St. Lucia is a state located on the island of the same name in the Caribbean Sea, in the Lesser Antilles, a former colony of Great Britain. The population is 178,015 (2016). The head of state, the Queen of Great Britain, is represented by the Governor General. The island has changed hands several times between France and England. The indigenous population, the Caribs, was almost completely exterminated. In 1814 the island became an English colony. The majority of the population is made up of Negroes and mulattoes, descendants of slaves brought from Africa after the extermination of the Indians. English is the official language, but patois, a local dialect of French, is spoken by most people. The capital is Castries.
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Natural conditions are favorable for tourism development. The island is of volcanic origin. The low mountains located in its central part (the highest point is 950 m) are covered with forests, in which grows many orchids. Numerous rivers and streams flow down from the mountains, forming small waterfalls. The climate of the island is tropical, trade winds. The average monthly temperature is about 26 ° C. The dry season lasts from January to April, the rainy season – from May to August. In September and October is “Indian summer”, resembling the “Indian summer” in Russia.
The economy is based on servicing foreign tourists and agriculture. Bananas, cocoa, citrus fruits, and sugar cane are grown in St. Lucia. More than two-thirds of the population lives in cities. The capital of Castries (70 thousand inhabitants) is also a major port. Of the other cities stands out Sufier. Nearby there are many sulfuric springs and pools of boiling water – a manifestation of volcanic activity.
The island of St. Lucia was discovered by Christopher Columbus on December 13, 1502, the day of St. Lucia. The indigenous population, the Arawaks and Caribs, offered fierce resistance to the Europeans. The English established the first permanent settlement here in 1639, but in 1640 the settlers were massacred by the Caribs. In 1642 the island was declared a French possession, but wars with the Caribs continued until 1660. Thereafter, St. Lucia changed hands repeatedly, attracting rival powers England and France – primarily for its convenient Castries Bay. Between 1650 and 1814 the island changed hands 14 times, but most of the time it was in French hands.
From the middle of the 17th century the importation of African slaves to work on the sugar plantations began. In time the population became dominated by Africans and mulattoes. The English invaded St. Lucia again in 1803, and in 1814 it became a British colony under the Treaty of Paris. In 1834, Britain abolished slavery on the island. From 1838 to 1958, St. Lucia was part of the British colony of the Navajo Islands, and from 1958 to 1962, it was part of the West Indies Federation. – The West Indies Federation.
During the colonial period, the island was governed by the British administrator, under whom the Legislative and Executive Councils were established. In 1951, universal suffrage was introduced, and most members of the Legislative Council became elected. From 1951 to 1964, the Labor Party of Saint Lucia (LPSC) held the majority of seats, and from 1964, the United Labor Party (ULP). In 1967, the island received the status of an “Associated State with Great Britain” with the right of internal self-government. The government of the autonomous state was headed by the leader of the RUP, John Compton. His cabinet pursued a policy of fully attracting foreign investment.
In 1978, at a conference in London, Saint Lucia’s constitution was drafted and the independence of Saint Lucia adopted. It became effective on February 22, 1979. Compton remained prime minister until early parliamentary elections in July 1979, which were won by the People’s Liberal Party. Its leader, Alan Luisi, became prime minister (1979-1981).
The internal struggle within the LPSL between its right wing and left wing led to an acute political crisis. The main political and trade union organizations advocated the resignation of the Luisi government and the holding of early elections. The civil servants’ union and the teachers’ union went on strike. In 1981, Luisi ceded the post of head of government to Labor’s Winston Senak, but it proved unable to control the situation in the country. There were serious clashes, trade unions and merchants, dissatisfied with corruption and power struggles, went on a general strike. The government was also opposed by the business community. In January 1982, a new transitional government, headed by Michael Pilgrim, was formed and held early elections in May 1982. The OPR won, and J. Compton returned to power (1982-1996). His government introduced an “austerity” program and cut the salaries of civil servants. In foreign policy, Compton fully supported U.S. policy in the region. Foreign investment was actively attracted. In the second half of the 1980s annual economic growth was over 8%. The GOP also won parliamentary elections in 1987 and 1992.
