Saint Lucia is located in the windward group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The island is 21 miles to the south of Martinique and 26 miles to the north of St. Vincent. It is situated northwest of Barbados.
Geographical Coordinates: 13 53 N, 60 58 W
Saint Lucia is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide with an area of 238 sq miles (620 sq km).
The island is of volcanic origin with high lava ridges and craters. Saint Lucia has a mountainous centre with the highest point, Mount Gimie at 959 metres (3,146 feet).
Two twin peaks, the Pitons, dominate Saint Lucia’s mountainous landscape and are located in the town of Soufriere. The pitons are steep volcanic mountains that stand side by side rising from the Caribbean Sea. Gros Piton is 770 metres (2526 feet) high and 3 kilometers in diameter at its base. Petit Piton is 743 metres (2438 feet) high and is 1 kilometer in diameter. They are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The 2,909 hectare area surrounding the Pitons was been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
The interior of Saint Lucia is mainly tropical rain forest and small rivers flow from the central highlands.
- 165 595 (2010 Census)
- Capital City
- The official language is English however Kweyol(broken French patois) is also widely spoken.
- The principal denominations are Roman Catholic, (93%), Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist.
- East Caribbean Dollar (XCD$) which is pegged at XCD$ 2.70 to USD$1.00 and XCD$ 2.50 to CAD$1.00
- Air and Sea Ports
Saint Lucia has two airports. Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort is located 40 miles south of Castries and George F. L. Charles Airport is in the capital.
Saint Lucia is 5 hours from Toronto, 4.5 hours from Montreal, 4 hours from New York, 3.5 hours from Miami, and 8 hours and 45 minutes from London.
SeaportsThe main sea port is Castries and many cruise ships anchor at Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage. There is an additional deepwater anchorage for cargo and container ships at Vieux Fort in the south near Hewanorra International Airport.
- Major Political Parties
- Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and United Workers Party (UWP).
Saint Lucia is a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. There are two chambers, the 17 member House of Assembly, whose members are elected for five-year terms, and the 11-Member Senate, whose members are nominated (six by the Prime Minister, three by the Leader of the opposition, two by the Governor General).Head of StateHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Saint Lucia's Head of State. Her Majesty is represented by the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy.Head of GovernmentThe Prime Minister of Saint Lucia is Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony
- Saint Lucia Public and Bank Holidays 2015
- January 1st - New Year's Day
January 2nd - New Year’s Holiday
February 22nd - Independence Day
April 3rd - Good Friday
April 6th - Easter Monday
May 1st - Labour Day
May 25th - Whit Monday
June 4th – Corpus Christi
August 1st - Emancipation Day
October 5th - Thanksgiving Day
December 13th - National Day
December 25th - Christmas Day
December 26th - Boxing Day
- Iconic Saint Lucians
Nobel Peace Price Winner for Economics
Sir Arthur Lewis (1915-1991) was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979. Sir Arthur was former Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and former President of the Caribbean Development Bank. He is renowned for his contributions on economic growth and development, international economic history and industrial organization. Sir Arthur was a graduate of the London School of Economics.
Sir Arthur was a professor of economics at the University of Manchester and at Princeton University. He was a specialist in the economic theory of developing countries. Sir Arthur Lewis' most notable books are The Theory of Economic Growth (1955), Development Planning (1966), and Growth and Fluctuations, 1870-1913 (1978).
Nobel Peace Prize for Literature
Honourable Derek Walcott (1930-) was the recipient for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 and was the first person from the English-speaking Caribbean to be a recipient. He studied at St. Mary's College in Castries and then attended the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Honourable Derek Walcott published his first 25 Poems when he was only eighteen years old. It was however, after his collection of poems, In a Green Night, which was published in 1962, that he became well known.
In 1972, he was awarded the Queen’s OBE for Literature and in 1973 was the first graduate of the University College of the West Indies to be awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. Honourable Derek Walcott also received the Hummingbird Gold Medal from Dr. Eric Williams. Honourable Derek Walcott also taught literature and writing at Boston University for more than two decades.
Critical recognition has led to numerous honors: among them, the Guinness Award for Poetry, 1961; the Royal Society Literature Award for The Castaway and Other Poems, 1965; the Cholmondeley Award for The Gulf and Other Poems, 1969; the Jock Campbell Award for Another Life, 1973; and the Welsh Arts Council International Writer’s Prize, 1980. Sir Derek Walcott was also a recipient of the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2011. Derek Walcott Square, formerly Columbus Square, was named in his honour.
- Saint Lucia Festivals
Saint Lucia Jazz and arts Festival
The newly renamed Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is an annual event held during the month of May. The festival is usually a two week schedule ending on Mother’s day. With a mixture of international acclaimed artists and amazing local talent thousands are attracted to the simply beautiful island.
For more information on Saint Lucia Jazz, please visit: www.stluciajazz.org.
Saint Lucia Carnival
Saint Lucia Carnival is celebrated in July and features music, costumes and culture. The celebration begins as soon as the Jazz festival ends in May and kicks into high gear in early July with many competitions. It culminates with a 2 day parade of bands through the capital.
If you require any information about Saint Lucia Carnival, please visit these websites: Cultural and Development Foundation www.cdfstlucia.org , Saint Lucia Tourist Board www.stlucianow.ca. and www.luciancarnival.com.
Saint Lucia Flower Festivals:
In Saint Lucia’s cultural traditions there exist two singing societies whose members are dedicated to the praising of two flowers, the Rose and the Marguerite. Both festivals originated during the time of slavery.
Each society holds an annual festival or grande fete, an elaborate and colourful event full of pomp and pageantry. A ‘King’ and ‘Queen presides over each festival and are accompanied by their royal entourage of princes, princesses, dukes, duchesses, soldiers, policemen, magistrates, doctors, nurses, the clerical hierarchy and supporters of the respective flowers as they parade through communities, singing and dancing.
Feast of St. Rose de Lima/Fet La Woz
The La Rose Flower Society held on the 30th of August.
Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque/Fet La Magwit
The Les Marguerite Flower Society holds this festival on the 17th of October.
This festival is also held in month of October which culminates on the last Sunday of October and celebrates Saint Lucia’s Creole heritage. This festival started in 1984 and is celebrated in every community in Saint Lucia. It is an opportunity to display Saint Lucians’ rich Creole culture in its food, music, craft displays and dress.
The Trade Export Promotion Agency has joined forces with the Saint Lucia National Trust for the staging of Laplas Nwèl (Christmas Market). This festival is held on National Day, 13th December 2012 at Pigeon Point in Gros islet. The focus is to celebrate the traditions of Christmas in Saint Lucia including food, drink, games and music.
A wide array of local foods and drinks is sold and the event ends with a grand Christmas concert. (Source: www.opsr.org.lc)