IT'S BEEN quite some time since the market showed that trademarks are indeed the best creations in the marketing field. On a handful of occasions, the mere mention of their names can bring up all references, concepts, environments and qualities of a particular product in an accurate, direct andconcise way.

Guarantees of origin also live up to this requirement of naming nearly everything with just a short reference to a part of it, rattling our minds with a mention of its roots, the way of doing, the subtle facts and the universe that single out mankind's spiritual and material creations.

Getting a tight grip of those values and making the Caribbean a trademark or a guarantee of origin could be an interesting choice for this region's countries as they attend international travel and tourism fairs with their own stocks of destinations, all this in an effort to get a toehold on a space in which the singular and the genuine are increasingly accruing their values with each passing day in more global and standardized facilities.

The Caribbean scenario, spruced up with its breathtaking natural values and magnificent beaches, are now more than ever before bound to break free from the sun-and-sand straitjacket that outbound markets -or maybe the region itself- have given it. Reinventing itself and standing up for the natural diversity that's been created, seeing things through the tangible and the nonmaterial -in quite a number of places it reaches the status of World Heritage- ought to be part of this strategy.

Its pre-Hispanic ethnical origin, its multitude of genuine cultures, the huge monuments that have been standing tall long before the colonial rule, the assortment of craftworks, the cities that safeguard the Spanish heritage, the value of its scenery and the indigenous communities with living lifestyles and buildings -now we call them ecological villages- the chants, the dancing, the food and the religious traditions must be part of that quest for a one-and-only, diverse, singular and plural trademark or guarantee of origin that the Caribbean has to offer.

Jose Carlos de Santiago