Handcrafted doll from St. Lucia, and island in the Caribbean. The bottom half of the doll is a wisp broom made from palm leaves. The top half is stuffed cotton. She has a red scarf tied on her head, yarn hair, and facial features hand stitched. She is wearing earrings made from small shells, a cotton print shawl, and an apron embroidered with the words “St. Lucia.”
Location: Caribbean Island
Main language: English, Creole
Currency: East Caribbean dollar
Construction: wisp broom, cloth
Height in Centimeters: 38
Height in Inches: 15
Reading Level: 5.65
My name is Mathew, and I live on an island 27 miles long and 14 miles wide. The name of the island is St Lucia. It is located in the Caribbean. Although St. Lucia is now an independent island country, it has a long history of French, English and African culture.
The farmers in St. Lucia export many delicious fruits, such as bananas, coconuts, avocados and mangoes. Our island is also known for its scenic beauty, such as waterfalls, sandy beaches, and rivers. Many tourists visit every year. They come by planes, boats, and cruise ships.
My family lives in a town called Soufriere, which is very close to a volcano with the same name. The volcano in the Sulphur Springs Park is a major tourist attraction. It is famous for being the only “drive-in” volcano in the world. This means that you can drive a car or truck into the crater of the volcano. Even though it has not erupted for two hundred years, you can still see bubbling springs in the crater. The water in the springs is pressurized by sulfuric gasses deep within the earth’s crust. It is super-hot—about twice the temperature of boiling water.
My parents own a guest house in the middle of town. When I am not in school, it is my job to act as a tour guide for our visitors. Our first stop is the mud baths at Sulphur Springs. This is downstream from the boiling water, and it is safe to enter the water. They say this water has special chemicals that are very good for your skin. Some visitors would like to stay in the mud bath for hours, but it is usually very crowded. Since the water is extremely muddy, there are showers for people to wash off and change.
Next, we head up to the boiling springs. The smell in this area is really strong. It smells like rotten eggs.
While everyone looks at the steam and areas of boiling water, we stress insist that everyone has to stay on the walkway, behind the railing. Then, we tell them the story about Gabriel.
Gabriel was my father’s friend when he was young. Back then, they didn’t have walkways and railings so people could get even closer to the boiling water. One day, Gabriel was demonstrating how thick the earth’s crust was by jumping up and down. Unfortunately, he selected an area that wasn’t strong, and he fell through a hole. Soon he was up to his waist in boiling water!
Luckily, they were able to pull him out of the hole, but he had very serious burns. In fact, he spent several months in the hospital. The area where he fell is now called Gabriel’s Hole. It serves as a warning for people to be very careful and stay only on the walkways.
Gabriel still lives in our town. Now, however, he earns his living by fishing. He says that if perchance he would fall into the ocean, at least the water is cool!