Located in the Caribbean Sea, Anguilla is a small, flat island with a pristine white sand coastline. It is a British Overseas Territory. Located north of Saint Martin and 60 miles (100 km) northwest of Saint Kitts, Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles.
The Anguillian people have a rich and diverse culture. They take pride in their cuisine, music and dance and know how to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like beach picnics and sailboat racing. In addition, they are renowned for their hospitality.
In an era when globalization and modernization threaten traditional values, Anguillians are working hard to maintain their heritage and identity, even as they welcome new ideas and opportunities.
They have done so in part by preserving their oral traditions, which form the basis of their worldview and sense of identity. These traditions are also embodied in the island’s physical architecture, which has become the repository of Anguillian culture.
A variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed on the island, from hiking to snorkeling and scuba diving. There are limestone caves to explore, wildlife like sea turtles and native birds to observe, and sandy beaches to tan. There are also a number of cultural attractions to visit, such as the historic Walling Museum and the Anguilla Heritage Foundation’s Plantation House.
The island’s economy is based largely on luxury tourism, offshore banking, and lobster fishing. Agriculture is not a significant factor, but Anguilla has a small shipbuilding industry. The import of consumer goods is a major source of foreign exchange. Remittances from emigrants are important to the island’s economy.
Education is free and compulsory from ages five to seventeen. Secondary education is available through government-run schools. Students may pursue higher education at the University of the West Indies and other universities outside the country. More than nine-tenths of the population is literate. Health conditions are generally good. There is a hospital on the island and several district clinics. The most serious problems are drug abuse and crime.
Anguilla has a unicameral House of Assembly with 11 seats. The governor is appointed by the British Crown, and executive power resides in the Council of Ministers, which has a chief minister and other ministers. The highest judicial body is the High Court.