Saint Lucia, island state of the Caribbean. The island state is located in the southern part of the Windward Islands. The closest neighbors are the island and the French Ministry of Martinique in the north and the independent island state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the south; to the southeast lies Barbados. Saint Lucia is located between the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Caribbean Sea in the west. Tourism is the main trade route. Capital: Castries.
Saint Lucia (the name) is named after Saint Lucia.
People and society
85.3 percent of the population is black of African descent while 10.9 percent are of mixed race and 2.2 percent are of East Asian descent (CIA World Factbook, 2016). The island is densely populated; more than a third of the population lives in and around the capital Castries.
Life expectancy at birth is 80.47 years for women and 74.87 years for men (2015).
English is the official language, but the spoken language is patois, which is French Creole.
A large majority of the population is Christian. 61.5 percent are Roman Catholics, 25.5 are Protestants and 3.4 percent are other Christians.
The Castries Cathedral, or Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, is devoted to Jesus’ mother and the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
State and politics
Saint Lucia is a parliamentary-democratic and unified state monarchy. The British Queen is the head of state and is represented by a Governor General. The House consists of the Assembly House and an appointed Senate. The Assembly House (lower house) has 17 members elected in general elections from one-person circles for up to 5 years. and the Senate (upper house) has 11 members; they are elected for 5 years. The Government is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The government is based on and is responsible to the House of Assembly.
The country is divided into 10 administrative districts.
The country is devoid of regular defense forces. The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has its own division of volunteers for the country’s defense. Saint Lucia is a member of the regional security system for the independent states in the area.
Saint Lucia is a member of the UN and most of the UN’s special organizations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth, CARICOM and the Cotonou Agreement.
Arawaker from northern South America immigrated to Saint Lucia in the 20th century and was gradually displaced by aggressive Caribbean Indians who called the island of Hewanareu and later Hewanorra. They had hereditary kings and great war canoes. Columbus discovered the island on Lucia Day in 1502. The first European to settle was the pirate Francois le Clerk (Jambe de Bois) in the 1550s.
British attempts at colonization in the 17th century failed and Saint Lucia came partly under French control from 1643; a legacy of this time is the French Creole language in everyday speech among the population. 1762-1803 Saint Lucia was alternately in French and British hands. In 1796, Castries was burned during a slave revolt.
The United Kingdom occupied Saint Lucia permanently in 1803 and gained formal control over the island by the Paris Agreement in 1814; the British abolished slavery in 1834 and the slaves gained complete freedom in 1838. Saint Lucia was part of the Windward Islands in 1838-1958. In the 1920s, bananas replaced sugar as the main selling product of agriculture. The island was a province of the West Indies Federation 1958-1962, gained autonomy in 1967 and achieved full independence in 1979. Hurricane Allen decimated the agricultural sector and claimed nine lives in 1980. Seven people perished during Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
Economy and business
Among other things, it is grown bananas, which are the main export goods and where almost all production is exported, coconuts, copra, mango, citrus fruits, cocoa and spices for export. Pigs, chicken and chickens are important livestock. Agriculture accounts for 2.6 per cent of GDP (2014).
The industry is characterized by electronic components, cladding, cardboard boxes, beverages and processing of lime and coconut oil. Industry accounts for 15 per cent of GDP (2014)
Saint Lucia attracts large investments from abroad, especially in offshore banking and tourism. The service sector accounts for 82.4 per cent of GDP, of which 65 per cent (2014).
Knowledge and culture
It is free and compulsory schooling for all children aged 5-15. The country has one university, the University and the West Indies Open Campus, and some medical education institutions.
The lyricist and playwright Derek Walcott (1930-) received the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1992. Other prominent writers are the poet Jane King (1952.) and the poet and playwright Kendell Hippolyte (1952-).
St. Lucia’s most famous artist is Raphael St. Omer (1927-2915) who among other things drew the country’s flag.
The music is characterized by its own folk tradition and Caribbean genres such as calypso, soca, zouk and reggae.
Like other Caribbean countries, a carnival is held over two days in July each year.
Football and cricket are the most popular sports.