10 things I wish I knew before going to Saint Lucia
Equally beautiful and mysterious, the island of Saint Lucia captivates anyone who sets foot on its coastline. Always impressive, it welcomes visitors with its soothing waves, warm beaches and welcoming Saint Lucia people. The only sovereign nation, is named in honor of a woman, the island personifies adventure and inspiration. Its visitors are always reluctant to leave and tend to return back to this paradise.
The beautiful Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is known for Saint Lucia natural riches: lush inland rainforests, volcanic mountains, sandy beaches and coastal reefs. In 2018 alone, more than 1.2 million tourists flocked to the tiny island.
Despite the country's growing image as a sunny holiday destination, there are many more nuances in the indigenous Saint Lucia people daily life.
Today we will talk about the 10 best and real facts about living conditions in Saint Lucia, which you need to know before planning your vacation.
Saint Lucia on the map
Do you know where is Saint Lucia on the map? Saint Lucia is part of the Windward Islands group, which form an arc extending from the eastern Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. Saint Lucia on the map lies to the south of Dominica and to the north of Barbados.
Main Saint Lucia cities
Saint Lucia cities: Castries (capital, pop. 67,700 in 2010, including Bexon, Babono, Ciceron, and La Clerie), Dennery (3,700), Labrie (3,500), Monchy (3,100), Vieux Fort (3,000), Grand Riviere (2,700), Ogier (2,500), Micoud (2,200), Soufriere (1,500), and Anse-la-Rey (1,400).
Capital of Saint Lucia
The city of Castries is the capital of Saint Lucia. The area of the city is 79 square kilometres, and the total population is about 70,000 people. The population density here is about 890 people per square kilometre. The city is designed according to a grid pattern. There is also a sheltered harbour, which is visited by many cruise and cargo ships. Ferry boats leave the harbour to transport passengers to nearby islands.
Saint Lucia tours
Not everyone who goes on vacation intends to search for thrills or adventures in the fresh air. Your ideal vacation can be associated with a relaxing holiday by the pool. Giant bed in a luxury suite, and just you, waves lapping outside your suite, and an all-inclusive menu seems like a good plan. However that's until you get to Saint Lucia. The fresh, clean air and majestic, awe-inspiring scenery will excite your senses. Maybe you'll stay in your room long enough to pay for your next adventure.
Your adventures in Saint Lucia will leave you with memories that will accompany you in your dreams. As we have already noted, Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman. It is appropriate, given her mysterious and intoxicating presence. Experience all the natural wonders that Saint Lucia has to offer and let it inspire you.
If you are looking for adventure, think of Saint Lucia and Saint Lucia tours to Gros Piton with a guide that will take you to the top of the mountain and down again, while offering Instagrammable views of the local plants and animals. When you think of mountain biking, you probably don't think of the Caribbean, which would be a mistake. Thanks to Saint Lucia's diverse terrain, it has become a destination for serious bikers who come to test their skills on Saint Lucia's 12 miles of private bike trails.
Located on the former Anse Mamin plantation, Bike St. Lucia has trails for literally everyone, including people who have never ridden a mountain bike before, or for professionals like Tinker Juarez, a cycling champion who trained here. It is one of the best ways to get off the beaten track in Saint Lucia and go deep into the rainforest. Take a guided tour of Soufriere Island or visit the capital of Saint Lucia, Castries to complete your visit.
Let's move on to 10 facts about living conditions in Saint Lucia:
About 65% of Saint Lucia's GDP is generated by tourism. The tourism industry's environment-dependent nature had proved problematic for Saint Lucia, especially when the global financial crisis of 2008 caused a reduction in commercial flights to Saint Lucia. However, the country has recently begun to make new efforts to develop cruise and yacht tourism by expanding berths and conducting marketing campaigns. From 2017 to 2018 alone, the total number of visitors increased by 10.2 percent.
According to the latest UNICEF data, Saint Lucia has a gross primary school enrolment rate of about 93 per cent of children. The country's secondary school enrolment rate is about 85 per cent. As a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the country became a Global Partnership partner for Education (GPO) in 2016. The GPO helps Saint Lucia strengthen its education system. The Group has already committed more than $ 1.6 million to teacher training, curriculum standardization, and performance evaluation.
3. Hurricane Risk
Saint Lucia is located in the southeastern Caribbean. It means that it is usually well-tolerated hurricanes in the seasons' harsh Saint Lucia weather, as the storms intensify as they move to the north. For example, during Hurricane Maria in 2017, Saint Lucia suffered only minor road damage. Many neighbouring islands, especially the northern ones, faced destruction. However, Saint Lucia's economy depends heavily on agricultural exports, which are often damaged in severe Saint Lucia weather conditions. For example, Tropical Storm Kirk caused more than 80 percent of the island's banana industry.
