Not long after Ratna Baboolal, a 52-year-old mother of four, died from Covid-19 on March 11, authorities discovered that she had spread the virus to eight relatives, including her 59-year-old husband Ramnauth Baboolall, her two sons, two sisters, one niece, her son-in-law and one of her granddaughters.
After the deadly COVID-19 virus spread like wildfire across the globe, Nicolas Muszynski, a renewable energy specialist, and his wife, Marie-Laure Ollier, a freelance interpreter in the school system, yearned to relocate from their Montreal, Canada residence to a safer country from where they could live, work and educate their two young daughters.
When the couple read an announcement that Barbados was offering foreigners the chance to work remotely in an idyllic environment, they jumped at the opportunity. In July, Nicolas and Marie-Laure learned that Barbados, the birth place of super star Rihanna, had introduced the Barbados Welcome Stamp which made it possible for high net-worth visitors to live in the sun-drenched island for 12 months. On September 3, Nicolas, director of Renewable Energy Storage with Renewable Energy Systems, touched down at Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados. His workplace is now the family’s rented one-storey villa in a hotel resort and golf course on the southern coast of the island. Nicolas described Barbados’ Welcome Stamp as the most fitting name.
Filipinos began moving to the British Virgin Islands in large numbers in the late 2000s. They quickly developed a reputation for participating in community events like the International Night at the New Life Baptist Church on Tortola, shown above in 2013. As in much of the world, such events are now on hold because of the pandemic. Photo: FREEMAN ROGERS
As Florenda Ruffell-Smith remembers it, the Filipino boom in the British Virgin Islands began in the late 2000s with four accountants hired to work in the territory’s bustling financial services industry. “That started a domino effect where other companies would ask for Filipinos,” said Ms. Ruffell-Smith, the long-time president of the Filipino Association of the BVI.