The word ‘Caymankind’ was launched in 2011 as part of a marketing campaign for the Cayman Islands Tourism Department, but well before the word was created, Caymankind could be found wherever you went here.
Caymanians have always been warm and welcoming people. Even as the islands have developed into a first-world financial centre and luxury vacation destination, that small-town feeling is still very present. Shopping at the supermarket or making a stop at the bank turns into a social occasion. Customers exchange greetings and chat, whereas elsewhere in the world, they often just go about their business as quickly as possible with minimal interaction.
On Cayman Brac, where traffic is minimal, it is not unusual for drivers coming from the other direction to wave, whether they know you or not. In Little Cayman, you’ll feel like family within about 24 hours. With the smallest population of the three islands, the residents of Little Cayman quickly recognise anyone new visiting their home and happily bring them into the fold.
That friendly atmosphere continues at the bars and restaurants throughout the islands, with people from all walks of life and professions sharing a happy hour or evening out. Lone Star Bar & Grill, a casual Tex-Mex eatery along West Bay Road, has been used as a prime example of a venue where lawyers, dive instructors, construction workers, and accountants regularly rub elbows at the bar.
Unless it is a particularly fancy function, Island smart casual is the usual default dress code, and sunset cruises on catamarans aren’t just for the tourists – locals love getting out on the water for an evening or Sunday adventure. It’s tradition for boats to gather at spots like Rum Point or Starfish Point when everyone gets into the water where it’s chest-deep to have a drink with friends and bask in the warm embrace of the crystal clear sea.
Community members look out for one another, supporting charity drives or school fundraisers. Several social media groups have also popped up in recent years, which help new additions to the population find their feet. Women in Cayman is one such Facebook group, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for residents and those imminently moving to the islands.
However, the best proof of how special the community is here is the percentage of people who return after moving away. Time and time again, they leave to live elsewhere, then move back because they realise they can’t find what they had here anywhere else. The quality of life, the lack of long commutes, the camaraderie, and the natural beauty of these islands make them a rarity. That unique feeling you get when you’re here is what Caymankind is all about.