Fields of spiky Aloe vera in Hato, Aruba. Photo by Jimmyvillalta/iStock.com

Aloe vera: the thorny balm

The spiky Aloe vera plant is a favourite of Caribbean gardens, its bitter gel used as a moisturiser, stomach remedy, and ingredient in healthy tonics. You might imagine you could build a whole industry around this handy plant — and Aruba has done just that. Shelly-Ann Inniss visits the island’s biggest aloe farm, and learns how this wonder of the kitchen and medicine cabinet is an economic wonder, too.

Photo by ABDESIGN/iStock.com

Born blue: Suriname’s blue poison dart frog

Suriname’s blue poison dart frog is a living treasure of the rainforest.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

John James Audubon: The Birdman | On this Day

It’s considered a landmark of ornithology, and it was published one hundred and ninety years ago: John James Audubon’s massive Birds of America. Born in Haiti, Audubon had a restless life spread across continents, but along the way he transformed himself into a leading expert on the birdlife of North America. As James Ferguson explains, his legacy in science and conservation still endures.

Photograph by André Phillip

Mangrove view

A mosaic of greens and blues seen from high above, Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon is a natural gem, home to mangrove forests and seabird colonies.

Mangrove-lined seashore in Bonaire. Photo by Gail Johnson/Shutterstock.com

Caribbean eco progress report

In the pages of Caribbean Beat, over the past twenty-five years, we’ve often reported on environmental stories. So what’s the real state of progress across the region, when it comes to protecting our natural resources? Nazma Muller investigates.

Photo by Nerhuz / Shutterstock.com

Electric Avenues

As the world grows more environment- and energy-conscious, electric cars seem like the transport of the future. And most Caribbean countries offer ideal conditions for their adoption, writes Shelly-Ann Inniss.

Photo by Muph/Shutterstock.com

Caribbean “farmer-preneurs” — back to the land

Agriculture is an essential industry — how else do we feed ourselves? — but traditionally has been considered back-breaking, thankless, old-fashioned work. That’s starting to change, Erline Andrews reports, as a new generation of young Caribbean “farmer-preneurs” adopt the latest technological advances in one of human-kind’s oldest activities.

Photo by Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

CimaVax: revolutionary medicine

The CimaVax vaccine may be the biggest breakthrough yet in the treatment of lung cancer — and it’s just one of the success stories of Cuba’s biotechnology innovation. Nazma Muller investigates.

A colourful Tufted Cocquette poised for a sip of vervine nectar. Photo by Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Grow wild

You don’t need to venture deep into the forest to encounter fascinating wildlife. Even an ordinary urban garden can attract birds, butterflies, and more, if you know how. Sharon Millar tells you how.

La Soufrière caldera, St Vincent. Photo by Jonathan Palmer/Mustique Airways

Caribbean volcanoes: fire down below

Shaped by subterranean forces, the islands of the Lesser Antilles are an arc of volcanoes — some extinct, some dormant, some still active. And among their dramatic forested peaks, crater lakes, and hot springs, amateur vulcanologists (and ordinary tourists) can find ample evidence of our planet’s restless energy.