|Motto: "The Land, The People, The Light"|
|Anthem: Sons and Daughters of Saint Lucia|
and largest city
|Saint Lucian French Creole|
|Government||Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Kenny Anthony|
|-||Lower house||House of Assembly|
|-||from the United Kingdom||22 February 1979|
|-||Total||617 km2 (191st)
238.23 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|HDI (2011)|| 0.723
high · 82th
|Currency||East Caribbean dollar (
|Drives on the||left|
|Calling code||+1 758|
|ISO 3166 code||LC|
Saint Lucia i/ / (French: Sainte-Lucie) is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238.23 sq mi) and has a population of 174,000 (2010). Its capital is Castries.
One of the Windward Islands, Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, the island's first European colonizers. They signed a treaty with the native Carib people in 1660. Britain took control of the island from 1663 to 1667; in ensuing years, it was at war with France 14 times and rule of the island changed frequently (it was seven times each ruled by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because it switched so often between British and French control, Saint Lucia was also known as the "Helen of the West Indies".
Representative government came about in 1924 (with universal suffrage from 1953). From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations associated with the United Kingdom. Saint Lucia has a legal system based on English common law.
The island nation celebrates its independence every year with a public holiday. It is also a member of la Francophonie. The financial sector has weathered the global financial crisis, but the recession has hurt tourism.
The French pirate Francois El Clerc (also known as Jambe de Bois, due to his wooden leg) frequented Saint Lucia in the 1550s. It was not until years later, around 1600, that the first European camp was started by the Dutch, at what is now Vieux Fort. In 1605, an English vessel called the Olive Branch was blown off-course on its way to Guyana, and the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia. After five weeks, only 19 survived, due to disease and conflict with the Caribs, so they fled the island. The French officially claimed the island in 1635 but it was the English who started the next European settlement in 1639,
In 1643 a French expedition under the direction of Jacques du Parquet the Governor of Martinique established a permanent settlement on the island under the Governor De Rousselan who took a Carib wife and remained in post until his death in 1654. The Governor De Rousselan signed a treaty with the local Carib people in 1660. Like the English and Dutch on other islands, the French began to develop the land for the cultivation of sugar cane as a commodity crop on large plantations. After the Seven Years' War between Great Britain and the France-Spanish coalition ended in French defeat, the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763 confirmed an exchange of colonial territories by the signatories.
In 1664, Thomas Warner (son of Sir Thomas Warner, the governor of St Kitts) claimed Saint Lucia for England. He brought 1,000 men to defend it from the French, but after two years, only 89 survived, mostly due to disease. In 1666 the French administration returned and resumed control of the island.
In another British foray, in 1722 King George I granted the island and St. Vincent to the Duke of Montagu. He appointed Nathaniel Uring, a merchant sea captain and adventurer, as deputy-governor. Uring went to the islands with a group of seven ships, and established settlement at Petit Carenage. Unable to get enough support from British warships, he and the new colonists were quickly run off by the French. This was part of the period when the island was officially traded back and forth between the English and the French in various treaties as a bargaining chip in negotiations. The French settlements remained, and the island was a de facto French colony well into the eighteenth century.
When the British acquired the island, planters were trying to use the Carib as labourers. The British imported enslaved Africans as workers. Many Carib died because of lack of immunity to newly introduced Eurasian diseases, such as smallpox and measles, through contact with Europeans. Others died from overwork and maltreatment by the Europeans.
Caribbean conditions were harsh, and many African slaves died as well, requiring the continued importation of new captives. The British continued to import slaves until they abolished the trade in 1808. By that time, people of ethnic African greatly outnumbered those of ethnic European background. Some people of Carib descent also comprised a minority on the island.
On 21 February 1795, an army of St. Lucian freedom fighters, led by Victor Hugues, defeated a battalion of British troops. For the next four months, a united front of recently freed slaves and freedom fighters known as the Brigands (also ex-slaves, who instigated revolt across the region) forced out not only the British army, but every white slave-owner from the island. Just under a year later, the British Army returned, with many more troops than the freedom fighters could defeat. It re-imposed slavery until 1807. By the time the British regained control of the island, many of the freed slaves had escaped into the thick rain forests, where they evaded capture and established maroon communities.
