Located in the southern section of the Windward Islands where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and two thirds of the Grenadines chain of islands. The Carib people originally inhabited the islands before French and British colonial rule. Although they aggressively fought back against French settlers from Martinique, the Caribs eventually lost the land to them in 1719. These settlers started to cultivate the land for coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton and sugar on plantations, while France and Britain struggled over ownership of the island until 1783, when Britain gained St. Vincent in the Treaty of Versailles. The Black Caribs (a population of people who descended from the Carib population and African slaves) opposed British rule. Slavery was abolished in 1834, and in 1979 St. Vincent and Grenadines gained independence.
A major event affecting the island country was the 1902 eruption of the La Soufriere volcano; the last eruption was in 1979. This has dominated the north of the island, while the interior is mountainous and abundant with nature. Some of the smaller islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are also known for hosting vacation spots for the rich and famous, however a significant amount of the population is unemployed, many of them leaving to neighboring islands for more opportunities. Relying on banana exports has now become a major source of income for this country, it accounts for about one third of their total exports.
Even though the official language here is English, most Vincentians speak Vincentian Creole, and the people here are mixed between Africans, East Indians, Caucasians and Carib Amerindians. Culture in St. Vincent and Grenadines is also underpinned by the mixing of diverse ethnic traditions. Some of the major cultural highlights here are found in the use of music, from celebrations such as Carnival to more traditional music styles such as Calypso and Soca and even modern R&B, Rap and Reggae. Artisans here have also created a natural industry through traditional boat building; the art of the boat being very important as they are used in trade. Being an island also makes fishing extremely important to the livelihood of St. Vincentians. Some celebrated books which feature the country are City of Arches by Vivian Child and Blood on the Streets by Paul O’Brian.