Photographer's Note

There were many vendors at the waterfront and the main square in Soufrière, a town and quarter on the Southwest coast of Saint Lucia. The town was the former capital of Saint Lucia during times of French rule. It is now a small sleepy fishing port with an emerging tourism industry. It boasts several attractions including a "drive-in" volcano, the Diamond Botanical Gardens with waterfall and historic mineral baths. The town is reputed to be the birth place of Napoleon's Empress Josephine de Beauharnais. Although the exact locale of her birth is disputed by historians, it is certain that the Empress spent much of her childhood in the town on her father's plantation.

St. Lucia has the fifth highest per capita income of the Caribbean nations at just over $9000 international dollars. Trinidad, Antigua and St. Kitts are the three listed countries that exceed St. Lucia’s income; however, theirs is more than double at $20,000+. Barbados is estimated to be high income, $1100+; but I would guess that it is higher than the minimum because the tourist is largely ignored in Barbados as in other countries where people are comfortable.

Saint Lucia scores above the world average in seven economic freedoms including business freedom, freedom from corruption, and monetary freedom. However, Soufrière was the only place in the Eastern Caribbean where we encountered open hostility and not just aggressive salesmanship, as we also saw in Grenada. I sought economic data as a possible explanation for the hostility. One possible explanation is the big drop in 2009 of tourist income, a major income source. Perhaps the other is that people do feel relatively free to express their opinions.


xuaxo, Atousa, ktanska, danos, paura, Angshu, s_lush, gunbud, JCG, jlbrthnn has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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