Ecotourism Activities - Part 1
Everything from birding to whale watching.
In addition to hiking guides, the Forestry and Lands Department also offers guides for bird watching. One favorite spot is the Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail where more than 30 species can be sighted, including five endemic species: The St. Lucia black finch, St. Lucia parrot, St. Lucia warbler, St. Lucia oriole and St. Lucia pewee. It takes approximately one hour to complete the sanctuary's 1.75-mile walk. Other recommended birding areas are the Piton Flore Reserve, the area around Grand Anse Beach, the Edmund Forest Reserve, the Bois d'Orange Swamp and Eau Piquant Pond.
Donated in 1990 through the Nature Conservancy, The St. Lucia Trust operates the 133-acre grounds and campsite at Anse La Liberte, about 45 minutes south of Castries. The campsite, which has its own secluded beach and an extensive set of hiking trails, is equipped with tents, and cooking, bathing and washing facilities.
Gardens and Nature
At Praslin Bay, the local boat builders (like the Amerindians centuries ago) still make fishing canoes out of a single large tree called the gommier. Nature lovers will want to take a ferry to nearby Praslin Island, home to a rare, colorful lizard that originated in the Maria Islands. Another good stop is Mamiku Botanical Gardens, a 12-acre tropical garden with exotic trees and plants and the ruins of an estate house burned down by ex-slaves during the revolutionary period in 1797.
Jounen Kwéyòl, International Creole Day
Jounen Kwéyòl, or International Creole Day, is held on October 28 as part of a worldwide festival by all countries that speak the Creole, or kweyol, language. Special activities include preparation of customary foods and exhibitions of traditional items and folklore.
The Folk Research Centre in Castries has been responsible for observing this day and promoting other aspects of the country's heritage.
Kweyol, which is sometimes referred to as a French patois, is the language some St. Lucians are most fluent in.
Some linguists regard kweyol as the only indigenous language of the Caribbean. It is spoken not only on St. Lucia but Martinique, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, Dominica, Haiti and marginally in Grenada and Trinidad.