I could feel a breeze of subtle defeatĀ from the moment I stepped on the dusty ground of South Caicos. The succession of booms and busts that have plagued the economy here have left a stale taste of struggle and conflict. The streets feel barren and abandoned, lined by faded houses splattered with plywood boards across windows and doors. Spiny dogs run wild across the island and locals sit behind lonely grocery counters or parched in the sun, waiting for something. Then the rush of the ocean’s pristine beauty hits you: miles of crystal clear, turquoise waters filled with some of the best coral reefs in the world. The islands sit like small clumps of dirt, forgotten by the salt trade and raked clean from their prospering drug trade. The islander’s eyes are openly friendly and welcome to us, but I still notice them look towards the horizon. Waiting.