Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Map Page 1137 Area 152 square mi (389 square km) Population 116,812 Capital Kingstown Highest Point Soufriere 4,072 ft (1,234 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $2,900 (2002) Primary Natural Resources hydropower, cropland.
THE COUNTRY OF Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located in the Windward Islands section of the Antilles chain, between SAINT LUCIA and GRENADA in the CARIBBEAN SEA.
Unlike its neighbors, the nation consists of more than just one main island; it has over 30 smaller islands and cays, known as the Grenadines (the southernmost of these are part of Grenada).
Saint Vincent has one of the most potentially dangerous active volcanoes in the Caribbean, Soufriere, on the northern end of the island, which last erupted in 1979.
The main island was named by Christopher Columbus on Saint Vincent's feast day, January 22, 1498, while the smaller islands were named (like Grenada) for the kingdom of Granada in southern Spain, finally taken from the Moors by Columbus's patrons Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.
It consists of a chain of volcanic mountains running from north to south, surrounded by lowlands and valleys filled with fertile soil.
The largest of the Grenadines are Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, and Union Island and are known mostly to yachtsmen and upmarket tourists from Europe.
Mustique, for example, is privately owned and is home to luxury villas of royalty (the late Princess Margaret) and rock stars (Mick Jagger).
Like most of the islands in the Caribbean, colonial possession of Saint Vincent was disputed between Britain and France.
It was held by Britain since 1783, but resistance to European settlement by native Caribs was stronger than on other islands.
They were finally subdued by the British in 1797 and deported to the eastern coast of HONDURAS.
Some later returned and were assigned to a reservation, where most native Caribs still live.
Large-scale sugar plantations were introduced in the 19th century but fell into decline following a serious hurricane in 1898 and the Soufriere eruption of 1902 (within two days of the more devastating Mont Pelee on Martinique), destroying numerous plantations and killing about 1,600 people.
The nation turned to cultivation of bananas as its main crop, and arrowroot, a plant used for starch and baby foods and now increasingly in demand for the production of computer paper.
Saint Vincent is the world's largest producer of this crop.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became independent from the UNITED KINGDOM in 1979 but retains the British monarch as head of state, and remains a full member of the British Commonwealth.
The capital, Kingstown, on the southern coast, is home to about a quarter of the population.
About 8 percent of the population lives on the Grenadines.
Attempts to follow the models of some of its neighbors in diversifying its economy through increased tourism and offshore financial services have met with limited success.
The country's international reputation suffers from secrecy laws for its businesses (involving accusations of drug money laundering, and political bribery) and from its status as the largest grower of marijuana in the eastern Caribbean and as a transshipment point for South American illegal narcotics (mostly in the southern Grenadines).
The country has the lowest per capita income of the Lesser Antilles.
Besides the continual threat of volcanic eruption (and accompanying earthquakes) and occasional drought, Saint Vincent frequently lies in the path of dangerous hurricanes: Allen destroyed most of the banana crop and almost all roads in 1980, while successive hurricanes in 1987, 1994, 1995, and 2002 continued to damage agricultural output.
Tourism has the greatest potential for growth, thanks to mostly unspoiled and undiscovered coasts with green valleys and lush forests.
Saint Vincent's rugged interior is also a potential source of hydroelectric power.

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Last News

- You can now apply for Australian Visa through the Internet
"Country entry permit application has become facilitated and the procedure itself takes less time.
Starting from October 1 this year this new system allows to apply for visa online 24/7, including holidays.
Electronic system makes possible not to visit the consulate to apply for the entry permit and you no longer need to mail papers. Moreover, the authorized individuals for applying from the applicant are free to use this system to apply for a visa instead of the applicant.
You are able to verify your application status through the Internet and when you get the entry permit to Australia all the documents will be sent either to your e-mail address or by a registered letter on the mailing address specified in the application form. You will need to take the received document with you and be able to show it if needed. However, it is noted that the airline company will be aware whether you have got the Australian visa or not (airport staff have an access to the electronic data system, which will also include information about received entry permits) and therefore you may not show your visa at passport control and during the boarding. "

- The company calls off flight because of the spider aboard
"The lost tarantula has destroyed the plans of hundreds passengers.
The Delta Airlines plane had to operate the scheduled flight on the Baltimore – Atlanta route. The departure time was scheduled 7 p.m. However, at the very last moment a spider has been discovered in the cargo hold. The crew notified the captain of the aircraft, who then made a decision to cancel the flight. After that, all the passengers were asked to go back to the Baltimore Airport terminal.
While the passengers were leaving the aircraft the reason why the tarantula appeared aboard has been revealed. The spider escaped from a tourist’s baggage, who was supposed to take the same plane. Nevertheless, the passengers managed to get to Atlanta; 3 hours after the accident happened, they departed on another aircraft. "