Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is an island country in the east Caribbean. It is part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. Saint Lucia is located north of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados, and south of Martinique. Its capital and largest city is Castries.

The Arawaks first settled on the island in around 200-400 AD. The Kalinago took over the island in 800 AD. In 1660, the French settled on the island after signing a treaty with the native Caribs. Three years later in 1663, England took over the island. The French and the English fought over the island 14 times, with the English finally taking full control in 1814. Because the island was being fought over, the island was called the “Helen of the West” after Helen of Troy. Saint Lucia gained full independence from the United Kingdom on 22 February 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization, CARICOM, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie.    

Saint Lucia’s economy once relied on its banana industry. However, due to the strong competition from low-cost Latin American producers and reduced European preferences, its banana industry became the second-largest industry on the island, accounting for less than 3% of the GDP and 20% of jobs. Tourism is now the largest industry and main source of jobs, accounting for 65% of its GDP. Small-scale manufacturing also contributes to the GDP.  

Because Saint Lucia is part of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, it uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD) issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

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