Travel Review Series: Escape to Anguilla: Why Anguilla is the Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret
Amanda’s Trip to Anguilla this Spring
Part 4 – The History and Culture
My final installment in my Travel Review Series pertains to something that I have to mention that stood out on this island that I wasn’t expecting – What I learned about the history and culture from the locals, Anguilla museums, and galleries. The Heritage Museum Collection in the East End of the Island was a relatively small building, packed with amazing artifacts, pictures, stories, and pieces of Anguilla’s intriguing and resilient history. The museum itself was flooded completely up to the roof during Hurricane Lenny, in November of 1999, which it’s curator Colville L. Petty will tell you all about – and he has the pictures to prove it! The flood was quite devastating to Anguilla, as it reached a depth of about 14 feet in the capital of The Valley, where the museum is located. This resulted in about 65 million dollars of damage, not to mention beach erosion along the coastline, but both the land and the people recovered with their strength and beauty in tact.
The museum also has a whole room dedicated to memorabilia from Anguilla’s Revolution, which took place in 1967 and ended on May 30th, when they severed their all political ties to St. Kitts and Nevis. These brave actions lead the way to their eventual path to becoming an Overseas Territory of Britain, which was official in 1980. Anguilla is still progressing and working to build a stronger future, but this is part of the charm and attraction. They started to get power on the island in 1975, and got it everywhere in 1985, plus they only allow up to 4 story buildings, so there are no big eyesores, etc. It is natural, strong and beautiful. I learned a lot at this museum, and left a better understanding and appreciation for what the people there have been through and overcome, including a wall of locals who have all reached the age of 100! Overall I really enjoyed my time there and would recommend this museum to anyone of any age.
I also found a great art gallery at Devonish Gallery, which features many local artists, and of course Courtney Devonish himself, who works with stone, pottery, and wood, to name just a few of his talents. His wife Carolle also sells beautiful bead work, and they have a great assortment of paintings and crafts. I left with a fantastic cookbook, which funds go to the local charity, call ‘Rum, Raisins, and Recipes’-which I can’t wait to try out so I can take a piece of my Anguilla experience with me. There are so many fun things to do outdoors, and I could go on and on, but I want to share with you what is truly unique…and sometimes that means going inside and getting to know the locals, the history and the like.
This concludes my travel review of Anguilla. From the beaches to the nightlife and dining to the history, these were a few of my favorite memories. If you go to Anguilla for your next Caribbean vacation, you’ll create your own. But feel free to piggy back on some of mine. Bottom line, Anguilla is the perfect escape, so don’t delay any longer. Just get online and get yourself there!