Serving in St. Lucia
In St. Lucia, you can directly change the arc of children’s lives and invest in the futures of generations to come. Global Volunteers’ community partnerships in St. Lucia ensure that your contributions build on a long-term plan for the educational and nutritional development of children and youth in the Anse la Raye District. You’re assigned to one of five work project groups providing service that is essential to the community, based upon your professional skills and general interests. Together with your teammates, you work hand-in-hand with local caregivers, teachers, and other leaders to cultivate the life-long potential of every community member – and the island’s legacy.
St. Lucia is a mountainous jewel in the Caribbean’s West Indies chain of islands, just over 100 miles northwest of Barbados. The country was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, the island’s first European settlers. More mountainous than most of the Caribbean islands, its iconic Pitons are featured in postcards sent the world over – and the renowned Marigot Bay is thought to be “the most picturesque of all Caribbean bays.” With a land area of just under 240 square miles (27 miles long and 14 miles wide), its total population of 180,900 lives and derives much of its income from the coastline in the tourism, agricultural export, and fishing industries.
Community Partner & Work Projects
The Catholic Archdiocese is a major influence in the Anse la Raye District – and across the nation – because some 75-80% of all St. Lucians identify themselves as Catholic. The Catholic Church supports relief efforts throughout the island and provides religious and social programs at the village level. The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church is Global Volunteer’s official host. Father Athanase Joseph, a native St. Lucian, initially invited Global Volunteers to Anse la Raye in 2012. He continues to encourage and enable our work from his new parish in Gros Islet. Father Cesar – the current pastor of Nativity Church – is a strong supporter of Global Volunteers’ services in the community.
Within the Anse la Raye District, Global Volunteers works in close partnership with and under the direction of a number of community partners:
- Kids’ Step Early Childhood Center educates about 50 boys and girls ages one to five.
- Adalyn Leonce Early Childhood Developmental Center educates
about 50 children ages three months to five years.
- Anse la Raye Infant School enrolls over 100 students ages five to eight in grades kindergarten through two.
- Anse la Raye Primary School educates students in grades three through six.
- Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (C.A.R.E.) provides training programs to youth with the purpose of providing them with employable skills and fostering positive attitudes towards themselves, others, work, and life.
All of these partners have specifically requested school counselors and assistance with classroom management.
Kids’ Step Early Childhood Center and Adalyn Leonce Early Childhood Developmental Center (originally Kiddies Homey Daycare Center), two preschools adjacent in location, serve a total of 80 children ages one to five. Volunteers work with schools closely in several areas: to improve the learning environment for the little ones, including upgrading facilities and enriching teaching materials; to develop a curriculum for each age group; to teach health, nutrition, and hygiene to both teachers and children, including cultivating a habit of hand washing with soap; and to assist teaching and preparing the children for their next level of education. Here volunteers assist with reading, group activities, working with colors and shapes, and school outings. Volunteers with preschool education and daycare experience are especially helpful at these schools.
Anse la Raye Infant School and Anse la Raye Primary School: The principal and teachers at these schools are committed to improving the capabilities and opportunities of their students. Several interventions for challenged and at-risk students in grades three to six have been established at the primary school. Volunteers have helped establish a literacy center, tutor special education students, and provide “real-life” lessons on nutrition, hygiene, and disease prevention. In addition, volunteer counselors and special ed teachers are in high demand. There is a great need for volunteers with professional teaching experience in the disciplines of math and science at these schools. Finally, the primary school has asked for help planting and maintaining their kitchen garden.
Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (C.A.R.E.) seeks to raise the standard of literacy and numeracy skills as well as raise participants’ self-esteem and self-confidence while overcoming obstacles, and prejudices that may have been acquired through life experiences. The Anse la Raye C.A.R.E. Center currently works with 75 students, only seven of whom are female, and eight instructors in the areas of literacy, numeracy, carpentry, office skills, electronics, and catering and hospitality. C.A.R.E. training comes in two phases and culminates in a six-week job placement for all trainees, who are then placed with local employers to gain work experience. Global Volunteers have been serving at C.A.R.E. since 2014 and volunteers help train students in reading, numeracy, specific trades, and life skills. Volunteers with experience in special needs education, social work, and counseling can also be engaged at C.A.R.E. Loraine Mitille is the coordinator at C.A.R.E., having worked there since its inception, and is the key leader who facilitates the volunteer experience.
