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1. Area:  616 Square Kilometers *

2. Population: 151,952 (1998)*

3. Capital:  Castries*

4. Population of Capital: 60,934 (1998)*

5. Language: English & Creole*

6. National Heroes: Sir Arthur Lewis, Mr. Derek Walcott, Mr. George F. L. Charles, Mr. Mindoo Phillip, Jn. Baptiste Bideau.*

7. Date of OAS membership: 1979*

8. Description of Saint Lucia*:  
    
Saint Lucia is one of four Windward Islands in the Caribbean Sea.  It is located between Martinique and St. Vincent, and to the northwest of Barbados.  One of the more mountainous of the Windward Islands, Saint Lucia boasts of two world-famous twin peaks called Gros Piton and Petit Piton.  It also has one of the few drive-in volcanoes in the world. 

9. Climate*:
    
The climate is mild, with almost constant northeast trade winds.  The mean temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  The rainy season is usually between June and November.

10. Government* 

11. History*:
    
The Amerindians, who were found inhabiting the island when the first Europeans landed, called the island 'IOUANALAO'. According to the Dominican missionary, Père Raymond Breton who, sometime around 1650, composed a dictionary of the Amerindian language, that name is purported to mean "There where the Iguana is found". When the caribs pretended to sell the island to the Barbadians in 1663, the name they used was 'HEWANORRA', which makes one historian, Douglas Taylor, conclude that the name was of Arawak and not of Carib origin.
It is claimed that a group of French seamen who were shipwrecked on the island on 13th December, 1502 named the island after the Virgin-Martyr of Syracuse, "Sainte Alouise". This name continued to be used by the French chroniclers, du Tertre and Labat, who were in the region during the 17th and 18th centuries, respectively, although a slight variation "Sainte Alouzie" is found in French nautical records of 1624 and 1628. The Vatican globe of 1502, however, has the name "Santa Lucia" for the island, a Spanish map of 1529 has "Saint Luzia", while the Spanish Cedula of 1511 names "Sancta Lucia" as a possession of the Spanish Crown.
*

 

* Source: Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the OAS.

 

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Updated: 12 May 2008

 


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