The US Virgin
Islands is a vacation paradise. Whether you travel to St Thomas, St John and St Croix and
relax in one of the many
or Villa rentals
or go scuba diving or even snorkeling it doesn't get any better than this .
You can charter a
boat for a
adventure. There are many great
(That's us, on the right below),
and lot's of golf
courses. You can shop till you drop, loaf on the
beach or hang out at one of the many watering holes like Big Black Dick's or
Senor Frog's or do all three.
Saint Thomas is an
island in the
Caribbean Sea and, with the smaller islands of
Water Island, a
county and constituent
district of the
United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an unincorporated
territory of the
United States. Located on the island is the
territorial capital and port of
Charlotte Amalie. As of the
2000 census, the population of Saint Thomas was 51,181
about 47% of the US Virgin Island total. The district has a land area of
31.24 square miles (80.9 km). Check out the Earth Cam at
for a Birdseye view of
the Port at Charlotte Amalie.
The island was originally settled around
1500 BC by the
Ciboney people. They were later replaced by the
Arawaks and then the
Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1493 on his
second voyage to the "New
World". The Caribs barely survived the
first decades of contact with Europeans, either due to disease, deportation or
1917 St. Thomas was purchased (along with
Saint John and
Saint Croix) by the
United States for $25 million in gold,
as part of a defensive strategy to maintain control over the Caribbean and the
Panama Canal during the
First World War.
To the left is a photo of St. Thomas (at
night). St. Thomas is a very "laid-back" island where no one gets in a hurry to
do anything. Fact is tourist become frustrated with folks just "stopping their
cars, bus, truck, motorcycle, etc. in the middle of the road to just "visit"
pass the time of day. When they are finished then, and only then does
traffic resume it's flow. The beaches are plentiful and gorgeous.
The photo (right) is of the world famous Magen's Beach as seen from Sir Francis
Drake's chair on a hill overlooking the bay.
The photo on the left is of the Port
at Charlotte Amalie. It's a photo opp everywhere one goes on St Thomas,
St. Croix or St. Johns for that matter. The winding mountain
roads, the congested city streets and the street markers beneath the
water that guide you through a wonderland of coral reefs, tropical fish
and crystal clear water. It truly is a paradise.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is also a
tax haven if you are a resident for at least one year ( they do
extensive checking to make sure you or your company were residents for
the entire year).
That's something you might
want to check-out if you are looking for a retirement place or just want
to move somewhere warm and wonderful all year round. I've found it
not to be too outrageous on property prices or even the day to day
cost-of-living expenses. Besides, it's close to the United States
and that makes a huge difference when looking for a new home.
Saint Thomas is divided into
Northside (pop. 8,712)
Tutu (pop. 8,197)
East End (pop. 7,672)
Southside (pop. 5,467)
West End (pop. 2,058)
Now you've heard all
the "good stuff" about St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands. Here is
the BAD NEWS!
of a cruise ship passenger in the U.S. Virgin
Islands comes as the popular tourist destination
grapples with an explosion of violence, an
analysis of the territory's crime statistics
statistics for the U.S. Virgin Islands
in the St. Thomas Source show there
already have been 44 killings across the
territory in 2010 -- a 33% increase from this
time in 2009. The homicide total for the
territory in 2009, in turn, was up sharply from
the year before.
to the crime data, there were a record 56
homicides in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009, up
from 40 killings in 2008 and 44 in 2007.
population of about 110,000, the U.S. Virgin
Islands had a homicide rate in 2009 that was
about 10 times the USA's national average of
five killings per 100,000 people, and the
territory now is on track for a record homicide
rate in 2010 approaching 13 times the national
Why the enormous increase in crime?
Local news outlets
suggest increasing gang
activity in the
territory is partly
responsible for the
The cruise passenger who
was killed was, Lizmarie
Perez Chapparro. She,
allegedly, was caught in
the middle of a shootout
between warring gangs
near St. Thomas's
popular Coki Point
Beach. The Associated
Press reports the girl
was struck by a bullet
as she rode with her
family on a "safari bus"
that ferries tourists
across the island.
The girl and her family
had arrived in St.
Thomas earlier in the
day aboard the
marked the first time
the growing "plague of
violence" in the U.S.
Virgin Islands, as one
prominent official is
calling it, has spilled
over into the the
sector, and it brought
swift calls from
politicians and tourism
leaders for a crackdown
Let's hope they get
this problem under
control soon or cruise
ships and other
tourist's will simply go