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Tuesday 25th June
St Lucia Information - Page 1
St Lucia is a Caribbean island, north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. Martinique is north of St. Lucia.

Castries is the capital and a major port. Other ports are Vieux-Fort, Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay and Soufriere.

St Lucia is a volcanic and mountainous island with fertile valleys and a number of small rivers.

The climate of St Lucia is tropical.

St Lucia is famous for the Pitons, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, twin volcanic peaks which rise from the sea; the volcanic peaks are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Pitons Management Area was designated a World Heritage site in 2004. The site, near Soufriere, includes the volcanic complex with hot springs and sulphurous vents. The surrounding vegetation is tropical and subtropical forest. The marine area of the site includes coral reefs and a variety of sea life such as hawksbill turtles, whales and whale sharks.

The St Lucia National Trust is responsible for St Lucia's conservation areas. These include Fregate Islands Nature Reserve, the Maria Islands Nature Reserve and Pigeon Island National Park.

St Lucia's National Biodiversity Programme is overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and is concerned with St Lucia's social, economic and environmental factors in relation to its biological resources.

The town of Soufriere, previously part of the Devaux family estate, has a number of attractive wooden houses. None of the houses can be built higher than the tower of the Roman Catholic church, situated in a prominent position in the town.

Colonial buildings in the capital, Castries, include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1894, and the Victorian Castries Public Library. Another example of Victorian architecture is Government House, the official residence of the Governor General.

The population of St Lucia was estimated at 161,557 in 2011.

English is the official language. Kweyol is used widely. French and Spanish are also spoken.

The people of St Lucia are mostly Christians.

The cuisine of St Lucia is influenced by West Indian, Creole and French food. Popular dishes are pepper pot stew, callaloo soup and fried jackfish.

Shellfish and fish are caught daily. Salt fish is used in a number of recipes. Vegetables include cassava, dasheen (taro) and sweet potatoes. Breadfruit is also grown.

Fruits cultivated are bananas, coconuts, guavas, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, pineapples and soursop.

Fresh fruit juices are available and alcoholic drinks, such as beer (Pitons) and rum (Bounty), are brewed locally.

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