On Saturday, 30 residents of Caribbean Shores became proud owners of leases for land in the Cotton Tree area. It is part of the same parcel of land that was subject to contention from the village’s council, because they claim they were not consulted.
The matter is still in litigation, but that did not stop Area Representative Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr. from handing out the leases, the first four of which went to loyal precinct captains, who also happened not to be landowners.
“Many months ago, the Prime Minister in Cabinet issued to all Ministers 30 parcels of land in Cotton Tree, to give out.
It was very hard to share so many fish among so many residents, but we did the best we could.
I’m going to start by calling out on my four captains. Without them I would not be where I am. They worked very hard with me.
They say ‘Charity starts at home,’ and since none of them have ever held a piece of the Jewel, I will start by presenting them with the first four land leases.”
Santiago Castillo told us that the captains selected the remaining 26 persons who they felt best deserved to be first-time landowners.
“I have four captains, and I personally gave each one. I then asked them to pick five people in their areas to give the land leases to, and that is what they did. They picked people that they thought were needy, and would use the land lease.
It’s a ‘catch 22’ situation as well. because you must realize that they only have seven years to convert it to title, and eventually they should build on it, and that’s what we want. But, in any event, the thirty people got their land leases today.”