Problems with banana exports to Europe and increased competition on the international market worsened the island’s economic situation. Economic growth declined to an annual rate of 2.9 percent in 1998, and industrial production declined 9 percent in 1997. Compton’s replacement as prime minister by Vaughan Lewis in 1996 did not save the ORP. In 1997, the party lost the election, and the LPSL, led by Kenneth Anthony, returned to power. His cabinet launched a privatization program and also established diplomatic relations with the PRC.
In the 2001 parliamentary elections, Labor retained power and continued its policy course. The next general election in Saint Lucia is to be held in 2006.
St. Lucia is an island of volcanic origin. It is bounded by the Caribbean Sea to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The central part of the island is made up of low mountains, dissected by valleys through which numerous rivers and streams flow. The mountains gradually descend in all directions and reach the coast in the northeast. The rest of the island is bordered by a strip of lowlands. The highest point of the island is Mount Zhimi (950 m). On the west coast, near the town of Soufrière, the extinct volcanoes Gro-Piton (750 m) and Petit-Piton (661 m) are very picturesque and densely forested cones. Near the crater of the extinct volcano Soufrière bubbles sulfate springs, evidence of recent volcanic activity. There are deposits of sulfur here.
The heavily indented coastline forms a series of convenient bays. The deepest harbors are Kastri in the northwest and Vieux For in the south. The harbor of the main port of Castries is closed from all sides: its depth at the pier at low tide – 8 meters.
The climate is tropical, trade winds. The average monthly temperatures range from 18 to 26 ° C. The average annual rainfall varies from 1500 mm on the coast to 3600 mm in the interior. The driest season is from January to April, the rainiest – from May to August. Hurricanes of devastating force sometimes pass over the island, causing serious economic damage. Natural vegetation is represented by damp tropical forests, preserved only in the upper tiers of mountains. Among the representatives of fauna, birds dominate. A lot of parrots. Under protection is the endemic parrot Senterlusia amazon, which lives in the woods on the slopes of Mount Zhimi. The waters surrounding the island abound in fish, crustaceans and mollusks. There are 6 wildlife refuges on St. Lucia, totaling about 4,000 hectares.
As of July 2016, there were an estimated 178,015 inhabitants. Age structure of the population: group under 15 years old – 31%, from 15 to 65 years old – 64%, over 65 years old – 5%. Average life expectancy is 73.08 years. The average age of the population is 24.1 years. Fertility is 20.93 per 1,000 population, mortality is 5.24 per 1,000, and emigration is 3.15 per 1,000. Population growth is estimated at 1.25% per year. Infant mortality is 14.37 per 1,000 newborns.
The ethnic composition of the population is overwhelmingly dominated by the descendants of African slaves (90%) mulatto (6%) and a minority of Indian descendants (3%) and Europeans (1%). The vast majority of the population is Catholic (90%). Anglicans (3%) and other Protestants (7%) adhere to the Anglican Church.
The official language is English. Along with it a local dialect of French is widely spoken.
Since February 22, 1979, St. Lucia is an independent state, a parliamentary democracy, a constitutional monarchy by form of government. The head of state is the British monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) represented by the governor general. According to the constitution, he can be any citizen of the Commonwealth, appointed at the will of the monarch. In practice, the post is usually filled by a local native, on the recommendation of the head of the national government. The governor general (Calliope Pierlette Luisi since 1997) directs the formation of a government and approves its composition after parliamentary approval, appoints members of the Senate, on the recommendation of the prime minister dissolves parliament and calls new elections, signs laws, and approves the appointment of senior government officials.
The legislative power in the country is vested in a bicameral parliament. It consists of the Senate (11 members, of whom 6 are appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, 3 on the recommendation of the leader of the opposition and 2 after consultation with representatives of various religious, economic and social groups) and the House of Assembly (17 members, elected for five years in single-member districts by universal suffrage of citizens aged 18 years and over). The vote of all legislators is required in the case of the adoption or lifting of states of emergency and constitutional amendments. A decision is considered adopted by a vote of 2/3 of the parliamentarians. All other decisions require a quorum of 2/3 of the total number of parliamentarians and the approval of an absolute majority. All members of the government and Parliament have the right of legislative initiative. Bills may be proposed in either house, except in respect of money matters, loans, the foreign debt, taxation, etc.: these may only be proposed in the House of Assembly.
