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Saint Croix of the US Virgin Islands

By Owen Jones

Saint Croix is the biggest of the US Virgin Islands although the capital city, Charlotte Amelie, is situated on St Thomas. Saint Croix itself has two towns Frederiksted (pop. 830) and Christiansted (pop. 3,000). The name of the island derives from the original Spanish name used by Christopher Columbus in 1493 – Santa Cruz or ‘Holy Cross’. As Santa Cruz, Saint Croix gets a lot of mention in swashbuckling stories of pirates and buccaneers sailing on the Spanish Main.

The populace before the Europeans arrived was Arawak and Carib and they had likely been there since about 5000 BC. After 1493 the population of the Caribbean became involved in a 100 years war with the Spanish and the kind of people living on the island changed forever.

Saint Croix has been owned and therefore chiefly occupied by the Spanish, The British, the French, the Dutch, the Maltese and the Danish all of whom had slaves and plantations

The slaves were freed in 1848, but many decided to stay on Saint Croix. Descendants of slaves still live on the island. The total population of the island is now about 60,000.

English is the official language and is the most commonly spoken, although there is also some Spanish, French Creole and Virgin islands Creole, better known as Crucian, which is spoken by most people in informal situations.

This Hispanic segment of the Crucian population is mostly of Puerto Rican lineage. The US bought Vieques from Puerto Rico during the Second World War and evacuated its population. Many moved to St Croix because of its similarity to Vieques. These people have integrated well, but also kept a few of their old customs. They frequently speak a mixture of Spanish and Crucian English in a unique form of Spanglish.

Continental Americans make up about 13% of the inhabitants and mostly live on the eastern side of St Croix. Arab Palestinians are also a sizeable minority owning most of the petrol stations and supermarkets on St Croix. Other recent immigrants have come from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Philippines.

There has been some hostility between immigrants and those calling themselves ‘real Crucians’, but it has largely disappeared due to intermarriage. There have been attempts to classify a ‘real Crucian’.

The issue seems to have been settled when in 2009, the recommended U.S. Virgin Islands Constitution voted by the Fifth Constitutional Convention laid down three definitions of U.S. Virgin Islanders: “Ancestral Native Virgin Islander”, who have ancestral ties (and their descendants); “Native Virgin Islander”, who were born on the island (and their descendants); and “Virgin Islander”, who are any United States citizen who has resided in the region for five years.

Christianity, in the form of Protestantism is the main religion, although the Hispanic community is Roman Catholic. There are also small groups of Jews and followers of Rastafari, Islam.

Christiansted St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

–About–

By Owen JonesOwen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with St Croix Virgin Islands. If you are interested in St Croix Vacation Rentals in the US Virgin Islands, please click through to our site.

Source: Cool Travel ZoneYour Source For Great Vacation, Travel and Cruise Articles!

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