Habits of Caribbean Life

Woman turning off light switch











When you make the leap to island life on St. Croix, there are some lessons that will be ingrained in your mind from then on.  Even if you leave island years down the road, these are a few that stick with you:

1. Give a Warm Crucian Greeting

No matter where you go on-island, you are sure to be greeted by strangers with a “good morning / afternoon / night.” In the grocery store, post office or just passing on the street.  The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism tried to help tourists learn this habit in recent years with promotional posters including this verbiage.  Greeting someone properly, asking how they’re doing and awaiting their response are a rarity these days and a nice return to the values of yesteryear.

2. Turn Off The Light / Water and Shut the Door

Electricity is more costly in the U.S. Virgin Islands than on the U.S. mainland (unless you’re running on solar or wind, which are wonderfully dependable here).  So residents quickly develop the good habits of shutting off any light, appliance or electronic device they are not using at the moment.

Although we’re surrounded by salt water, fresh drinking water is a precious resource on St. Croix.  We collect and use rain water in cisterns, and use it sparingly to ensure cisterns don’t go flat (empty).  Purchasing a water delivery to refill your cistern doesn’t come cheap, but is an option if needed.  A lucky few who live in the towns of Christiansted or Frederiksted (or closeby) have the option of a city water hook-up too.

These are both good, green habits to have regardless of where you live.

Most Virgin Islands real estate is open-air, welcoming in the refreshing sea breeze.  However, doors and windows are screened to keep out mosquitoes, flies, etc.  Because a mosquito bite can come with more than just an itch, you may see islanders nervously look at open, un-screened doors.  The habit of closing the door right behind you comes easily.

3. Wear Your Sunscreen

It only takes one bad burn from the Caribbean sun to become a big fan of sun protection.  Many St. Croix residents make applying SPF 50 or higher part of their daily routine getting ready each morning, especially important for kids.  In addition, you will see locals at the beach wearing rash guards, hats, etc. to shield their skin from the sun, especially as it reflects off the water.  This is particularly important if you’re boating or participating in other water sports.  Your skin will thank you!

Ready to get back to basics in paradise?  Download our free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.