The executive power is vested in the government, the cabinet. It is headed by the Prime Minister. After an election the leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the House of Assembly is usually appointed to this post. The Prime Minister since May 24, 1997, is Kenneth Davis Anthony, leader of the St. Lucia Labor Party.
Administratively, the country is divided into 11 parishes. There are local governments – town and village councils and offices.
The judiciary consists of lower courts, which have both criminal and civil jurisdiction. Saint Lucia is home to the Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean, comprising the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal.
The Royal Police Force also includes a Special Forces Unit and the Coast Guard.
Saint Lucia is a member of the Commonwealth, led by Great Britain. It is a member of the United Nations and its specialized organizations, the Organization of American States and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Caribbean Community, and the Caribbean Common Market.
All about Saint Lucia: interesting facts about the country
Saint Lucia is an island state near South America. The economy is developed through tourism, agriculture, and outside investment.
Cosmopolitans obtain a second citizenship to travel visa-free to 145 countries around the world, including the Schengen states, Great Britain, Andorra and Singapore.
We tell you where St. Lucia is, what to see in the country, how the local population lives, and how much it costs to vacation on one of Americans’ favorite islands.
- History of St. Lucia
- Political and economic organization of St. Lucia
- What citizenship of St. Lucia brings to investors
- Life on Saint Lucia
- Attractions and events
- Geography and nature of St. Lucia
Facts about Saint Lucia
What citizenship of St. Lucia brings to investors
St. Lucian citizenship allows you to enter 145 countries freely. Saint Lucians do not require visas to travel to Schengen countries, Great Britain and Singapore. Russians need a visa to travel to these countries.
The citizens of Saint Lucia can get a visa to the USA for 10 years under the simplified procedure. Russians are issued such a visa for a maximum of three years, and the registration may take up to three months.
We tell you which Caribbean countries and under what conditions you can obtain citizenship for investment. Why the Caribbean passport is popular with investors from developed countries
The St. Lucian Citizenship by Investment program has been in operation since 2014. It ranks fourth in the global ranking of investment programs in 2021. The cost of obtaining Caribbean citizenship is two to three times less than the investment programs of European countries.
The government of St. Lucia offers investors four investment options.
Investment options under the St. Lucian citizenship program
Basic taxes for legal entities
Education. Public schools in Saint Lucia offer free education to all students. Private schools and international colleges are available in major cities.
There are four universities in the country. The most popular is the British University of the West Indies: there is a branch in St. Lucia. The university campus is located in Castries. The branch is based on British educational standards.
At Sir Arthur Lewis University, students study mathematics, tourism, art, and nursing. Tuition prices start at $1,350 per year.
Citizens of Saint Lucia may study at British universities on favorable terms, since the country is a member of the Commonwealth.
Medicine. St. Lucian hospitals apply British standards of treatment. The country has modern clinics, which can provide the local population with virtually all types of medical services.
For complicated surgeries, for example joint endoprosthetics or transplantation of internal organs, Saint Lucians travel to the USA, Canada or Great Britain.
Many hotels host English-speaking doctors. The cost of examination starts at $15. Medical treatment for foreigners in St. Lucia is not free, so travel agencies recommend taking out international medical insurance before your trip.
Attractions and events
The iconic places of St. Lucia combine the culture of several countries: the heritage of the Arawak and Caribbean Indians, the life of the African people and the habits of European settlers.
Main attractions. The most visited place on the island are the Twin Pitons Mountains. They are located near the coast of the Caribbean Sea and surround a small picturesque bay. Exotic plants grow on the slopes of the mountains, which can be seen during sea or hiking tours.
On the slopes and at the foot of the mountains formed sulfuric fumaroles and thermal springs. Everyone can take a mud bath and swim in one of the springs.
