My Island Muse: Sharlisa Di Peterson


Queens and Brooklyn, New York

Who is Sharlisa aka StarLisa?
My mother’s side is from the Dutch Caribbean and the Dominican Republic and my father’s side is mixed; Caucasian, African-American and Mexican. So, I am the epitome of what C.A.B (Caribbean American Buzz) is! I have lived and frequented all the above mentioned as well as The Netherlands, where I was exposed to my Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento tongues. I always knew that whatever career path I chose, it would have to be associated with my culture. Eventually, I found my way into the Caribbean entertainment industry as a videography assistant at Tempo Network LLC for the popular show Pull Up Selector.

My boss at the time had a pilot idea for a show displaying the lime atmosphere of Caribbean culture. From there I created Caribbean American Buzz. Originally I wasn’t suppose to be the personality, however I was coaxed into it. I am secretly very camera-shy.

What makes you a proud St Maartener?
My family and their contributions to SXM (St Maarten). As well as, the way the island continues to pay homage to their accomplishments. My great-grandfather is accredited for many St. Maarten firsts, such as: the banking system, car rentals and key recreational spots to name a few. He was also appointed as the first acting judge.  Upon his untimely death, one of our three major roads in Philipsburg aka Town was named in his honour Clarence Aubrey Cannegieter. It’s very inspiring and drives me to be great and make a difference in my own right.

One thing you wish all St Maartener women knew:
The most attractive trait about a woman, especially an island woman, is to have a healthy balance between work and play. I’m a known party girl who loves good music and a good time. Although, I try to keep this as my “surface” personality, I’m also a hard worker who produces results. There is nothing more attractive than that.

Favourite St Maartener saying:
Haha! Well, calling someone a skunt (whether in a good or bad reference) is definitely one! But another one that really represents me is “I going, come back; mi ta bai bin bek” which when a SXMER says that, especially during a good lime, means you probably won’t see them for a while, classic me!

Favourite place to visit when in St Maarten and why?
Since St Maarten and St Martin is part Dutch and French, I have one for each. On the French side, I enjoying visiting a night club called Lago Heights. It’s a popular local spot that predominantly plays zouk music, with a mix of soca, salsa & bachata. On the Dutch side it’s simply called “Town”. Any and everything you need is there. Diverse cuisine and personal shopping with tons of beach space.

How has your heritage as an SXMER woman impacted your success and outlook on life?
My outlook on life, because of my Dutch Caribbean and Dominican influences is to “appreciate individuality”. In America it’s all about “Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Haitians and Bajans” who are considered typical Caribbean people. I am from a country that is hardly ever acknowledged as “West Indian” so being the most prominent personality from a “small island” is definitely something I’m proud of.

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