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Mission Statement
"To promote and foster the highest quality service to the maritime industry through training development; working with all agencies, groups and other associations for the benefit and development of its members and the peoples of the Caribbean region."

    Grantley Stephenson
    David Jean-Marie
    Carlos Urriola-Tam
    Roger Hinds
    Hernan Ayala-Rubio
    Kim Clarke
    Marc Sampson
    Ernest Taylor
    Juan Carlos Croston
    Stephen Bell
    Cyril Seyjagat
    Jeanine Liong-A-San

  • Caribbean Maritime Institute
    Caribbean Maritime Institute: Important for Caribbean economic development





    The Caribbean Sea, the obvious resource on which to plan Caribbean development, was largely overlooked in the planning of development.















    Mike Jarrett


    By Michael S. L. Jarrett*

    It is not possible to fully grasp the significance of the establishment of a Caribbean Maritime Institute without reflecting on the historical process that ends and begins with this single occasion.

    The history of our geographical region is all about the Caribbean Sea. Those who crossed it using oar and sail, before and after Columbus.

    Columbus cleared the way for the settlers. Their mission, stated or unstated, was to secure the interests of their governments and monarchs. By establishing the organizations, instruments and systems of colonialism, they effectively created new states – in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia -- in the likeness of and subservient to the so called ‘mother country’, the patron states of Europe.

    Church and state were in consensus about the need to educate and train the colonized, if conquest was to be consolidated and development attempted. Basic schools were established, mainly by the churches. The colonial government provided mainly primary education and some secondary education. Caribbean children, products of plantation economy, were trained only to keep that economic system properly functioning.

    Up to the middle of the 19th Century, despite the continued growth and prosperity of Caribbean plantation economy (the costly slave labour element having been removed) and the evolution of an increasingly complex social order, there was little other than primary education provided in the colonies. The sons of the planters and representatives of the colonial governments went back to Europe for higher education. Formal vocational training for the people of the Caribbean was still almost a century away. And, even then, this was vocational training at a rudimentary level, addressing only the needs of colonization.

    It was not until after Caribbean minds were opened, largely by the experiences and lessons afforded by fighting for and then living in the ‘mother country’ during the two major 20th century European conflicts and particularly the latter, that Caribbean education infrastructure expanded. Elected leaders advocated and sanctioned the establishment of secondary and technical high schools, vocational training institutions and universities, in initiatives which lasted right up to the end of the millennium with the establishment of universities, sports colleges and academies in different territories.

    Interestingly, in the critical area of shipping and maritime trade, perhaps the only aspect of wider Caribbean economy development that has never recorded anything but annual growth, there was no institute to train and produce skills. The Caribbean Sea, the obvious resource on which to plan Caribbean development, was largely overlooked in the planning of development.


    An institution for training Caribbean seamen is important for the development of the Region. The fact that such a Caribbean mariners training institution was not established in the post World War II era when another great Caribbean institution of learning was founded, is perhaps more the evidence of a lack of vision rather than a statement about the relevance of such an Institution.

    The Caribbean Maritime Institute has a historical mission quite unlike and far more complex than that of the organization from which it sprang. For whereas the Jamaica Maritime Institute had clearly defined national objectives, the Caribbean Maritime Institute, in the context of Caribbean political and economic history, has obligations to peoples from different cultures, from four language groups, in dozens of island states and territories; stepping stones linking the farthest shores of a geographically significant body of water.

    The title Caribbean Maritime Institute carries an awesome responsibility. To be sure, merely adopting the word Caribbean, does not make an institution a regional one. However, it does state an intention to serve the Region. This is the mantle of service the Caribbean Maritime Institute has assumed.

    Caribbean development, indeed development, is not about Gross Domestic Product; nor about predetermined social and economic indicators. It is about empowering people so that they may function as free citizens, capable of achieving their goals and aspirations. Education and training provide opportunities for our people. So, if the Caribbean Sea is important to Caribbean economic development, then so is the Caribbean Maritime Institute.

    *  Mike Jarrett, CSA Director of Information and Public Relations, comments against the background of the Jamaica Maritime Institute becoming the Caribbean Maritime Institute in September 2001.

    The Caribbean Maritime Institute has a historical mission quite unlike and far more complex than that of the organization from which it sprang.

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