St Eustatius or Statia as is commonly called by locals is a Dutch Caribbean Island only 11.8 square miles. St Eustatius is located Southeast of Saba and Northwest of St Kitts.
According to Statia Government, the population of the island is approximately 3,200 inhabitants.
The island is often remembered globally for the first salute to recognize United States of America as a nation. This day is marked every year on November 16th on the island.
The pros of living in St Eustatius are the ease of island hopping, stable currency, beautiful natural scenery and its low crime rate. On the other hand, living in St Eustatius has its cons such as the threat of natural disasters, no direct international flights and no white sand beaches.
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in the St Eustatius.
Pros of Living In St Eustatius
Despite being a Dutch Municipality the official currency of the island is the US dollar.
If you are considering relocation to the island, the potential financial loss from currency conversion should be minimal.
Easy Access To Neighboring Islands
With an effective ferry system between St Eustatius and St Maarten, the location is great for island hopping.
You can leave St Eustatius and travel via St Maarten to neighboring islands such as St Barts and Anguilla which you can all access via ferry.
Beautiful Natural Scenery
Statia is blessed with a wide variety of wildlife, flora and fauna. The island has many hiking trails and visiting the Quill is one of them. The Quill is the highest point on the island from which one has scenic views of the nearby islands.
It is a dormant volcano and there is a crater where you can see varieties of flowers on the island. It is best if you plan on doing this hike, to consider a going along with a guide.
Multi- Lingual Country
Both Dutch and English are spoken on the island. Despite being a Dutch Municipality, English is widely used by locals in their daily lives and has been used in the school system since the 19th century.
The Island Is Safe
Community spirit exists on the island with neighbors looking out for one another and people sharing their produce and resources.
The island is not overrun with many tourists and visitors and hence is able to maintain a genuine Caribbean authentic and peaceful environment.
Visitors to Statia truly want to go there to experience this tranquility.
The Island Is Innovative
Though small the island prides itself on being innovative with it leading the way in several areas. Statia is leading the Caribbean in its use of solar power.
At present the island operates on 100% solar energy. Previously, the island used about 12,000 liters of diesel each day for its energy needs. The solar park on the island was strong enough to withstand the hurricane force winds of Irma and Maria in 2017.
In 2021, St Eustatius achieved another first for the Caribbean with the deployment of the Caribbean’s first planetarium. The dome shaped structure located in Lynch Plantation is able to accommodate 25 persons at a time.
Students and visitors to the island can enjoy learning more about the planets and astronomy.
Below is a short video on the Solar Farm Project on the island which is interesting.
Cons of Living In St Eustatius
No Direct International Flights
At the time of writing there are no direct and non-stop flights from major international cities to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport in St Eustatius.
Individuals from major international destinations usually fly via airlines such as Air France, American Airlines and Delta Airlines to St Maarten and then either take a smaller aircraft or ferry to St Eustatius
Threat of Natural Disasters
Due to its location, St Eustatius is susceptible to hurricanes. In 2017, the island experienced severe destruction after the passage or Hurricane Irma and Maria.
This caused major damage to the wildlife and flora and fauna on the island.
Researchers have conducted studies to gauge the impact of the hurricane as there are several wildlife species on the island such as the iguana and the red bellied racer.
Lack of Convenience
Being a small island, there are no malls and stores with wide range of items available.
Locals rely on the neighboring island of St Maarten and the ferry service makes it easy to travel for shopping or if medical expertise is required.
No White Sand Beaches
St Eustatius as its Dutch counterparts Saba, it not an island for long stretches of white sand beaches as St Maarten. Nevertheless, there are bays on the islands that one can enjoy.
Oranje Bay Oranjestad Beach is one of the most popular on the island in Lower Town with dark volcanic sand.
The shoreline is very narrow and the beach is not as attractive as those typically seen on other Caribbean islands. The water is calm and is great for swimming.
The pros of living in St Eustatius are that the island is safe, innovative with amazing natural scenery. Alternatively, the cons of living in St Eustatius are there are no direct flights from international cities, the threat of natural disasters and limited access to specialized goods and services.
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