St Lucia

St Lucia is a Caribbean island known for its laid-back way of life, its idyllic climate, and the many global expats who call it home. With a rich history of colonialism and a complex cultural fusion of French, British, and Creole traditions, there’s something for everyone in Saint Lucia.

Government & Economy

The basic economy in Saint Lucia is dominated by the agricultural sector. Sugar cane, bananas, and other tropical crops have been a major source of export revenue. The introduction of a national forestry program in the 1960s and 1970s helped to boost economic growth. The resulting decline in the cane industry led to the emergence of the cocoa sector, which has become a major contributor to economic growth.

Music & Dance

A unique feature of Saint Lucian culture is its rich, traditional musical traditions. The Creole music and dance forms have been revitalized in recent years, and there is now a large number of local groups that perform popular songs in various styles.

Traditions like Jounen Kweyol, the traditional Saint Lucian Carnival, have helped to preserve the rich heritage of the country. This celebration is held each year on the second Sunday in January.

Cultural Beliefs & Practices

In a nation where religion is an important aspect of daily life, Catholicism is the faith most commonly practiced by Saint Lucians. Most churches have Saint Lucian priests and all Catholic holidays and sacraments are observed.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions

During religious and social events, food is often served lavishly. A first communion, for example, may involve a feast consisting of a sumptuous meal and expensive drinks. It is a mark of status, a rite of passage that is celebrated by all members of the community and extends to families as well.

Breadfruit is another common food that’s found on the menu and is often eaten with a variety of main dishes. This starchy, sweet fruit can reach the size of a melon and is used as a main ingredient in several recipes.

Fish is also a staple on the island, with saltfish – usually accompanied by green bananas – the most popular. Other popular fish includes salmon and kingfish, both of which are available fresh in the market. Stews are popular, too, such as pouille dudon (saltfish stew), which uses coconut as a base for the main course.

Ground Provisions

Tubular root vegetables are a common feature of the Saint Lucian diet, and a number of different varieties are grown throughout the island. They can be cooked and served in a variety of ways, as well as baked into a dish that’s both tasty and nutritious.

Alcohol and Beverages

There are a wide range of local drinks, including rum, whisky, brandy, and coconut milk. These are especially popular at festive occasions, such as Christmas and New Year.

Other beverages, depending on the season, include soursop, guava, and pineapple juices. The fruits are boiled with spices before being cooled and sweetened.

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