Is it The Right Time to Move Back Home to the Caribbean? – Silicon Caribe

Perhaps you’ve been away for a small time, and you’re feeling reminiscent of home. Or maybe you’ve been away longer than expected and feel the tug of desire for familiar family and friends. Is it possible you left thinking you’d never return but now you’re wondering, what if you were to return? Being a person from the islands of the Caribbean has likely made you into a successful, and driven person in the new world you settled in.

Historically, the Caribbean is made from adventurous and motivated spirits. Those who leave and come back value their time away. In fact, they become more culturally aware of who they are in the context to the global economy and as a result of their smart decisions. 

Marcus Garvey was quoted: “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture are like a tree without roots.” Caribbean nations are building and stacking up achievements and establishing roots like never before. This is a particular draw to return home. Of course, the largest economic sector is still tourism which lately has been impacted by the 2020 pandemic and climate change. In 2019, the tourism industry contributed almost US$59 billion to the GDP.  However, many Caribbean nations have built incredible strength and resiliency over the past 75 years by investing in their people. The result has been truly positive economic impacts, such as investment in entrepreneurial endeavors, which have made the aforementioned negative impacts smaller than what could have been given Caribbean history.  

For example, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are seen as a key enabler across many sectors and services (e.g. water, energy, education, health) and indicators of the Caribbean’s current economic growth. ICTs also provide for employment and offer tools to reduce poverty. There is a positive economic impact resulting from the investment made in telecommunications and, more specifically, internet connectivity. There are significant opportunities for its people to benefit from regional efforts to use ICTs to facilitate and jumpstart policies and initiatives across all sectors and services. Yet, while the region has seen an overall expansion of mobile cellular use, the prevalence and use of ICTs across countries continue to be a need, particularly within the fiber and LTE services. This exposes a massive opportunity for well-paying jobs and needed leadership in this space.

Recently, we have seen a boost in the orange economy as well as the agricultural industry. These areas are ripe with opportunities to become the next tourism industry, contributing significantly to the GDP. 

Experience teaches wisdom. And, what Caribbean nations need more than ever is the wisdom of their people’s unique experiences. So consider these key differentiations while making your decision to move back. 

A Different Set of Eyes

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Being away will likely give you a different set of eyes in which to pursue the life you’re seeking back home. Because you see things differently, you can contribute to your home culture more than you could have if you never left. There is a 2011 study of Mexican immigrants who return home and reported immigrants who return home have higher access to disposable income and funds for investment, as well as faster access to better-quality housing and education. They expect more from public officials and speak up about corruption. The presence of returning migrants actually reduces the likelihood of violence and they inject their hometowns with much-needed social and human capital. 

Big Fish / Little Pond 

Prashant Loyalka, Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education published in the November 2018 issue of Comparative Education Review, strong evidence that the big-fish-little-pond effect exists.“We have a tendency to compare ourselves to others in terms of our abilities and, because of that, we tend to feel better or worse about ourselves. It is fundamental to who we are.” Many people who move to larger cities from the islands experience a bit of a “shock to the system” and might feel as though they’ve become a small fish in a big pond. Competition for access and resources is more scarce. The consideration to move back to your Caribbean roots might help you to feel as though the path for you is more clear. Become a big fish in a small pond which leads to the opportunity to become a big fish in larger ponds. Additionally, familiarity with one’s surroundings or returning to a familiar place gives immeasurable comfort and a place from which to spring from. More importantly, it is simpler to find both business and personal connections within a small pond. This can be highly valuable to those looking to innovate or create a business. 

Give Back

This is an altruistic consideration but one worth mentioning. How could you give back if you moved home? This help could be found in the smallest of details or, in the largest of actions. Perhaps it is within your community or in the island environment? Have you seen things or done things that have worked within your current community that you would give anything to see happen back home? Could you work with others to get that done? By giving back at home, you’d create a new circle of like-minded friends. By aligning your personal values to the job you seek back home, results personally in a lot of reward – but this can contribute to a growing economy as well. 

Give Back Barbados is an Educational, Technological, and Vocational Training that helps Barbadians with the 2018 National Give Back program. Could there be a need to fill by beginning your own non-profit business centered upon helping fellow brothers and sisters to get stronger and build up their lives or communities? 


Many Caribbean families are made up of large immediate relatives in addition to larger extended families. Coming back to “be there” for others can have positive impacts not only to yourself but on your extended family. To be able to see your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents whenever you wish might have been something taken for granted which now is valued more. Perhaps beginning your own family in a close-knit community is far more appealing. There is high value in raising a family in a familiar place where schooling, childcare, health care, and community are much easier to navigate. 

Exploring the possibilities of moving back is also more simple than ever with the assistance of a network and marketplace connecting international candidates to jobs around the globe.

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