donations to keep operating through the summer. It is our toughest time of the year for funding, and this year has been harder than most. Any amount helps!

Please check out some of the books we’ve created over the last year. You can download them for free. You can also follow us on social media to see some of the new things we are working on, like researching the sargassum algae for future exhibits.

Stay safe and thank you!!!

Oral history exhibit.
Oral history exhibit.
Oral history exhibit.
Oral history exhibit.
Book of Cures exhibit.
Book of Cures exhibit.
Sargassum research.
Sargassum research.

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Organization Information

Les Fruits de Mer

Location: Grand Case - France
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lesfruitsdemer
Project Leader:
Mark Yokoyama
Grand Case, France
$22,005 raised of $25,000 goal
 
238 donations
$2,995 to go
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