www.helpitalshackstmaarten.org Show your love for Ras Bushman, his wife Raisa, and son, they might lose all they have!
Ital Shack St. Maarten will close the doors without your help!
“We are humbly asking for your help, otherwise my wife Raisa, my son and I will lose our home, our restaurant, our land, our daily income, our way of living, all we worked so hard for!” says Roland Joe, better known as Ras Bushman.
This all started when Bushman’s relatives wanted to evict him from the land where he and his grandfather lived together for several years. His relatives have never seen, visited, sacrificed nor shown any interest in the land, not once! When Ital Shack St. Maarten became popular, attracting many tourists from around the world, it captured his relatives’ attention. They want to claim the property as their own, regardless of their absence in Bushman’s years of struggles in making the Ital Shack a well-known hot spot in St. Maarten.
Ever since Ital Shack became popular, Bushman has been in legal battle with his relatives for over 13 years now. He is being forced to sell the property that he, his wife Raisa and son lived on for several decades if we don’t raise the funds. They will lose everything.
Bushman came to St. Maarten on June 3rd, 1985, all the way from Curacao to live with his grandfather. After living together for six years, his grandfather passed away (in 1991). Bushman chose to stay in St. Maarten and took it upon himself to care for the property for his relatives residing in Curacao.
In 1995, hurricane Louis came and destroyed everything in its path. Bushman contacted his relatives concerning the property, an attempt to find out what they want to do with the property. To his disappointment, none of them showed any interest. Each and every one of them has their own lives to live in Curacao and they were not interested in spending money to build back the shacks on the property.
Bushman and his wife took the time to fix the place, piece by piece during the years after Louis. They started with the Ital Shack because Rastafarians from the Caribbean passed through and wanted healthy food. Bushman and his wife cooked for them, when they knew, that they were around. All started simple and humbly under the Kenip tree, only known locally.
This changed rapidly when Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef, heard about the place and visited the Ital Shack with his camera crew in 2000.
The Ital Shack was officially established in 2003 & 2004 with the power of the Most High. Thus promoting ital food also known as vegan food. Bushman grows his own food on the very same property that his relatives are trying to evict him from.
All these years, Bushman finds himself in multiple conflicts with his relatives. “It is a long journey and I don’t know why they do it, I feel sad to see how blood-related family hating each other so much and not communicating despite all the communication people have learned. It is a pity that my family is rising against me and want to destroy us. I took care of the land for years with love, being part of the family. It is hard for me to see all we build for years destroyed by so much hatred.
My own cousins went to study for lawyer and started the court case. Every day I wonder why. They start the fight, perhaps about the money, perhaps because of jealousy. My aunt is also fighting against me, my own blood. It is hard, a lot of people go through these situations and it is not needed to fight each other for material games.
My family never came to talk to me, they just summoned me to court. They want to sell the land to strangers, forgetting that we live here as family. This is a great disappointment and the only solution now is to raise the money so we can keep the land and our lives.
We are humbly asking for your support, to keep the Ital Shack open. I hope you understand the struggle and feel compassion and are humbly asking for your help to generate the $350,000 that is needed to continue all we build so far, to keep the land and our lives on this property that was given to us from the ancestors.”
Bushman, his wife Raisa, their son, and the Freedom Fighters Foundation have great plans for St. Maarten. They will continue to serve the people, will continue to farm, to work with many schools, educate the youth about agriculture, educate people about healthy lifestyle, share the knowledge of the ancestors about the herbs and natural healing.
“In this whole journey I go through, 13 years in a battle with family, still it teaches me not to hate. They must have a reason why they do so. It teaches me the lesson, that human beings can be cruel to each other, bringing the good vibes and energy around. Blessings to them, I forgive them as this is my lesson. It made me a better person. Ital Shack is all about healthy eating, uplifting, positive meditation, farming, cultural activity, exactly what St. Maarten needs, and what we hope to bring to all who visit us. Thank you, blessings.”
Don’t let all of our hard work and suffering be lost in history and in hate. We, alone, cannot do this by ourselves anymore. Only united we shall overcome. We are humbly asking you to join us on continuing our journey, a journey of health, awareness, positivity, farming, encouraging healthy eating, and keeping the Ital Shack alive for Bushman, his wife Raisa, their son and the future of St. Maarten.
Blessings and thank you !
Team Help Ital Shack St. Maarten