Ecotourism Activities - Part 2

Whales and turtles and more.

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St. Lucia Ecotourism
Jounen Kweyol Creole Day Continued

Kweyol also is spoken in the U.S. in the state of Louisiana, in the Seychelles off Africa and marginally in Brazil, Venezuela and Panama. An estimated 15 million people speak Creole worldwide, though with significant variations.

In 1983, Bannzil Kwéyòl, the international organization of Creole speaking countries that also includes Mauritius and the Seychelles, met in Louisiana and decided to celebrate the day internationally each year.

In the 1990s, Kweyol became more of a living language through the publication of several important kweyol-related books. The first English-Kweyol/Kweyol-English dictionary ever was published in 1992.

Unfortunately, its cost of several hundred dollars EC put it well out of the reach of most people. A kweyol version of the New Testament that took 15 years to complete at a cost of one million US dollars was completed in 1999. Thousands of free copies were distributed. In 2002, the first inexpensive kweyol dictionary brought lines of eager buyers to the bookstores.

Kweyol is not taught in schools. A kweyol newspaper closed down but brief news segments are presented on the radio in kweyol and public figures frequently give addresses in kweyol and English.

It wouldn't be a mistake to say that in practice St. Lucia is a bi-lingual country.

Leatherback Sea Turtle Nesting

Depending on demand, a leatherback sea turtle nesting program operates nightly between March and the end of July. Called the Debarras Turtlewatch, the all-night stints include transportation to the beach, dinner and breakfast. Also the use of a tent and sleeping mat. Participants bring their own flashlight, warm clothing (the nighttime ocean breezes can be chilly) and toilet paper. People take turns patrolling the beach and whenever a nesting turtle is located, everyone is invited for a look. Advance reservations are recommended. The cost is US$65.Contact Heritage Tours at 451-6620 or website.

Whale Watching Tours

Whale watching tours leave year-round from the marina at Vigie Cove near Castries. Female sperm whales, along with pilot and humpback whales, are found in local waters year-round.

Male sperm whales appear in large numbers during the mating season from October to January. Other species include orcas, pilots, pygmy sperm whales and beaked whales.

Commonly sighted dolphin species include spotted, spinner, and bottlenose. Whale watching craft employ a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system to pinpoint the location where whales were last sighted. Sonar equipment is also used to track them.

Tours are run by Captain Milke's, Mystic Man Tours, Tropical Discoveries and more.

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