Sunday, December 9, 2007

Caribbean: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, 2004

In March 2004 I attended a conference on Caribbean music at the Hibiscus Beach Resort in St. Croix, sponsored by the Center for Black Music Research, which has its offices at Columbia College in Chicago. Due to the hotel's cost, I opted to stay at the Pink Fancy Hotel, a guesthouse in Christiansted (photo on the right). The neighborhood was not great, but the inn itself was a great place to stay and was convenient to the shops, restaurants and other attractions in Christiansted (all walking distance).

St. Croix is an anomaly among Caribbean islands. It straddles the boundary between a quiet island and an overdeveloped one. The shopping district was surprisingly quiet for being in high season, and at that time cruise ships were not stopping at St. Croix, some sources reporting that crime was the main issue and others reporting that the cruise ship passengers found the place boring. As a footnote, the cruise ships stopped in Frederiksted, on the western side of the island (Christiansted is on the northeast side). I recently read a report stating that Disney Cruise Lines will resume service to St. Croix.

My particular experience in St. Croix was fantastic and I definitely would go back. The people I met were extremely hospitable, and I had the opportunity to really take in the island's culture during my short stay.

Visit my webpage on the Caribbean at http://www.latinandcaribbeantravel.com/caribbean.html

Other websites:

Caribbean Folk Arts Network (Caribfolk) - Caribbean cultural network: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/caribfolk/

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas (Latin American Cultural Roots) - a nonprofit organization I founded in 1991 that presents Latin American cultural shows, exhibits, and workshops: http://www.raicesculturales.org/

Raicesnews - Latin cultural events in the Philadelphia area: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/raicesnews
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