Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rainforest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port. Volcanic in origin, Saint Lucia is one of many small islands that comprise the Caribbean’s Windward Islands. St. Lucia is dominated by dense jungle and a central ridge of forested mountains. It is known around the world for the striking twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton on its southwestern coast. The island’s highest peak, Mount Gimie, is positioned in the south-central mountain range and rises to 958 m (3,143 ft) above sea level. The island is drained by dozens of small rivers that flow to the sea; the largest ones include the Canelles, Cul de Sac, Mabouya and Soufriere. The island is ringed by miles of sandy beaches, as well as many small bays.

Key Cities

Key cities in Saint Lucia include Castries, Bisee, Vieux Fort, Micoud, Sofriere, Dennery,Gros Islet, Praslin, Canaries, Anse La Raye,Laborie, Cap Estate.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

St. Lucia was first settled by Arawak Indians around 200 A.D., though by 800 their culture had been superseded by that of the Caribs. These early Amerindian cultures called the island “Iouanalao” and “Hewanorra,” meaning “Island of the Iguanas.” The history of the island’s European discovery is a bit hazy. The Culture of Saint Lucia blends the influences of African, French, and English heritage. The official language of the island is English but Kreole, a form of French patois, remains an influential secondary language. The people are predominantly Catholic but the religious climate is tolerant.

Brief Country History

Saint Lucia was first inhabited sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C. by Ciboneys, hunters and gatherers who made their way from South America. They inexplicably disappeared leaving little evidence of their presence on the island. Sometime after 200 A.D., the peaceful Arawak Indians arrived whom archaeological sites show to have been adept in pottery, weaving, farming and boat building. The Arawaks named the island, Iouanalao, which meant ‘land of the iguanas’.

Around 800 A.D. the more aggressive Carib Indians arrived from South America quickly seizing control from the Arawaks by killing their men and assimilating the women into their own society. Descendants of the Caribs are still found in Saint Lucia today.

Although it is possible that Christopher Columbus sighted the island on an earlier voyage, discovery is generally credited to his navigator from earlier voyages, Juan de Cosa, who returned to the Caribbean in 1499 and made note on his maps of an island he called El Falcon. While some confusion still exists about the actual first discovery, it is known for certain that the island, labeled as Santa Lucia, appears on a Vatican globe dated 1502.

The first European to settle in Saint Lucia was the infamous pirate, François Le Clerc, nicknamed Jambe de Bois, which means ‘wooden leg’, which he wore. Beginning in the late 1550s, Le Clerc used Pigeon Island in the north as a staging ground for attacking passing Spanish ships. Connected in the late 1970s to the island itself by a constructed causeway, Pigeon Island is now a National Landmark that features historic ruins and a museum with a wealth of information and artifacts from the island’s past.

Early European attempts to establish settlements all resulted in failure at the hands of the war-like Caribs. The Dutch established a fort in what is now the town of Vieux Fort in the island’s south in 1600 but didn’t last long. The British were the next to arrive with 67 colonists in 1605, having been blown off course on the way to South America. After only five weeks their numbers had dwindled to only 19 due largely to Carib hostility. Those survivors escaped in a canoe and made it to Venezuela. In 1639 the British arrived again with 400 settlers but were completely wiped out by the Caribs in just 18 months.

In 1651 a group representing the French West India Company arrived from Martinique. Their leader was a military officer named De Rousselan who was married to a Carib woman. With her assistance, he was able to make peace with the Caribs and ‘purchased’ the island from them. De Rousselan died in 1654 and the Caribs again began attacking the French settlements.

It didn’t take long before the French and the British began battling over the island. In 1664 the British sent a force of 1,000 men to Saint Lucia to oust the French but after two years only 89 were left mostly due to disease. Over the next century and a half possession of the island changed hands 14 times between the British and French.

The early value of the island to the Europeans was found in its sugar plantations for which slaves from West Africa were brought in to work the fields. The first plantation was established by two Frenchmen in 1765. Fifteen years later there were more than 50 sugar estates in operation.

Near the end of the century, the French Revolution occurred. It didn’t take long until the ideas of the revolution arrived in Saint Lucia; a guillotine was set up on the square in the town of Soufriére and was used to execute French Royalists. In 1794, the French governor declared that all slaves were free, but only a short time later the British invaded again in response to the concerns of the wealthy plantation owners and restored slavery after several years of fighting. Castries was burned in 1796 as part of that battle between the British and the slaves and French republicans.

Britain eventually triumphed, with Saint Lucia permanently ceding Saint Lucia in 1814. The British abolished the African slave trade in 1807, three years after former slaves in Haiti had gained their independence as the first black republic in the Caribbean, but it was not until 1834 that slavery was actually abolished on Saint Lucia. Even after slavery was officially abolished, all former slaves had to serve a four-year ‘apprenticeship’ which forced them to work for free for their former slave masters for at least three-quarters of the workweek, meaning final freedom did not come until 1838.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Although English is the official language of Saint Lucia, approximately 95% of the population speak Saint Lucian Creole French.

Important Types of Commerce in Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia, previously known as Iyonola, is an independent island state that is in the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the windward islands of the Lesser Antilles. The island state occupies an area of about 238 sq. miles. Saint Lucia had a population of over 165,595people by 2010. Saint Lucia is situated on the southern side of Martinique, and northwest of Barbados. Castries is the principal port and capital city of Saint Lucia. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other side. The first European settlers in Saint Lucia were the French who signed a treaty in 1660 with the locals. Thomas Warner claimed the region for the United Kingdom in 1964 and even brought 100individuals to protect the island from the French. The British controlled the area from 1663 to 1667. The French made Saint Lucia an official French crown colony in 1674. The French and the British fought fourteen times over the region. England took over the island in 1814.

Since the ownership of the island was switched several times between the French and the British, it was also referred to as the Helen of the West-Indies. The island state was a part of the West-Indies-Federation from 1958 to 1967 when the colony was finally dissolved. The island state is a member of the West-Indies-Associated States. Saint Lucia became a commonwealth nation and an independent state in 1979 under Sir John Compton. Sir Compton served as Saint Lucia’s prime minister until 1996 when Lewis Vaughan succeeded him. Currently, the economy of the island state depends on revenue from the tourism sector, the agricultural industry, particularly the sales of bananas, with some input from the small-scale manufacturing industries.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Saint Lucia

Doing business in Saint Lucia needs perfect communication with clients and partners in the French language. There is no other official language as progressive and as spoken in the French Republic as the French language. In order for foreign companies to establish there or to settle down for business, there is a requirement for translations to be carried out in French because without the translation of the documents or marketing materials you will be missing out on those that only speak French. Professional translation companies often have the ability to guarantee fairly quick returns without compromising the quality of work.

Looking for a French translation company? Look no further. American Language Services (AML-Global) offers certified translations, native interpreting services, and turn-key localization solutions for any language. Call us today @ 1-800-951-5020 for further information, visit our website or for a quick quote click


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