Local life: ACS ZEPIN, the association that brings together sport and culture

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ACS ZEPIN has been working for 23 years to promote culture, sport and art in Saint-Martin, in particular with guided cultural hikes.

Created in 1998, the association ACS ZEPIN (Cultural and Sporting Association Priority Education Zone) of the Northern Islands) offers cultural, sporting and artistic activities in Saint-Martin. "We are also taking action to promote digital technology, education for sustainable development and parenting," explains Xavier Mirre-Minori, who has taken over the presidency since Irma took over.

One of the flagship actions of this association, which has around thirty members of all ages (5 to 77 years) and backgrounds, consists of guided cultural hikes. “The objective is to discover the endemic flora and fauna as well as the cultural heritage of Saint-Martin,” says the president. Hikes which systematically end with a breakfast during which the local gastronomy is honored, and quizzes with prizes to be won to learn while having fun.

ACS ZEPIN, which works in partnership with regional archives, organizes on average one activity every two months. Thus, on November 23 and 30, its members were able to walk to the Mont des Accords and deepen their knowledge of the history of the border. On December 30, the association visited Emilio's Park and learned the story of the first son of a slave to be granted arable land. After a back-to-school drink at the end of January, the members took advantage of a group walk on the heights of Colombier to the Dutch Wall to understand the history of the inhabitants of this farming district. Hike that ended with a breakfast of yesteryear. Finally, on March 13, the fourth edition of the visit to the island's historic sites took place. A next guided hike should be organized by June.

The association operates thanks to the contributions of its members as well as the dedication of a few volunteers and the three members of the board. "We participate as much as possible in the activities offered to discover the culture and history of Saint-Martin" affirm Sabine and Henri, retirees from France, who joined ACS ZEPIN for two years and were seduced by the warm atmosphere. and careful organization of activities. Originally from Guadeloupe, Jessie, a teacher “adhered to the concept of the association to discover all aspects of the island”. "I discovered ACS ZEPIN thanks to word of mouth" explains Sylvie, who has lived in Saint-Martin for a long time and appreciates "discovering the different places of the island from another aspect", but also "the incredible attention" of organizers with regard to all members.

“The goal is for everyone to feel good and want to come back,” comments Xavier Mirre-Minori.

The remainder of the financial participation of members in activities (due to service providers) and contributions allows the association to support several projects in schools, colleges and high schools on the island. In addition to the opera at the school that it supports each year, and the visit of Fort Louis with students from SEGPA classes, ACS ZEPIN donated seventy plants to Hervé Williams elementary school. (Concordia) last October, for a school garden project involving 120 students.

ASC ZEPIN will offer a new activity: a cultural and sporting rally by the end of May. “It will be a kind of treasure hunt with sports events of yesteryear (balance, throwing coconuts…) and questions on the culture of Saint-Martin.

The teams will have to travel by car to answer the riddles and then arrive at a final site (beach) where they will share a good meal ”promises the president of the association (Soualigapost.com).

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