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 The Caribbean Island of St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St Vincent and the Grenadines sunsetSaint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Caribbean Sea. Its 389-square-kilometre (150 sq mi) territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines. The country has a French and British colonial history and is now part of the Commonwealth of Nations and CARICOM.

Carib Indians aggressively prevented European settlement on St. Vincent until the 18th century. Enslaved Africans - whether shipwrecked or escaped from Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada and seeking refuge in mainland St. Vincent, or Hairouna as it was originally named by the Caribs - intermarried with the Caribs and became known as Garifuna or Black Caribs. Beginning in 1719, French settlers cultivated coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and sugar on plantations worked by enslaved Africans.

In 1763, St. Vincent was ceded to Britain. Restored to French rule in 1779, St. Vincent was regained by the British under the Treaty of Paris (1783) in which Great Britain officially recognized the end of the American Revolution. Ancillary treaties were also signed with France and Spain, known as the Treaties of Versailles of 1783, part of which put St. Vincent back under British control. Conflict between the British and the Black Caribs, led by defiant Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer, continued until 1796, when General Sir Ralph Abercromby crushed a revolt fomented by the French radical Victor Hugues. More than 5,000 Black Caribs were eventually deported to Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras.

Slavery was abolished in 1834. After the apprenticeship period, which ended prematurely in 1838, labour shortages on the plantations resulted in the immigration of indentured servants. The Portuguese came from Madeira starting in the 1840s and shiploads of East Indian labourers arrived between 1861-1880. Conditions remained harsh for both former slaves and immigrant agricultural workers, as depressed world sugar prices kept the economy stagnant until the turn of the century. From 1763 until independence, St. Vincent passed through various stages of colonial status under the British. A representative assembly was authorized in 1776, Crown Colony government installed in 1877, a legislative council created in 1925, and universal adult suffrage granted in 1951.

During this period, the British made several unsuccessful attempts to affiliate St. Vincent with other Windward Islands in order to govern the region through a unified administration. The colonies themselves, desirous of freedom from British rule, made a notable attempt at unification called West Indies Federation, which collapsed in 1962. St. Vincent was granted associate statehood status on October 27, 1969, giving it complete control over its internal affairs. Following a referendum in 1979, under Milton Cato St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence on the 10th anniversary of its associate statehood status, October 27, 1979. 


St Vincent and the Grenadines map

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies between Saint Lucia and Grenada in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc of the Caribbean Sea. The islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines include the main island of Saint Vincent (344 km2/133 sq mi) and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines (45 km2/17 sq mi), a chain of small islands stretching south from Saint Vincent to Grenada.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is divided into six parishes, with five on Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines together comprising the sixth. Kingstown is located in the Parish of St. George and is the capital city and central administrative centre of the nation.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is divided into six parishes.

    * Charlotte Parish
    * Grenadines Parish
    * Saint Andrew Parish
    * Saint David Parish
    * Saint George Parish
    * Saint Patrick Parish

The Economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is Mainly Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower-middle-income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and a high unemployment rate of 22% continues. The continuing dependence on a single crop represents the biggest obstacle to the islands' development; tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in both 1994 and 1995. The tourism sector has considerable potential for development over the next decade. The recent filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on the island has also helped to increase tourism and expose the country to the wider world. Recent growth has been stimulated by strong activity in the construction sector and an improvement in tourism.
Population: 118,149 (June 2008 est). Ethnic groups: Black 66%, East Indian 6%, Mixed Race 19%, Carib Amerindian 2%, White (including Portuguese) 4%, Other 3% (CIA handbook, last updated 9 October 2008). Most Vincentians are the descendants of African people brought to the island to work on plantations. There are other ethnic groups such as Portuguese, East Indian and Syrians living on the island. There is also a growing Chinese population and a sizable minority of mixed race.
St. Vincent has a high rate of emigration. With extremely high unemployment and under-employment, population growth remains a major problem.

While the official language is English, many of the locals speak a dialect called Vincentian Creole.English is used in education, government, religion, and other formal domains, while Creole (or 'dialect' as it is referred to by locals) is used in informal situations such as in the home and among friends. 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has an abundant supply of potable water as the level of rainfall is high.


St Vincent and the Grenadines steel band

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines music includes big drum, calypso, soca, steelpan and also reggae. String band music, quadrille and bele music and traditional storytelling are also popular. The national anthem of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is "St Vincent Land So Beautiful", adopted upon independence in 1979; it was written by Phyllis Joyce McClean Punnett with music by Joel Bertram Miguel.

