Saint Lucia is a small island nation situated in the Caribbean Sea amidst the other Lesser Antilles. Saint Lucia covers a total land area of approximately two hundred thirty eight square miles, and includes a total of about one hundred and seventy four thousand residents. Saint Lucia is close to the islands of Barbados and Saint Vincent, and is relatively close to the Caribbean’s boundary with the Atlantic. Saint Lucia, which takes its name from Saint Lucy of Syracuse, has the national motto of “The Land, The People, The Light.” When Europeans first arrived in Saint Lucia during the Age of Exploration, the island was already inhabited by Carib Indians, who dominated much of the Caribbean Sea’s land before the Spanish, Portuguese, French, British, and Spanish arrived. The first permanent settlement on Saint Lucia was established in the middle of the seventeenth century, although the island was explored about one hundred and fifty years prior. The French were the first to use the island for the cultivation of sugar cane, and maintained control over Saint Lucia until the British took permanent control after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Saint Lucia is subdivided into eleven different parishes, including Castries Quarter, which includes the capital and largest city, Castries. Aside from Castries, which includes about sixty thousand residents, other significant cities include Vieux Fort, Soufriere, and Gros Islet. Since Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, it is relatively mountainous, with a highest point (Mount Gimie) measuring in at more than three thousand one hundred feet. Saint Lucia enjoys great weather throughout the entire year, with a median temperature comfortably within the median range for the Caribbean at large. Saint Lucia’s economy depends heavily on finance, tourism, and oil storage, although there are also manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Saint Lucia has produced two Nobel Prize laureates – Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott – who won the Nobel Prizes in Economics and Literature. Saint Lucia has a unique culture, stemming from African, Indian, English, French, and American influences. Some examples of Saint Lucian culture include the festivals of La Rose and La Marguerite, and the local dance style called the Quadrille.
Saint Lucia hosts a number of colleges and medical universities, including the International American University – College of Medicine, the University of the West Indies Open Campus, Destiny University School of Medicine, and Spartan Health Sciences University. Tourism’s influence on the nation of Saint Lucia is considerable, especially during the first third of the year. One of the best known tourist attractions on Saint Lucia is the drive in volcano of Sulfur Springs, which is unique among Caribbean Islands. Other notable sites of interest include the Botanical Gardens, Pigeon Island National Park, and the two mountain peaks known as the “Pitons.” Saint Lucia is home to beautiful white sand beaches, as well as a number of hotels and luxury resorts. These beaches offer a variety of water sports and recreational opportunities as well as dramatic scenery and picturesque beauty. The resorts offer all the amenities expected of a five star hotel, in addition to great views of the mountains and the ocean.