Saint Lucia continued to be contested by France and Great Britain until the British secured it in 1814, following its war with the United States. Saint Lucia was considered part of the British Windward Islands colony.
In the mid-twentieth century, it joined the West Indies Federation (1958–1962) when the colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government. In 1979 it gained full independence under Sir John Compton. Compton, of the conservative United Workers party (UWP), served as prime minister from 1982 to 1996, after which he was succeeded by Vaughn Lewis.
Dr. Kenny D. Anthony of the Labour Party was prime minister from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, the UWP, again led by Compton, won control of parliament. In May 2007, after Compton suffered a series of small strokes, Finance and External Affairs Minister Stephenson King became acting prime minister. He succeeded as prime minister after Compton died in September 2007. In November 2011, the Honorable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony was re-elected as prime minister for a second time.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2011)|
Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth realm; Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of Saint Lucia, represented on the island by a Governor-General. Executive power, however, is in the hands of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The prime minister is normally the head of the party commanding the support of the majority of the members of the House of Assembly, which has 17 seats. The other chamber of Parliament, the Senate, has 11 appointed members.
Saint Lucia is a two-party parliamentary democracy. Five political parties participated in the 28 November 2011 General Election. Dr Davis Anthony of the St Lucia Labour Party won eleven of the seventeen seats.
Saint Lucia has 11 quarters, or parishes of the island, under the French colonial government which was continued by the British: No. 1 Anse-la-Raye Quarter 31.0 km², No. 2 Castries Quarter 79.5 km², No. 3 Choiseul Quarter 31.3 km², No. 4 and 6 Gros Islet Quarter 101.5 km², No. 5 Dennery Quarter 69.7 km², No. 7 Laborie Quarter 37.8 km², No. 9 Micoud Quarter 77.7 km², No. 10 Soufrière Quarter 50.5 km², No. 11 Vieux Fort Quarter 43.8 km², No. ??? between 1 and 10 Canaries Quarter 15.9 km², No. ??? between 1 and 5 Forest Reserve Area Quarter 78.3 km²
Saint Lucia has 17 electoral segments for the 17 seats in the House of Assembly (each with title "Parliamentary Representative"):
The quarters of Saint Lucia are:
The volcanic island of Saint Lucia is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 ft) above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island's most famous landmark. They are located between Soufrière and Choiseul on the western side of the island. Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano.
The capital city of Saint Lucia is Castries (population 60,263), where 32.4% of the population lives. Major towns include Gros Islet, Soufrière and Vieux Fort. The local climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds, with a dry season from 1 December to 31 May, and a wet season from 1 June to 30 November.
An educated workforce and improvements in roads, communications, water supply, sewerage, and port facilities have attracted foreign investment in tourism and in petroleum storage and transshipment. However, with the US, Canada, and Europe in recession, tourism declined by double digits in early 2009. The recent change in the European Union import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia.
The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, which is the island's main source of revenue. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalise the banana industry. Despite negative growth in 2011, economic fundamentals remain solid, and GDP growth should recover in the future.
Inflation has been relatively low, averaging 5.5 percent between 2006 and 2008. Saint Lucia's currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCL) issues the EC$, manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in member countries. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy, including elimination of price controls and privatisation of the state banana company.
|8||Anse la Raye||6,033|
The population of 174,000 (in 2010) is evenly divided between urban and rural areas, although the capital, Castries, contains more than one-third of the population. Saint Lucia's population is predominantly of African and mixed African-European descent, with a small Indo-Caribbean minority (3%). Members of other or unspecified ethnicity groups, account for about 2% of the population.
The official language is English. Saint Lucian Creole French (Kwéyòl), which is colloquially referred to as "Patwah" (Patois), is spoken by 95% of the population. This Antillean Creole is used in literature and music, and is gaining official acknowledgement. As it developed during the early period of French colonization, the creole is derived chiefly from French and West African languages, with some vocabulary from Carib and other sources. Saint Lucia is a member of La Francophonie.