Pigeon Island National Park in northern St. Lucia attracts seasports enthusiasts: tourists come for snorkeling, sailing, and diving. On the island are the ruins of Fort Rodney, which was built by the British to fight the French.
The town of Soufrière is the former capital of St. Lucia, founded by the French. Tourists come to the city to see colonial estates, such as the Von Doo estate. It used to belong to King Louis the Fourteenth. Now it is a resort plantation with a chocolate factory, known not only on the island but also in London. Cocoa for chocolate is grown nearby on the plantation.
Government House in Castries, the state capital, is the official residence of the Governor General. The building has been restored several times by hurricane damage. In 1894, a global reconstruction began: the house was made earthquake-proof, and the wooden walls were replaced with brick.
Pigeon Island was artificially annexed to St. Lucia in 1972 and became a national landmark in 1992. In the 17th century, the famous pirate Jumb de Bois ambushed Spanish merchant ships on the island. And today, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, which attracts jazz fans from all over the world, is held here.
There are comfortable paths to the sulfur springs and equipped with climbs on the many hills. Hiking to the springs is part of the medical programs of the local health resorts.
Soufrière is the former capital of St. Lucia. The urban infrastructure is well integrated into the tropical jungle. Many buildings in Soufrière are built in the colonial English style: houses higher than three stories are rare
The government of St. Lucia plans to equip the building with solar panels. St. Lucians cherish nature and use science to minimize harm from human activities
Events. Every year St. Lucia hosts festivals, national holidays, and celebrations of the country’s prominent people. On ordinary days, parkour and dance competitions are held in the streets, and once a week there are fried fish nights.
In winter, the people of Centralia celebrate the achievements of two Nobel laureates: Sir Arthur Lewis, who won the economics prize in 1979, and Sir Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 prize for literature.
On February 22, islanders celebrate Independence Day, which the country received in 1979.
In the spring, the island plays music as jazz lovers flock to the Caribbean’s premier jazz festival. It features local performers and international stars. Elton John, Rihanna, Herbie Hancock, and Lauryn Hill all came to the April festival. The festival features calypso, jazz and R&B music.
During the summer, the TRI Saint Lucia Triathlon is held in Saint Lucia. On the last Sunday in June, fishermen celebrate Fête Pêche, or Fishermen’s Feast. Special services are held in local churches and a series of festive feasts are held in town.
From June onwards, there are carnivals, beach parties, parades and concerts by local bands and DJs. The most popular festivals are Power and Groovy Monarch, Senior and Junior Panoramas, and Inter-Commercial House Calypso.
Mercury Fest is the main party of the summer. Thousands of people come to St. Lucia from all over the world for the two-day Pigeon Island Party. There are sea and beach competitions during the day, and international pop stars perform on the beach in the evening.
In August, St. Lucians hold flower festivals La Rose and La Marguerite. Residents admire the nature of their native island and the original culture of all peoples of the country. The island also organizes the Wellness Music Festival. Its participants promote a healthy lifestyle, and famous artists of Saint Lucia perform for guests.
Creole Day is celebrated in the fall. Since October 1981, the celebration of French heritage has evolved into a month of art, music, dance and cuisine. There is also a fishing tournament in mid-fall – IGY Rodney Bay Marina. About 130 fishermen from Great Britain, the United States, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados and Grenada come to St. Lucia to find out who is the best fisherman.
Geography and nature of St. Lucia
The island of St. Lucia was formed after an underwater volcano erupted in the Atlantic Ocean. The western territory of Saint Lucia is washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The relief of the island is mountainous: in the center stretches the mountain range – L’il Ridge. The highest mountain in the country is Zhimi, its peak reaches 950 m above sea level. At the foot of the mountains and in the hills there are hot sulfuric springs, mineral lakes and lava fields, for which foreigners come for medical tourism.
The country has a tropical trade winds climate. The air temperature ranges from +23 to +31 ° C throughout the year and rarely falls below. The air is humid. The rainy season falls between June and December, at the same time the island is hit by hurricanes and earthquakes.
Saint Lucia is divided into 11 parishes. One-third of the population lives in the capital, Castries