The most popular international singer from St. Vincent is Marlon Roudette, lead singer from the band Mattafix. The band is famous for their hit single "Big City Life" which reached the number 1 spot on the charts in Austria, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland and Switzerland.

Other singers include Kevin Lyttle ("Turn Me On") and Alston "Becket" Cyrus ("Teaser"), Bomani, Maddzart, Skarpyon, and Jamespy P. Most recently, Problem Child became the local carnival Road March winner in July 2007 with his hit song "Party Animal", which propelled him to Trinidad and Tobago's 2008 carnival Soca monarch finals. St Vincent's recording studios include Skakes Studio, JR Studios, Sky studio and Non-fiction Recordings. 

St. Vincent & The Grenadines Flag and Coat of arms


St. Vincent & The Grenadines Flag


St. Vincent & The Grenadines Coat of arms


The Flag of St. Vincent & The Grenadines

On the 27th October 1979. St Vincent became an independent state within the Commonwealth and adopted a new flag; a vertical tricolour with additional stripes; Blue / narrow White / Yellow / narrow White / Green. The 1912 coat of arms was displayed on a green breadfruit leaf on the yellow band. This flag won a flag contest in 1967.

After the opposition victory in the legislative election of 1985 the flag (associated with the last government) was changed a little (the white fimbriations were supressed).
New flag change in october 1985 

St. Vincent & The Grenadines  Coat of Arm

The Coat of arms of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is surmounted by a cotton plant and bears the text "Peace and Justice" in Latin. The centerpiece is based on the colonial badge in use from 1907 to 1979 and features two women in classical Roman dress. The one on the heraldic right stands holding a palm branch, and the one on the left holds scales of justice and kneels before a gold altar situated between them.

Money, Custom & Immigration, Work Permits, Visas 

The currency of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). Notes are issued in denominations of $100, 50, 20,10, 5 and 2. Coins are issued in denominations of $1 and 25,10, 5 and 1 cents. The exchange rate is tied to the US dollar at a rate of $2.68.

Customs Regulations
Duty-Free allowances to adult passenger if declared.
(a) Wine or spirit, 40 ozs (1 quart)
(b) Tobacco 1/2 lb or
(c) Cigars fifty (50) in number.
Maximum allowed as passenger baggage
(a) Tobacco, cigars and or cigarettes, five pounds weight in all.
(b) Spirits, four gallons in all wine, ten gallons in all. Any greater quantity of any of these articles shall be deemed to be cargo.
Meat products required - Imports permit from Ministry of Trade, meat inspection certificate from source country;inspection by the veterinary officer in St Vincent.
Meats: These items may be allowed entry into St Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) under specific approval and conditions of the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health. Meat must be accompanied by the relevant veterinary/health certificate from the country of origin or export. Upon arrival in SVG, customs officials at the point of entry will detain these goods for inspection by the relevant authority, which will determine whether they are suitable for entry. Meat cooked and processed products are allowed.
Sodas: These items are dutiable and require a license to import from the Ministry of Trade.
Wines: A person who is eighteen (18) years and older is entitled to a duty free allowance of forty (40) fl. ozs.
Spirits: Any excess quantiry is liable to duty.

All persons entering St Vincent & the Grenadines require valid passports, a return or onward ticket as well as sufficient funds to cover their stay for up to six months. A return or onward ticket is required of all visitors.

Immigration visas are required from nationals of the following countries: Dominican Republic, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The People's  Republic of China, Iraq, Iran and Nigeria.  
Work Permits
Work permits are available from the Prime Minister's office on Bay Street, Kingstown.

Camouflage clothing
It is illegal to wear or import camouflage clothing in St Vincent & the Grenadines.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines Hotel & Tourism Association
P.O. Box 834
E.T. Joshua Int'l Airport, Kingstown
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Tel:784-458-4379 Fax: 784-456-4456

Getting married in St Vincent and the Grenadines 

Getting married in St Vincent and the Grenadines

A wedding in St Vincent and the Grenadines will be the perfect start to your married life together.

The Caribbean Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a beautiful group of 32 islands. Bequia and Mustique are the known best: Mustique is a haven for the rich and famous, while Bequia is a relatively undiscovered natural gem with beautiful white sandy beaches. Experience the traditional Caribbean lifestyle with small and friendly hotels, villas and apartments. The Grenadines are famous as a yachting destination.

