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Saint Lucia

St. Lucia is an English-speaking, developing Caribbean island nation.  Tourist facilities are widely available.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on St. Lucia for additional information.

Saint Lucia

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Saint Lucia
Continent: Caribbean
Capital City: Castries
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital: St. Jude Hospital (Vieux Fort).
Main Cities: Castries, Gros Islet, Soufrière, Dennery, Micoud, Vieux Fort, Cul de Sac.
Country Size: 616 sq km
Population: 170,649

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

English (official),  Créole

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 67.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Rastafarian 2.1%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%, other Christian 5.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 22 February (1979)
Economic Status:

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, with more than 700,000 arrivals in 2005.

Security:

St. Lucia has no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit, Coast Guard).

US Presence:

There is no US Embassy or Consulate on St. Lucia. The US Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for consular issues on St. Lucia, including American citizen services. US citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their US passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and US citizenship is readily available.

The US Embassy is located in Barbados in the Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael, tel 1-246-436-4950, web http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov/. Telephone of the Consular Section is 1-246-431-0225. The Consular Section fax is 1-246-431-0179. The Embassy web address is http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. Hours of operation are 8:30a to 4:00p Mon-Fri, except Barbados and US holidays.

Document Requirements:

All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States.  This requirement will be extended to sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service, on June 1, 2009.  Until then, U.S. citizens traveling by sea may present government-issued photo identification and a document showing their U.S. citizenship (for example, a birth certificate or certificate of nationalization).  Starting June 1, 2009, all travelers must present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States.  While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.

Contact the Embassy of St. Lucia at tel.: (202) 364-6792/95, fax: (202) 364-6723, or visit the Government of St. Lucia web site for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 2, Airports w/paved runways: 2

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Since the beginning of 2006, there have been five reported incidents in which US citizen visitors to St. Lucia staying in boutique hotels in rural areas have been robbed at gunpoint in their rooms; some of the victims were assaulted and one was raped. While authorities have detained suspects in some of the cases, no one has been prosecuted. Efforts by the Saint Lucian authorities to tighten security on the island are ongoing. Visitors should inquire about their hotel’s security arrangements before making reservations. In early April 2006, in an apparent shootout between rival gangs, several shots were fired at or near the boat-launching ramp at Rodney Bay’s popular Reduit Beach. Violence between rival gangs has been increasing, but this was the first such incident near a tourist area. Valuables left unattended on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Tourists present a target of opportunity, and they are advised to stay on the main streets, which are patrolled. Visitors should use caution, especially at night and while walking on the beach alone.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 74.08 years  (male 70.53/female 77.88)
 

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Boosters: MMR, DPT if needed
 

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue epidemics have occurred on many of the Caribbean islands. Most islands are infested with Aedes aegypti, so these places are at risk for introduction of dengue. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent this disease.

In 2006, malaria (falciparum) was confirmed in travelers to Great Exuma, Bahamas, and Kingston, Jamaica, areas where malaria transmission typically does not occur. An outbreak of eosinophilic meningitis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis occurred in travelers to Jamaica.

Cutaneous larval migrans is a risk for travelers with exposures on beaches and leptospirosis is common in many areas and poses a risk to travelers engaged in recreational freshwater activities. Such activities may include whitewater rafting, kayaking, adventure racing, or hiking. Endemic leptospirosis is reported in Jamaica. Travelers to regions in Jamaica can reduce their risk to leptospirosis by avoiding activities which expose them to contaminated fresh surface water. Outbreaks of ciguatera poisoning, which results from eating toxin-containing reef fish, have occurred on many islands.

Endemic foci of histoplasmosis are found on many Caribbean islands, and outbreaks have occurred in travelers.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care is limited. There are two public hospitals and one private hospital in St. Lucia, none of which provide the same level of care found in an American hospital. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 7
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Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

See “Infectious Disease Concerns” section.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  1-758 
Internet Code:  .lc

 



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