Like his island, Taxi Driver Jean Samuel is a little Dutch, a splash of French and a whole lot of international in his thinking and personality. A St. Maartener through and through, Jean embraces the cultures and substance that make St. Maarten/St. Martin truly unique in the Caribbean.

“I don’t say I’m French or Dutch. I say I’m St. Maartener,” he says of growing up on the Friendly Island.

Born two days shy of Christmas in 1962, Jean has seen the island grow through dynamic change; some good and some bad.

With nostalgia of the past mix with promise of the future, Jean has high hopes that the island will continue to shine as “The Place to be in the Caribbean”.

The future belongs to the children of this island and the careers they choose, he says.

His children Samantha (27), Andy (26), Jeanette (22) and Jeanelle (12) will make valuable contributions to improving their island. "My wife, Jeraldine, and I are happy that our children have grown up very focused on academic achievements,” he says.

As a taxi driver, he is the first line of welcome for many of the island’s visitors. But as President of the Airport Taxi Association, Jean is given added responsibilities of ensuring drivers and clients are happy.

A stronger level of coordination needs to be developed among the taxi associations, the hotel industry and travel agents, Jean believes. He is working on stronger cooperation with the expectation that the other players in the tourism and hospitality industry will play their part in making the island a further success.

Government has recently published the approved taxi rate sheet online at www.sintmaartengov.org. This accessibility to the rates online gives island guests and other taxi clients to get a good overview of taxi rates for the convenience and better understanding.

As association president, Jean says creating a sense of unity among drivers is one of his long term goals. A planning committee of five members has been established to brainstorm about ways to make and maintain driver unity. Plans for the future include a family fun day, barbecue and a night of dance.

Facebook Profile Link: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005023126406&fref=ts