19 November 2013

Barbados: Jewel of the Caribbean, IAPA’s next destination

The island with the turquoise waters located in the far eastern Caribbean is the destination of the next IAPA Midyear Meeting. The date is April 4-7, 2014, and the venue the Hilton Barbados Resort, located five minutes from Bridgetown and just 20 from the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Program (ENG)

Programa (ESP)

Programa (PORT)



The island with the turquoise waters located in the far eastern Caribbean is the destination of the next IAPA Midyear Meeting. The date is April 4-7, 2014, and the venue the Hilton Barbados Resort, located five minutes from Bridgetown and just 20 from the Grantley Adams International Airport.

The preparations for the meeting are being carried out by a Host Committee chaired by Vivian- Anne Gittens of The Nation News and comprising other news organizations of this enchanting island as well as her affiliated company in Trinidad and Tobago, One Caribbean Media.

The program will include examination and discussion of the problems faced by journalism in the hemisphere, with special attention to what is currently happening in the Caribbean where media are confronting attacks from the government and having difficulty of access to official sources and an evident increase in defamation and contempt laws.

The preparations are already under way and Barbados Prime Minister Freundel J. Stuart has given his commitment to open the meeting’s deliberations. We have envisioned roundtables to review the economic challenges in the Caribbean, the pressures on independent editorial groups and presence in the technical aspects of digital media and online communications.

Four Press Institute seminars with prestigious speakers will be a highlight of the meeting, focusing on the needs of medium-size and small newspapers that enrich the plural and diverse journalistic culture of the Anglo-Saxon Caribbean.  There will be a detailed revision of successful cases regarding the relevance of production and transformation of print content for mobile platforms and vice versa, such as how digital and original content can enrich the written version.

In addition to this there will be talk of the latest in digital development, a favorite topic on our magazine Hora de Cierre, a technology that since its beginnings 15 years ago, has dawned as the development that would end up being the final blow to the printed newspaper. Other topics relating to effective use of the Internet and social networks to support newsrooms will be part of the Barbados experience.

Together with this call, we are sending the registration and hotel reservation forms and delegates from the Caribbean will be able to have access to a special fee. Mark the dates on your calendar and send in your reservation as soon as possible.

Registration form

Hotel Registration

  Program with an emphasis on nature

There will be a strong social program with an emphasis on the beauty of Barbados. Scheduled is a reception for the Executive Committee at one of the island’s most emblematic restaurants (Champers, located on a cliff bathed by Caribbean waters); there will then be a welcoming reception at the conference hotel’s Old Fort, to continue on the Sunday with a dinner at Ilaro Court, the magnificent residence of the Prime Minister. Already in preparation is a very entertaining program for spouses and companions, with tours of the city of Bridgetown and visits to Harrison’s Cave, one of the island’s attractions. This is a cave with waterfalls, natural pools and stone columns. And of course there will be a tour of the whole island to take in the beautiful beaches.

Barbados and Bridgetown

The capital city has an agreeable mixture of historic and modern buildings. The low-density urban expansion of the major part of Bridgetown is the home to 80,000 people and covers a large part of the San Miguel parish. With the exception of downtown, which is totally commercial and shuts down at night, Bridgetown is comprised by a series of diverse little neighborhoods where houses, shops and government buildings come together.

Despite the mixture of styles and epochs, Bridgetown’s history has remained intact and it has earned a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Barbados became independent of Great Britain in 1966 and maintains the British style of government with a prime minister and two parliamentary houses. The Assembly House and the Senate’s parliament building are in Bridgetown. The island is a member of the Commonwealth, with the third oldest parliament. The Governor represents the Crown and his residence is located on Government Hill outside of Bridgetown. According to archeological discoveries made in Port St. Charles the island’s first inhabitants arrived at these shores around 1623 B.C., nearly 4,000 years ago. The Amerindians arrived from the area now known as Venezuela after crossing the dangerous sea in canoes. Being able to carry out this journey is in itself, a clear testimony to the navigation skills, construction expertise and firm determination of these pioneers.

Although the Spanish conquistadors decided not to establish themselves on the island they did give it a name – Barbados. There is consensus that the word derives from the fascination of the Europeans with the aerial roots of the bearded fig tree, which looks like a long and thick beard, known as barbuda in Spanish. Hence the name of the island.

Conference hotel

The conference hotel is the Hilton Barbados Resort, which is surrounded by splendid turquoise waters. The lobby is wafted by tropical breezes, and guests can enjoy a whole range of amenities and services of high quality. From white sand beaches to the best restaurants and top-class meeting rooms, this 350-room hotel oozes tropical luxury. Located just five minutes from Bridgetown and 20 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport the sights and sounds of Barbados are easy to enjoy.

Special attractions

If your time permits and you can extend your stay, you will not have a minute to waste.

The possibilities of water sports, safaris through the island and exploration of its charms are innumerable. Harrison Cave, located near Barbados’ geographical center, is a natural phenomenon in the tropics. It was mentioned for the first time in historical documents of 1795 and later was practically forgotten for nearly 200 years until rediscovered in 1976. In 1981 Harrison Cave was officially opened to the public as a spectacle. Visitors have the opportunity to observe a variety of natural phenomena unique to the Barbados geography. There are electric cars that move around the caves and guides’ comments create an entertaining atmosphere to enjoy the various galleries.

Other great attractions are the visits to great mansions. St. Nicholas Abbey, located in San Pedro parish, was built in 1660 and is one of the three genuine Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere.  Sunbury Plantation House is more than 300 years old. This house is full of history, with mahogany furniture, old engravings and a unique collection of horse-drawn carriages. Fisherpond Great House gives an idea of the high points of good living. On Sunday don’t miss the exquisite brunch at Bajan restaurant, which only seats with prior reservation.

The three houses are beautifully restored plantation homes. Each of them shows the history of sugar cane, how it is cultivated, harvested and finally turned into sugar.

For golf lovers Barbados has some of the most luxurious and spectacular courses in the region, which explains why they have received unprecedented attention among golf lovers around the world.

Do not fail to visit the only place where George Washington lived outside of the United States. He and his sick step-brother Lawrence stayed at this historic plantation house known as Bush Hill House for two months in 1751.

Barbados is the only country visited by the person who would come to be known as the “Founding Father” of the United States. This visit is a little known chapter, but a very important one, in the life of the then unknown 19-year-old man who would come to be, as later described by Henry Lee III, “the first in the war, the first in peace and the first in the hearts of his fellow countrymen.”

Another place that you should visit, especially if you are a lover of aviation, is the British Airways Concorde G-BOAE Museum.

Barbados has proudly become the permanent home of British Airways Concorde since 2003, after the fleet was retired that same year and the decision was made to loan the Concorde G-BOAE to the people of Barbados, in recognition of the role the island played in Concorde’s success.

The Concorde had its first flight to Barbados in 1977 to take Her Majesty the Queen back to England.

Although it is still early we recommend you to make your plans in advance. We are at your disposal to answer any additional question you may have. For now we say goodbye, hoping as always to have the pleasure of receiving you in Barbados in April next year.

Registration form

Hotel Registration

Program (ENG)

Programa (ESP)

Programa (PORT)


Julio E. Muñoz
Executive Director