About 70% of the population is Roman Catholic, influenced from the days of French Catholic colonization and evangelisation. Most of the rest belong to other Christian denominations, including Seventh-day Adventism (7%), Pentecostalism (6%), Anglicanism (2%), and other types of Evangelical Christianity (2%); in addition, about 2% of the population adheres to the Rastafari movement.
Public expenditure on health was at 3.3% of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 1.8%. Health expenditure was at US$302 (PPP) per capita in 2004. Infant mortality was at 12 per 100,000 births in 2005. There is one public hospital and one private hospital in St Lucia. There was a second, but it was burnt down in a fire in the early hours of 9 September 2009.
Saint Lucia boasts the highest ratio of Nobel laureates produced with respect to the total population of any sovereign country in the world. Two winners have come from Saint Lucia: Sir Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, and the poet Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. Both were born on the same day, 23 January, in 1915 and 1930, respectively.
Despite a high emigration rate, the population is growing rapidly, about 1.2% per year. Migration from Saint Lucia is primarily to Anglophone countries, with the United Kingdom having almost 10,000 Saint Lucian-born citizens, and over 30,000 of Saint Lucian heritage. The second most popular destination for Saint Lucian emigrés is the United States, where a combined (foreign and national-born Saint Lucians) almost 14,000 reside. Canada is home to a few thousand Saint Lucians. Most other countries in the world have fewer than 50 citizens of Saint Lucian origin (the exceptions being Spain and France with 124 and 117 Saint Lucian immigrants, respectively).
Saint Lucian cultural festivals include La Rose and La Marguerite, the first representing the Rosicrucian order, and the second representing Freemasonry. This can be seen on a mural painted by Dunstan St Omer, depicting the holy trinity of Osiris, Horus and Isis.
The biggest festival of the year is the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. Held in early May at multiple venues throughout the island]], it draws visitors and musicians from around the world. The grand finale is held at the Pigeon Island (Saint Lucia) which is located to the North of the Island.
Traditionally in common with other Caribbean countries, Saint Lucia held a carnival before Lent. In 1999, the government moved Carnival to mid-July to avoid competing with the much larger Trinidad and Tobago carnival and so as to attract more overseas visitors.
In May 2009, Saint Lucians commemorated the 150th Anniversary of West Indian Heritage on the island.
The Windward Islands cricket team includes players from Saint Lucia and plays in the West Indies regional tournament. Darren Sammy became the first Saint Lucian to represent the West Indies on his debut in 2007, and since 2010 has captained the side. In an international career spanning 2003 to 2008, and including 41 ODIs and one Test, Nadine George MBE became the first woman to score a Test century for the team. Sammy and George were recognised by the Saint Lucian government as Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year respectively for 2004.
Music and dance
A popular folk dance is the Kwadril.
Together with Caribbean music genres such as Calypso, Soca, Dancehall, Reggae, Compas, Zouk and Salsa, Saint Lucia has a strong indigenous folk music tradition. Each May since 1991, Saint Lucia has hosted an internationally renowned Jazz Festival.
The dancing in Saint Lucia comes from the Caribbean and is quite active.
The Education Act provides for free and compulsory education in Saint Lucia from the ages of 5 to 15. Public spending on education was at 5.8% among the 2002–2005 GDP. Saint Lucia has one university; University of the West Indies Open Campus, and a few medical schools – International American University − College of Medicine, Destiny University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the oldest of which is Spartan Health Sciences University. The leading secondary school for boys is St. Mary's College which taught both Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott and for girls St. Joseph's Convent, alma mater of Dame Pearlette Louisy, their Governor General.
St Lucia's national dish is Green banana and saltfish.