4. Banana industry
Saint Lucia's agriculture employs more than 20 per cent of the island's workforce. Bananas are the main export crop. Bananas are grown all over Saint Lucia, and the popular fruit is among the Saint Lucia top exports (but it's better when fresh fruit is eaten on the island). Try fresh bananas at Banana CounTree, a local restaurant that serves beer made from the famous fruit. If you prefer bananas, then almost all the dishes here include them - don't miss the homemade banana rum sauce for desserts.
Black Sigatoka disease is also a serious concern. This disease damages the leaves of banana trees, making them unable to grow healthy fruit. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is one of the organizations that has asked Saint Lucians and other Caribbean countries, to provide expert support. FAO conducts training on controlling this disease, including on the correct selection and use of fungicides.
Unfortunately, the murder rate in Saint Lucia is particularly high. In 2017, they peaked at almost six times the global average (6.2 per 100,000 people). The Government of Saint Lucia recently published a medium-term development plan for the county for 2019-2022. The project aims to reduce the number of serious crimes by 45 per cent. Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet said that the country would strive to achieve this goal by improving prisoners' rehabilitation, the courts' infrastructure, and resources for investigators.
Saint Lucia is among the healthiest countries in the Caribbean, with an average life expectancy of almost 75 years. At the same time, the country faces a number of serious health problems. According to a survey conducted in 2016, 92.5% of Saint Lucia residents feel "deprivation associated with health insurance". Besides, there are only 0.11 doctors per 1,000 residents of the country. The World Health Organization estimates that 2.3 health workers per 1,000 people are needed to meet primary health care needs. As a result, Saint Lucia needs to change.
7. Public debt
As of 2012, Saint Lucia has a high level of the public debt of 77 per cent. It is detrimental to a developing country. The unemployment rate remains above 20 percent, as it has been since 2013. However, the recent (not taking into account recent events ) surge in visitors to the island has encouraged the residents of Saint Lucia to benefit from tourism. Industry officials have expanded the high-speed port of Pointe Serafin to accommodate larger vessels. The Ministry of Tourism has also introduced new international marketing campaigns. The campaigns proved to be productive, as the number of visitors increased by 10.2 percent in 2018.
According to UNICEF, 25.1 per cent of individuals and 18.7 per cent of households in Saint Lucia live in poverty. It is largely due to the lack of diversity in the island's domestic labor market. It is also the result of an over-reliance on foreign markets. Economic expansion will be critical to reducing poverty on the island and improving living conditions in Saint Lucia. Country officials are benefiting from an increase in cruise and yacht tourism to create new jobs on the island.
Although some areas of Saint Lucia have relatively reliable infrastructure, this is not true nationwide. A few communities, mostly in the north, do not have access to electricity, drinking water, flush toilets, or reliable roads. In 2015, it was estimated in the CIA World Factbook that almost 10% of Saint Lucia residents use poor sanitation systems. Consequently, there is a higher risk of preventable diseases. It is an example of poor living conditions in Saint Lucia.
The wear and tear of mountains, hillsides and beaches is a dangerous problem for the people of Saint Lucia. It is the result of particularly strong hurricanes, such as Hurricane Thomas in 2010. This is also due to poor agricultural activity, as erosion is the island's main environmental problem. Mudslides can destroy arable land, pollute drinking supplies, and block rural roads. Coastal erosion can cause damage to homes and wildlife. Organizations such as UNESCO are promoting better land management practices to mitigate these negative impacts. The Saint Lucia National Trust also launched a project in November 2016 to reduce coastal erosion by stabilizing beaches. This process is still ongoing.
As you can see, the classics of the genre for a nice wrapper island Paradise escape unpleasant facts, but do not worry, the island grows and develops, and its beauty can close my eyes to many things!
These top 10 facts about living conditions in Saint Lucia show that this island is more than just a picturesque tourist destination. It is a complex country that balances between the growth of tourism and the improvement of education and the instability of agriculture and infrastructure. With the right development, Saint Lucia can ensure the prosperity of all Saint Lucia citizens.
Aytan lives in Milan, Italy for 3 years now and has always been passionate about traveling and discovering new beautiful places all over the world. As of 2020, she has been to 10 countries and numerous cities which she lost the number of but the majority of them are definitely located in beautiful Italy. She loves digital marketing, art, music, and tries to find beauty in the smallest moments of our life. Her recent interest in spiritual growth has taught her one simple truth: "The most beautiful things in life are abstract." So, surely we can add travel to the list of these most beautiful things!