Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gone to the bananas - St. Lucia (Caribbean Sea)

One of the many islands in the Caribbean Sea, Saint Lucia is known more for its bananas’ production than as a tourist destination. Though, part of the Caribbean group of islands, it does cater to a large influx of tourist, but this industry is second only to that of Banana industry.

Named after the patron saint of Blindness, Saint Lucia, the island is a separate independent nation. Though part of the British Overseas Territory, where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state and an elected Prime Minister the executive administrator, it had been a bone of contention between England and France in the past. So much so, that both countries fought 14 wars on its possession.

Like almost every other island in the region, this volcanic outcrop of an island was too, settled by Arawak Indians from nearby South America. European settlers began arriving here in 1500s after it was ‘discovered’.

The island’s main population is mostly of African descent with comprising of over 90% of the total population. Among minorities, there are a handful of Lebanese and Syrians too that are counted as full-time residents.

Saint Lucia is the only country in the region that has the distinction of producing two Nobel laureates –the highest per capita in the whole world. These notables are: Sir Arthur Lewis, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979; and Derek Walcott who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

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