St Lucia Craft
“The word ‘Choiseul’ comes from the English word, ‘chosen’, and Choiseulians have traditionally chosen a very indigenous and industrious path. It’s the undisputed craft capital of Saint Lucia, producing the most indigenous craft items: pottery, baskets, canoes, to name a few. Choiseulians are a hardworking people, Charles noted.
“I love the fact that we have used our traditional strengths to move up the socio-economic ladder,” he said. “Since being established in the 1960s, our first credit union has been a phenomenal pillar in our community and has created a major change in the economic development of Choiseul.”
Today, Choiseul is a progressive community, well-known for its industry and breathtaking scenery.
Bryan Charles, Chairperson of the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency Council, was born and raised in Choiseul and has lived there all his life. Now into his fourth year as Chairperson Council, he’s been a member of what was then called the Choiseul Village Council since his teens. A community activist, he served as Member of Parliament for Choiseul from 1982 to 1987.
“If you go to any community in Saint Lucia, you will find Choiseulians living there,” he told me. “Even in Castries these days, majority of the folks you will find there have roots in Choiseul. Choiseul’s people are spread across the island, which is among its greatest attributes.”
– Article By Stan Bishop
The way forward for choiseul craft
President of the Choiseul Arts, Craft and Tourism Heritage Association (CATCH), Marie Edward, says the association is making a determined effort to ensure that its members have a reliable market for their products.
She said since the outbreak of COVID-19, crafters have been having a difficult time earning a living.
“The crafters have been in the wilderness since COVID started,” Edward told loop News, adding that some members have been given financial assistance from government.
She said what the association is looking forward to doing at the moment, is to establish an online store that will provide a reliable market for the crafters.
“It is better we try to tap on an online store that will help the crafts sell overseas,” Edward said.
She added: “It does not make sense for crafters to be just making 20 or 30 bags and going to Castries to sell and sometimes never get pay until 10 weeks, 3 months…”