Sallie with CARE students
A different view of St Lucia
Sallie Grayson runs People and Places – a social enterprise that recruits skilled UK volunteers to work together with local people and build their expertise. She recently travelled to St Lucia to develop a programme for luxury travel operator ITC Classics (as part of their ITC Giving Scheme). Sallie: “Saint Lucia is sold as a sun sea and sand paradise and visitors enjoy exactly that. However the reality is that a significant portion of the population gains no benefit from the tourist dollar, contributing to marginalisation of many Saint Lucians, particularly young people. Youth unemployment is among the highest in the world, and kids that can’t make it in traditional education have a particularly tough time.”
Guests on the ITC Giving Programme in St Lucia now use wide ranging skills from maths teaching to web skills working with The Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education – a centre for youngsters with educational and social challenges – as well as volunteering at The Saint Lucia National Trust. The Trust work to help the special island protect and conserve its historic and green spaces whilst engaging St Lucia’s youth in the protection of its heritage. Working alongside local business people, social enterprises and the tourism and education ministries, Sallie got to see a different side of St Lucia and Lady Adventurer asked her to share her tips: -
- Homestay is a great way to engage with the island’s people and I encourage anyone to include even a few days in their trip if they want to get under the skin of a place. I really enjoyed meeting Miss Chloe who is the caring and friendly host for volunteers who choose the homestay option – the view from the bedroom terrace matches anything in the 5 star resorts.
- Pointe Sable is a popular windsurfers’ haunt where the owners try hard to ensure that they share the tourism dollars with other local businesses.
- The Raspberry Chili Grapefruit Flip – at award-winning cocktail bar Delirius - is to die for!
- The community fish fry at Asne La Raye is a delicious way to meet local people.
- Tony’s Bar at Massacre is definitely the place for a beer with a view.
- I enjoyed a walk in the gardens and a relaxing drink whilst chatting to the owner of Fond Doux holiday plantation - a peaceful colonial style hotel nestled on a working coffee plantation.