Saint Lucia is one of the Windward Islands, named for Saint Lucy of Syracuse. It was first visited by Europeans in about the year 1500 and first colonized successfully by France who signed a treaty with the native Carib peoples in 1660. Sailing towards St. Lucia’s southernmost coast, you’d have an easy time confusing the dense, green island for one in the south Pacific. Lush tropical jungle stretches across much of this Windward Isle, which makes up part of the West Indies’ northeasterly arc between the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent.
In 1979 St. Lucia island became a country on its own under the British Commonwealth. Today, nearly 200,000 people inhabit St. Lucia island, most descendent from the country’s original 19th century African laborers. Though St. Lucia island is officially English in language, law, and custom, remnants of its French past can be seen in many elements of the culture here.