St Lucia is a small Caribbean island that packs a big punch. It’s home to breathtaking mountains, stunning beaches and vibrant coral reefs. But the main attraction on the island is its enchanting, exotic culture and music.
The official language is English, but many people on the island speak a Creole variant of French. The majority of the population is of African descent, with smaller East Indian and European minorities. A large proportion of the population is Roman Catholic, reflecting early French influence.
A constitution was established in 1924, giving Saint Lucia a degree of self-government. In 1951, universal adult suffrage was introduced and elected members replaced the previously all-nominated legislative council. In 1958, the island joined the short-lived West Indies Federation with Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago as a semi-autonomous dependency of the British Crown.
In the 1960s, Saint Lucia was granted more autonomy through a series of reforms including a government of ministers and a separate judicial system. The island is now a constitutional monarchy, with the British Monarch as Head of State represented on the island by a governor-general. Legislative power is held by a bicameral parliament consisting of the House of Assembly, which has 17 elected seats and the Senate, with 11 appointed members. The prime minister, normally the leader of the winning party in the House of Assembly, heads the cabinet.
Agriculture and tourism are key sectors of the economy. Bananas, cocoa and coconuts are major exports, while the island’s mineral deposits also contribute to GDP. In addition, the island is renowned for its luxurious resorts.
One of the best ways to experience the culture of St Lucia is by tasting its traditional foods. A must-try is accra, a delicious local snack made from salt codfish that’s packed into a ball and heavily seasoned before being deep-fried. It’s a great afternoon snack that goes perfectly with your choice of beverage.
As the sun sets on St Lucia, you’ll find people flocking to Gros Islet for a night of dancing and entertainment. These street parties are a perfect mix of music, excitement and culture. Whether you’re looking for a great time with friends or want to get closer to the island’s culture, Gros Islet is the place to be.
In recent elections, the St Lucia Labor Party (SLP) won 13 of the 17 seats in the House of Assembly, while the United Workers’ Party lost nine of its eleven seats. While the SLP is the dominant party, the elections are generally seen as free and fair. The island’s newspapers and broadcasters are privately owned and carry a wide range of views.