Roots en Route: Bridging St. Maarten/St. Martin to Europe through cultural trails and shared stories

Students of Sister Regina School meeting with Tjerk Ridder, Sjorensly Valies and Marie-Louise. Photo: Roorts en Route. 

PHILIPSBURG/MARIGOT – The Roots en Route project, a collaboration between Foresee Foundation, Stichting St. Maarten Utrecht (SMU), and Theater-maker Tjerk Ridder, was launched at the Cole Bay/Bellevue border point in St. Maarten/St. Martin. 

Funded by Fonds voor Cultuur participatie and Prins Bernard Culture Funds, the initiative aims to foster understanding and respect by sharing the communities’ identities, commonalities, and differences. 

The core of the project involves a 14-day physical hiking journey symbolized by the word “en,” aiming to connect St. Maarten/St. Martin with Europe through shared stories and cultural understanding. 

The journey, inclusive of local and European neighbors, will create a Caribbean part of the European walking trail, linking to the European Path of Saint Martin. The project was initiated with a gathering of stakeholders, featuring local and European participants, and it will culminate in a performance at the National Institute of Arts on January 27, incorporating the experiences of the hiking trail. 


The performance will showcase the interplay of Caribbean and European influences through film footage, storytelling, music, and dance. Partners such as Seagrape Tours and EPIC, the environmental organization, contributed to the establishment of the hiking trail route. The journey can be followed on 

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