Service Program Logistics
Global Volunteers St. Lucia Country Manager, Chemida Popo-Cox, leads all teams in St. Lucia. In cooperation with our community partners, Chemida will facilitate your team’s orientation, assist you in being fully engaged in your assigned work project(s), and manage all project-related logistical issues. As a community member and former teacher and acting principal of the Anse la Raye primary school, Chemida will introduce you to the community, help acclimate you to the local culture, invite you to community events, and engage you in the day-to-day life of the community.
St. Lucian food consists mainly of fresh fruit and vegetables, rice, local fish, and a variety of curry, jerk, and stewed dishes. Two area restaurants near JJ’s Paradise Resort cater to team meals. JJ’s Dockside Restaurant serves breakfast and prepares our lunches. Breakfast is “American style” with a rotating menu of fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and local jams as well as juice, coffee, and tea. Dinner at the resort is served buffet-style with local fish, chicken, pork, and salad. Julietta’s hill-top restaurant boasts one of the island’s best views of the renowned Marigot Bay. Volunteers enjoy their meals of traditionally-prepared fish or chicken and rice as well as salads and fresh fruit on an open wrap-around veranda to take advantage of the vista. Desserts, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages are readily available for an additional charge.
JJ’s Paradise Resort provides volunteers comfortable, tourist-class lodging just off the east end of spectacular Marigot Bay. Landscaped with local tropical plants, the complex is equipped with an outdoor pool, a bar, and a restaurant. Each cottage is air-conditioned with a TV, ceiling fan, bathroom, solar-powered water heaters, and daily maid service. Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and at various points around the campus. The cottages are located at all different levels with some on the main level and others several flights of stairs above.
All local program transportation is included in your service program fee. You will be met at the Hewanorra International Airport (airport code UVF) by a Global Volunteers representative and taken by van to JJ’s Paradise Resort. The ride is about 90 minutes. You will also be driven back to the airport on the last day of your service program. During the service program, you will be transported to and from the work sites in Anse la Raye and Marigot Bay by van or car. The ride ranges from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the work site.
Note: transportation for free-time activities is not included
Ample free time to enjoy the island’s natural and cultural attractions is available after dinner, early in the morning before breakfast, and on the weekend. In the morning, volunteers can swim in the pool at the cottage complex, go for a walk up the hill for a spectacular view of Marigot Bay, or take a water taxi to the neighboring bay to exchange money or shop for souvenirs. In the evenings, volunteers can relax at the resorts of Marigot Bay and do some shopping, or play on the sandy beach area.
On the weekends, a local tour agency arranges several tours including sunset cruises, snorkeling, boating, visiting botanical gardens or volcano parks, shopping, exploring the island’s national park, and other sightseeing excursions. From waterfalls to rushing rivers, ATV tours to boat rides, there are many ways to explore the beautiful sights. The Sulphur Springs are the world’s only drive-in volcanoes. You can also spend the weekend swimming or sunbathing nearby. You can take local transportation independently or as a group to Castries to visit one of the largest markets in the Caribbean and grab a bite to eat at one of the many waterfront restaurants as well. After all, you are in the heart of the Caribbean, and St. Lucia is no stranger to the word ‘fun’. If you wanted to relax, you can stay at JJ’s where lunch will be provided, relax by the pool, or sit down by the dock for a spectacular sunset view.
Service Program Contribution
Global Volunteers’ service program contribution covers all lodging in double accommodation, three meals a day, in-country team transportation, emergency medical evacuation insurance, all preparatory materials, on-site orientation, a full-time team leader, and administration costs. Single rooms are available for an additional fee. The St. Lucia service program contribution is $2,995 for one week and $3,220 for two weeks. Please ask your Volunteer Coordinator about discounts for students, companions, alumni, and children under the age of twelve with an accompanying adult, as well as referral credits. We also encourage you to use Global Volunteers’ online fundraising tool to create a personalized webpage to request partially tax-deductible donations from family and friends to help cover your service program contribution. Airfare and free time activity expenses are the responsibility of each volunteer. The service program contribution and airfare are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
“The highlight of my experience was tutoring the primary school students – they were enthusiastic and eager to improve their reading skills. It was so rewarding! And, I’m overwhelmed by how much I learned about a part of the world – people, schools, culture – I didn’t know before. It’s opened my eyes to the world, and has reminded me of the abundance in my own life. The people have touched my heart, and I’m grateful I can actually make a difference in their lives.”
~ Suzette Nguyen, St. Lucia volunteer