Marriage Requirement
You are required to be on the Island for one day after that you can apply for a license the next working day; this process will take a few hours.
The license is obtained in Kingstown, St Vincent (if you’re staying in Bequia, you’ll need to take the one-hour ferry). You can apply for and obtain your in the same day.

Document you will need:
1. Proof of ID: You’ll need to show a valid passport.
2. Divorced: You’ll need to produce your final divorce absolute papers.
3. Widowed: Bring your spouse's death certificate.
4. Age restrictions: If you are under 18 you'll need your parents to sign their consent on your license application form.
For Catholic Church weddings, you will be required to provide
1. Letters of freedom to marry from your local priest.
2.  Confirmation that you have attended Marriage classes.
3. Birth and Baptism certificates.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a variety of different religions that all have different requirement for getting married in church. Please check with your wedding coordinator for more information. There is a fee to pay for the certificate and stamps, your wedding coordinator will advice you more.

After the paper work is done, and you are free to get Married, choose at a place of your choice, on the white sandy beach, in any of the lush tropical gardens on the Island, overlooking views of the Grenadine islands, Your choice is endless persons are known to even get married aboard there yacht. 

 Things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines

St Vincent and the Grenadines Things to do

Scuba Diving
Diving in St Vincent and the Grenadines is like diving in any other Caribbean Island; beautify reef clear crisp blue water, beautiful species of fish and other underwater animal to view. Diving on the southern end of the island is especially interesting, particularly Diver's Dream and the Flying Reef. The Wreck "Maverick" is also interesting.
For snorkeling in the Grenadines, look no further than the beautiful Tobago Cays, a government-preserved wildlife area whose vibrant colors can top any Caribbean postcard you've seen.

Anglican Cathedral
Visit Kingstown's Anglican Cathedral and viewed the only stained glass window in the world that portrays an angel dressed in red. The window was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria to be put in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, but was rejected because the angel was dressed in red robes. The window went around the world and somehow ended up in St. Vincent!
This Church is very big and beautiful to be in with your friends and family. It has a seating capacity of about 300. 

Captain Yannis Boat Cruise
you are on vacation in St Vincent and the Grenadines,  you feel like spending an adventurous day, then Captain Yannis Boat Cruise is just the thing for you.
come aboard Captain Yannis’ Private Charter. You and your party will benefit from having your private and comfortable catamaran for the day. Feel like you are starring you own Gilligan’s Island escapade for the day; sailing from island to island some of them even deserted quite like the classic TV storyline. See just how much the Caribbean has to offer; discovering some of the infrequently visited islands such as Mopion, Tobago Cays, PSV (Petit St. Vincent) and Mayreau.

In St Vincent you can take a boat trip to the Falls of Baleine, at the northern tip of St Vincent. The 18m (59ft) freshwater falls stream from volcanic slopes and form a series of shallow pools at the bottom.

In St. Vincent Visit Young Island, which is only 180m (590ft) off St Vincent and rises from the sea to form a mountain blanketed with tropical foliage and blossoms. Young Island provides an excellent view of the procession of yachts sailing into the harbour of St Vincent. The island only comprises of one resort called Young Island Resort, which consists of 29 rustic cottages set on the beaches and hillsides.

In St Vincent Hike up La Soufrière volcano (1,200m/4,000ft) in the north of the island, which is popular, though strenuous. The 5km (3 mile) journey rewards you with a wonderful bird's-eye view of the crater and its islands, and all of St Vincent.

In The Grenadines go to Admiralty Bay, the island's natural harbor and a favorite anchoring spot for yachtsmen from all over the world. The attractive region around Lower Bay has good opportunities for swimming and other water sports like jetske, Water Skis, Wakeboards
Hit the water and try some sailing, scuba diving or snorkelling on Bequiam which is encircled by gold-sand beaches, many of which disappear into coves.

Hotel and small Lodging house will  vary from luxurious resort cottages to small West Indian inns. The nightlife centers mostly on the hotels and beachside barbecues, the nightlife is mostly accompanied by one of St Vincent and the Grenadines  steel band.

On the south side the next port of call is Mustique, a gem in the ocean taking up only 4.5 sq km (2 sq miles). Mustique is a privately owned island, with a landscape as gentle as its lifestyle. This island has long been a hiding place for the rich and famous, including members of the British Royal Family.



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