Saint Lucia Brief Information
According to a2zdirectory, Saint Lucia is an island of volcanic origin, located 145 km northwest of Barbados. In the north, Saint Lucia borders on the island of Martinique (along the Strait of Saint Lucia), in the south it borders on the island of Saint Vincent, which is part of the state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. From the east, the territory of the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, from the west – by the Caribbean Sea. The total length of the coastline is 158 km. This island is approximately 44 km long and 23 km wide. Its total area is 616 sq. km.
Climate: The island has a tropical trade wind, warm and fairly even climate. In winter, the average monthly temperature is about +24 C, in summer – about +26 C. The daily temperature fluctuations are small. The difference between night and day temperatures, even in winter, is no more than 6 degrees. The water temperature near the coast is around +24-26 C all year round.
Annual precipitation is about 1300 mm. Two seasons are quite clearly distinguished – dry (from January to March-April) and rainy (from May-June to September-December). Powerful, but short-term heavy rains are possible at any time of the year. Most often they occur at the end of the day. The best time to visit the country is the dry season between February and April.
Language: The official language of the country is English, but most of the population uses the colloquial “patois” – the local dialect of French.
The local version of English carries multiple borrowings from Spanish, French and African languages.
Population: The population of the country is about 168 thousand people. Its main part (about 90%) are descendants of people from the African mainland. About 2% are from the Indian subcontinent and Asia Minor (Lebanese and Syrians), another 1% are Europeans.
State structure: Since February 22, 1979, the country has been an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. The nominal head of state is the Queen of Great Britain, who is represented on the island by the Governor General. Executive power belongs to the cabinet of ministers. Its members are appointed by agreement between the Governor General and the Prime Minister. The post of prime minister is held by the leader of the majority party or coalition that won the last election. The legislature is a bicameral Parliament, which consists of the Senate and the House of Assembly. Administratively, the country is divided into 11 districts: Anse la Rey, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphine, Dennery, Gros Islet, Labor, Micoud (Miko), Pralines, Soufrière and Vieux Fort. Each of them has local self-government bodies – city and village councils and administrations.
Most of the population is Christian. The country has about 67% Catholics, Protestants – 7%, Anglicans – 3%, and there are about 12 other confessional schools. About 3% of the population professes Rastafari, but they themselves consider it not a religion, but a movement. Many locals who profess Christianity continue to use elements of pantheistic African beliefs in their practice.
Money: The country’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD or EC$), equal to 100 cents. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 dollars and coins in denominations of 1 dollar, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent. The American dollar has free circulation in the country, many prices are indicated simultaneously in two currencies. This is especially true for almost all hotels, rental offices and restaurants in tourist areas. In some of them, prices can only be indicated in US currency.
Currency exchange: The East Caribbean dollar is pegged to the US dollar and has remained unchanged since 1976 at EC$2.7 = US$1. Banks of the country usually work from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 14.00. Some bank offices are open on Fridays from 08.00 to 17.00. Many of them in the area of the port of Rodney Bay are open on Saturdays, from 8.00 to noon. Tourists can exchange currency at almost any bank in the country, the best rate is usually offered for US dollars and euros.
In most restaurants, in almost all hotels and in many shops, major world credit cards are accepted for payment. ATMs can be found in most banks in Castries and Rodney Bay. But taxi drivers, small restaurants and cafes, and market outlets generally don’t accept credit cards. Therefore, tourists should carry a small amount and cash with them.
Time: Behind Moscow by 7 hours.
January 1,2 – New Year
February 22 – Independence Day
April – May – Good Friday, Easter and Easter Monday
May 1 – Spring and Labor
Day June 13 – Holy Spirit Day
June 23 – Body and Blood of Christ
Day August 1 – Day liberation from slavery
13 December – National Day
25 December – Christmas
26 December – Day of the Gift Offering
Every year in February, a carnival is held here, and in May – a jazz festival and sailing regattas.
Communications and communication:
The international country code is +1-758. Cellular communication standard GSM 850, GSM 900/1900 and TDMA covers the entire island, with the exception of mountainous areas in the southwest, and is well developed. Cable & Wireless, Caribbean Cellular, Digicel Limited, Wireless Ventures (St. Lucia) Limited and others provide almost complete country coverage. Roaming with Russia is available to subscribers of the largest Russian operators. TDMA handsets can be rented from local operators’ offices. The communication system of Saint Lucia is quite modern and well developed. Payphones that can make international calls are ubiquitous and operate with either EC$1 or EC$0.25 coins or several types of Cable & Wireless calling cards sold at post offices, telephone company offices, pharmacies,