The Island's Cuisine is a unique blend of West African, European (mainly British and French) and East Indian cuisine this creates dynamic meal dishes such as Marconi pie, Stew chicken, rice and peas, hearty fish broths or fish water, hearty soups packed full with fresh locally produced vegetables. St Lucian cuisine is similar to many other commonwealth Caribbean nations such as Dominica, Jamaica Neighboring St Vincent and Trinidad. Typical essential food stuff are Potatos, Onions, celery, Thyme, coconut milk, the very hot scotch bonnet peppers, flour and cornmeal. All mainstream meat and poultry are eaten in St Lucia meat and seafood are normally stewed and browned to create a rich gravy sometimes served over ground provisions or rice. Due to St Lucia's East Indian influenced by its small Indo-Caribbean population Curry is very popular however due to the blend of between cooking styles Curry dishes have a distant Caribbean twist to it. In recent years roti a flatbread of Indian origin has become very popular being imported from the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to the south this bread is typically served as a fast food snack, the bread itself is very flat (sometimes very thin) and is wrapped around curried vegetables such as chickpeas, potato or meat.
Tourism is vital to Saint Lucia's economy. Its economic importance is expected to continue to increase as the market for bananas becomes more competitive. Tourism tends to be more substantial during the dry season (January to April). Saint Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical weather and scenery and its numerous beaches and resorts.
Other tourist attractions include a drive-in volcano, Sulphur Springs (in Soufrière), the Botanical Gardens, the Majestic twin Peaks "The Pitons", a world heritage site, the rain forests, and Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base.
St. Lucia is well known for their large number of all inclusive resorts. Many resorts on island are commonly considered as among the best in the Caribbean. Notable award-winning resorts on island include:
- The BodyHoliday LeSport
- Anse Chastanet
- Rendezvous Couples Resort
- Jade Mountain
- Coconut Bay
- Morgan Bay
- Cap Maison
Typical sight in Canaries: houses on hills, June 2006
- Outline of Saint Lucia
- Index of Saint Lucia-related articles
- List of people from St Lucia
- Saint Lucian British
- Windward Islands
- LGBT rights in Saint Lucia
- "About St. Lucia". Castries, St. Lucia: St. Lucis Tourist Board. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "The official language spoken in Saint Lucia is English although many Saint Lucians also speak a French dialect, Creole (Kwéyòl)."
- Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (U.S. Department of State) (12 August 2011). "Background Note: Saint Lucia". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "Languages: English (official); a French patois is common throughout the country."
- "Saint Lucia". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "The Saint Lucia Constitution" (1978-December-20 effective 1979-February-22), Government of St. Lucia, December 2008, www.stlucia.gov.lc (see below: References).
- "Undp.org" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-03-04.
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- They Called Us the Brigands. The Saga of St. Lucia's Freedom Fighters by Robert J Devaux
- "Members of the House of Assembly", Government of St. Lucia, 2008, stlucia.gov.lc (see below: References).
- "Kweyolphone Countries Take Stock of the Language's Growth". Government of Saint Lucia. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Welcome to the International Organisation of La Francophonie's official website". Paris: Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- "Human Development Report 2009 – Saint Lucia". hdrstats.undp.org. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- "Oecd.org". Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "St. Lucia Culture". Flights To St Lucia. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- "Charles eager to learn from Dessie Haynes". Windies cricket. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Nadine George awarded MBE". ESPN Cricinfo. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Darren Sammy and Nadine George cop top sports award". Government of Saint Lucia. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) – U.S. Department of Labor". Dol.gov. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- "Saint Lucia Colleges and University Directory. Universities and Colleges in Higher Education of (Saint Lucia ). Universities, Colleges, Departments, Schools, Institutes of Saint Lucia, version: 2009-11-16,1687412353". University-directory.eu. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- "The Saint Lucia Constitution" (1978-December-20 effective 1979-February-22), Government of St. Lucia, 2008, stlucia.gov.lc, webpage: The Saint Lucia Constitution Order 1978.
- "Members of the House of Assembly" (and Prime Minister), Government of St. Lucia, 2008, stlucia.gov.lc, webpage: stlucia.gov.lc/govfolks-members.
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- Official website of the Government of Saint Lucia
- Chief of State and Cabinet Members
- Saint Lucia entry at The World Factbook
- Saint Lucia from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Saint Lucia at the Open Directory Project
- St Lucia from the BBC News
- Wikimedia Atlas of Saint Lucia
- Saint Lucia travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Key Development Forecasts for Saint Lucia from International Futures