Where to find St. James in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the US Virgin Islands
Several places in the Caribbean are named St. James, but not all of them were named after the biblical character James, who gained sainthood in the Christian religion. Some were named after King James ll of England who reigned between 1665 -1668. These places include parishes in Barbados and Jamaica, two islands of the US Virgin Islands and a district of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital. What remains a puzzle is why the title ‘Saint’ was adopted and not perhaps King James.
Tourism is a key industry in both parishes of Barbados and Jamaica. In Barbados, St. James is often referred to as the Gold or Platinum coast for its luxury hotels, vibrant tourism and premium priced real estate. The country has a service driven economy with tourism accounting for 36.2% of GDP, making St. James an important contributor to GDP. Holetown (formerly Jamestown), the main commercial centre, marks the location where the British first landed on the island in 1625. St. James has over 28,000 residents.
In Jamaica the tourist industry plays an equally important role accounting for approximately 20% of the nation’s GDP. Located on the north coast where most of the tourist industry exists, St. James, like its counterpart in Barbados, is an important contributor to this sector. It also has Jamaica’s second city, Montego Bay and a population of over 180,000.
St. James islands in the US Virgin Islands would possibly not be known worldwide had they not been owned by the infamous American billionaire Jeffery Epstein, until his death in 2019. Epstein’s’ affairs on the island led to the nicknames ‘Island of Sin’ and ‘Paedophile Island’ by locals. Both islands are private property and a province of St. Thomas, a larger member of the group of US Virgin Islands. For aerial views of Little St. James go to: 'Little St James' Island, US Virgin Islands, Jeffrey's island’
The fourth place to find St. James is in Trinidad & Tobago’s capital Port-of-Spain where it became a municipality in 1938. With a population of approximately 6000, St. James hosts the main nightlife district, popularly known as the "the city that never sleeps". For the Indian community St. James has historical importance, for during the 19th century Indian indentured workers established homes there. Consequently, several streets and landmarks bear the names of similar locations in British colonial India. For a glimpse of this district see this YouTube video – A drive around the city of St. James, Trinidad
Here is more information on St. James parishes in Barbados and Jamaica:
The best of Barbados from West Coast Beaches to Holetown St James
Also visit our online gallery of fine art by Jamaican/Caribbean artists: E J Gallery