There is a space between the Piton Mountains that, depending on where you’re sitting, reveals a rainforest that spills into a seemingly endless ocean. Somewhere in this vastness of pristine water, wildlife and a few persistent birds, I discovered peace. Because St. Lucia’s beauty speaks for itself, you will not find overwhelming tourist slogans, cheesy souvenir shops and street vendors, particularly on the southern side of the island. What you will find is a wide range of tranquility and brotherhood, an undying love for country and smiles from nearly every resident that you pass.
“I love St. Lucia,” our taxi driver says as we ride through the town of Laborie. “I’ve never been anywhere else, and I would never leave.”
This is a declaration that will be affirmed by nearly every St. Lucian I meet: They have never left the island and have no desire to do so.
During our drive from the airport, we pass cocoa plants that produce the chocolate that has become a well-known culinary treat and export on the island. Kwéyòl, the local dialect, can be heard in the distance. The lingering effects of French and British colonization are apparent, but so is the spirit of the people who have strived to create their own identity. We pass through Choiseul, considered the heart of the arts-and-crafts industry on the island. Each town has its own unique feel, its own history and pride. A St. Lucian woman will later share with me that in Choiseul, neighbors will sing door-to-door carols during Christmas time. They will feed those without food and enjoy a drink or two. This is the kind of camaraderie that is so apparent across the island.
Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-braswell/st-lucia-an-island-of-tra_b_2244170.html