Watch: One Year After – A Video Tribute to SXM

When Irma slammed into Saint Martin one year ago there was no way to understand what things would look like afterwards. There was also no real way for any of us to know how our lives would change. It was a personal journey for so many people.

One year ago today, my wife and I sat in bed listening to Laser 101 for updates on the situation in Saint Martin. Irma was bearing down and all we could do was listen and hope.

The next morning I felt utterly helpless. I was thousands of miles away, longing to help in some way, and feeling like there was nothing I could do but wait. I sat down at my computer and started searching Twitter for something, anything, about what was happening in Saint Martin.

As I searched and searched, I started to find a little bit of information here and there. I decided to start @SXMStrong so I could show my support for a place that gave so much joy to me and my family over the years. That led to this website. It also led to several trips to Saint Martin to help wherever I could.

Over six trips from the end of December to the beginning of June, I met and spoke to so many wonderful people who lived through Irma. I listened intently to their stories, thanking every single one for sharing with me. It was a very personal journey for me and my family.

As you can imagine, I’ve taken a lot of pictures and video, much of which I’ve shared on this website and the SXM Strong social media accounts. Today, I wanted to publish a video as a tribute to the trips I made, the people I met, and the things I saw while in Saint Martin. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Show your support for Saint Martin/Sint Maarten! Proceeds go directly to assist local residents and communities on the island. 

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Jon Ferlise

I am a U.S. citizen living in Phoenix, Arizona, with my wife and two sons, ages 4 and 6 (and yes, they LOVE SXM as much as we do!). My family considers the island a second home and we’ve been there countless times. We love the culture, the people, the community and the beauty of this island. The people have always made us feel at home and welcome. This is a small way for me and my family to support an island and it’s people that we hold so dear.

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