Lynton Thomas

On the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbuda, this gifted guide passionately shows off the land of his birth.

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Lynton Thomas

Becky Luigart-Stayner

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When Lynton Thomas named his company Paradise Tours, it came from the heart. "There is no place on Earth like Barbuda," he says of his native island. For nearly three decades, he tried life in the United States, where he and his wife raised five children. But he returned home often, keeping vigil on Barbuda's move to independence in 1981 after centuries of British rule. Back for good in 1997, he's been ushering visitors around this 68-square-mile tropical destination ever since.

 Place of pride: "We are a coral reef island. We have the best sand―fine, silky, white, sometimes pink."

 Homecoming: "I came back and felt I should participate fully in Barbuda. I was in the [Antigua-Barbuda] senate for two and a half years."

 Patriotism: "I love to recite something the British taught us as schoolchildren: 'To all the world, I give my hand; My heart, I give my native land; ... [I] love the land that bore me.'"

 Heritage: "Because of slavery times, there are a lot of pure Africans here. But we are color-blind. In Barbuda, you're just a human being."

To book a tour, call 268/721-2796. For island info, visit barbudaful.net.

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