Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia

Infobox Country
native_name = Saint Lucia
common_name = Saint Lucia

national_motto = "The Land, The People, The Light"
national_anthem = "Sons and Daughters of Saint Lucia"
official_languages = English
demonym = Saint Lucian
capital = Castries
latd=14 |latm=1 |latNS=N |longd=60 |longm=59 |longEW=W
largest_city = capital
government_type = Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
leader_title1 = Queen
leader_name1 = Elizabeth II
leader_title2 = Governor-General
leader_name2 = Dame Pearlette Louisy
leader_title3 = Prime Minister
leader_name3 = Stephenson King
sovereignty_type = Independence
established_event1 = nowrap|from the United Kingdom
established_date1 = 22 February 1979
area_rank = 193rd
area_magnitude =
area_km2 = 620
area_sq_mi = 239
percent_water = 1.6
population_estimate =
population_estimate_rank = 187th
population_estimate_year =
population_census = 160,765
population_census_year = 2005
population_density_km2 = 298
population_density_sq_mi = 672
population_density_rank = 41st
GDP_PPP = $866 million
GDP_PPP_rank = 197th
GDP_PPP_year = 2002
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $5,950
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 98th
HDI = increase 0.795
HDI_rank = 72nd
HDI_year = 2007
HDI_category = medium
currency = East Caribbean dollar
currency_code = XCD
time_zone =
utc_offset = -4
time_zone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
cctld = .lc
calling_code = 1 758

Saint Lucia (pronEng|ˌseɪnt ˈluːʃɪə) is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It is also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" because it switched between British and French control so often it was likened to the mythical Helen of Troy.

Saint Lucia is one of the Windward Islands, named for Saint Lucy of Syracuse. It was first visited by Europeans in about the year 1500 and first colonized successfully by France who signed a treaty with the native Carib peoples in 1660. Great Britain took control of the island from 1663 to 1667 then went to war with France over it fourteen times, and finally took complete control in 1814. Representative government came about in 1924 (with universal adult suffrage from 1953) and from 1958 to 1962 the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. Finally, on February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island nation celebrates this every year with a public holiday.



As a Commonwealth realm, Saint Lucia recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as 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 winning the elections for the House of Assembly, which has 17 seats. The other chamber of Parliament, the Senate, has 11 appointed members.

Saint Lucia is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).


Saint Lucia is divided into 11 quarters:
# Anse la Raye
# Canaries
# Castries
# Choiseul
# Dennery
# Forest
# Gros Islet
# Laborie
# Micoud
# Soufrière
# Vieux Fort


The volcanic island of Saint Lucia is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at convert|950|m|ft|-1 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, where about one third 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 January to April and a rainy season from May to December.


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 revitalize the banana industry. Despite negative growth in 2001, economic fundamentals remain solid, and GDP growth should recover in the future.


The population of Saint Lucia is of mostly African descent (82.5% of the population). There is a significant Mixed minority representing 11.9%, and with a Indo-Caribbean or East Indian groups at 2.4% and the small European origin minority (descendants of French, British, and Irish colonists). Other or unspecified ethnicity accounts for 3.1%. There are small numbers of Lebanese, Syrians and Chinese.

The official language is English, but a creole language called Kwéyòl is spoken by 80% of the population and is getting increasing usage and official recognition. [cite web|url= |title=Kweyolphone Countries Take Stock of the Language's Growth |publisher=Government of Saint Lucia |accessdate=2008-08-22] It evolved from French, Carib and elements of African languages. Saint Lucia is a member of "La Francophonie".

St. Lucia boasts the highest ratio in the world for number of Nobel laureates produced with respect to the total population of the nation. Two winners have come from St. Lucia: Sir Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, and Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. Both were born on January 23rd, but in different years.

About 70% of the population is Roman Catholic. The rest are Seventh-day Adventists (7%), Pentecostalists (6%), Anglicans (2%), Evangelicals (2%) and Rastafari (2%). [ [] ]

Migration from Saint Lucia is primarily to Anglophone countries, with the United Kingdom (see Saint Lucian British) having almost 10,000 Saint Lucian born citizens, and over 30,000 of Saint Lucian heritage. The second most popular destination for Saint Lucian expatriates is the United States, where combined (foreign and national born Saint Lucians) almost 14,000 reside. Canada is home to a few thousand Saint Lucians, whilst most other countries in the world have less than 50 citizens of Saint Lucian origin (the exceptions being Spain and France with 124 and 117 Saint Lucian expats respectively). []


[ here] ] The culture of Saint Lucia has been influenced by African, French and English heritage. One of the secondary languages is Kreole, a form of French patois.

;FestivalsSaint Lucian cultural festivals include La Rose and La Marguerite, the one representing the Rosicrucian order, the other one representing Freemasonry, which can be seen on a mural painted by Dunstan St. Omer, depicting the holy trinity of Osiris, Horus and Isis.

Traditionally, in common with other Caribbean countries, Saint Lucia held a carnival before Lent. In 1999, it was moved to mid-July in order to not to coincide with the much larger Trinidad and Tobago carnival, so as to attract more overseas visitors.

;Music and danceA popular folk dance is the Quadrille.

As well as other Caribbean music genres such as soca, zouk, kompa, and reggae, Saint Lucia has a strong indigenous folk music tradition.

Each May since 1992, Saint Lucia has hosted an internationally-renowned Jazz Festival.


Tourism is vital to St. Lucia's economy and the economic importance of such 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). St Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical weather and scenery and its large number of beaches and resorts.

Other tourist attractions include the world's only drive-in volcano, Sulfur Springs (at Soufriere), the Botanical Gardens, the rain forests and Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base.

The majority of tourists visit St. Lucia as part of a cruise. Most of their time tends to be spent in Castries, although Soufriere, Marigot Bay and Gros Islet are popular locations to visit. Tourists should venture from the beaten path of shops and beaches and explore the beautiful nature of St. Lucia. Marigot Bay is where a second home to the boxer George Foreman is situated.


See also

* Communications in Saint Lucia
* Foreign relations of Saint Lucia
* List of cities in Saint Lucia
* Military of Saint Lucia
* National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO)
* Tourism in Saint Lucia
* Transport in Saint Lucia
* The Saint Lucia Scout Association
* Saint Lucian diplomatic missions
* Sports in Saint Lucia
* States headed by Elizabeth II


External links

* [ Official website of the Government of Saint Lucia]
* [ Official Home of the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority]
* [ Official Website of Saint Lucia Met. Service]
* [ Portal of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board]
* [ St. Lucia Forums / Message Board]
* [ Saint Lucia - Simply Beautiful]
* [ St. Lucia Pictures]
* [ A Cruisers Guide to St. Lucia]
* [ Pictures & Images of St. Lucia]
* [ Teaching Resources on St Lucia]
* [ The Technical Analysis Society of St. Lucia]
* [ Map of St. Lucia]
* [ Photos, videos, and travelogue from St. Lucia] Template group
title = Geographic locale
list =
Template group
title = International membership
list =

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Look at other dictionaries:

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