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About St. Lucia...
(pronounced Sint Loo-sha)

Area Code (758) | Population: 138,150
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar


Like much of the Caribbean, St Lucia was settled by Europeans, who set up a plantation economy. In the 18th Century, this mountainous island was at the centre of the colonial struggles between the French and the British, changing hands 14 times between the two nations. Though the British finally won out, a strong French influence still persists.

Some remains of the colonial garrisons can be seen at Pigeon Point in the north and at the top of Morne Fortune just south of the capital, Castries. There are many natural attractions - such as the spectacular twin Pitons (hills) and sprawling lush rain forest - and wildlife abounds.

The native green parrot is one of the most endangered spieces. It can be seen flying in the wilds of the island's national rain forest.

Nearby are the Diamond Falls and Mineral Baths, along with the "Drive-In Volcano". The Falls come down through sulphur springs, turning the water to a brilliant variety of yellows, greens and purples. The adjacent Mineral Baths are built among the ruins of an original 18th Century structure commissioned by Louis XIV. The "Drive-In Volcano" is the world's only such attraction, with bubbling pools which shoot forth 50-foot-high clouds of steam.

Watersports are a way of life and, one way or another, between the rough Atlantic ocean and smooth Caribbean sea conditions are excellent for windsurfing, diving and snorkeling. St. Lucia is also one of the region's main centres for yacht charters.

The two main sources of income in the island today are tourism and the growing and exporting of delicious bananas.

St. Lucia boasts of starting the region's jazz festivals - the one in St. Lucia takes place once a year, usually in May. These festivals attract many well-known jazz musicians, such as Randy Crawford, James Ingram, Lou Rawls and Gladys Knight, just to name a few. Locals and visitors alike from around the Caribbean and the world are attracted to the festivities.

Another favourite of the locals is Carnival, which is an annual festival with lots of fun, colours, music and endless parties.

Two outstanding St. Lucians have achieved some notoriety. Sir Arthur Lewis was awarded the prestigious title of Nobel Laureate for his work in Economics in 1979, and the Honourable Derek Walcott received the Nobel prize for Literature in 1992.

The two commercial centres of St. Lucia are the capital, Castries, in the north (next to the northern airport for smaller aircraft named Charles) and Vieux Fort in the south (next to the southern and larger airport of Hewanorra). The official language is English, although a Patois is widely spoken as well.

Weddings (as of 29 Sept,. 2007):
Cost: $125 to $200, depending on whether the licence is obtained the same day or four days after arrival in island. Registrar fees of $38, plus $3 in marriage certificate fees.
Documents: Change of name documents. Birth certificate or passport. Application must be made by a local solicitor to the Attorney General or a notary. All foreign-language documents must be translated into English.
(Source: The Toronto Star)


Area: 238 square miles
Population: About 138,000
Locals are "St. Lucians"
Capital: Castries
Airports: (North) - Charles - SLU
                 (South) - Hewanorra - UVF
Language: English
Voltage: 220 volts, 50 cycles
Currency: EC$ (US$1.00 = EC$2.70)





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