Most residents of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands are native to the Caribbean, but some moved there from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. For an island resident like David Johnson Cane Bay on St. Croix became home after moving there some years ago from the mainland. He and a business colleague co-founded the management consulting firm Cane Bay Partners, which still operates there today.
Naming of the Islands
Some other Virgin Islands in the Caribbean also are named after saints, such as St. Thomas and St. John. St. Croix was named by Christopher Columbus, who was exploring for Spain. In the European languages of Italian and Spanish, the island was called Santa Cruz. The larger group of islands and the surrounding waters were initially called the Indies, reflecting the belief of Columbus that he had landed in India. When the error was realized, Spain began calling the area the West Indies.
Primary Influences Over the Years
Although St. Croix boasts businesses like the management consulting firm, the residents mainly rely on tourism for economic prosperity. Caribbean islands are always a major attraction for people in northern realms in late autumn through early spring, as they seek to escape cold weather and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Agriculture is another economic factor on this particular island, although not as impressive as it once was when sugar cane farming was a mainstay. An oil refinery and some limited manufacturing plants round out the economic climate.
Ownership and Territorial Status
St. Croix became a U.S. territory in 1917, having been acquired from Denmark. Ownership had changed hands many times since Columbus first arrived in the late 1400s. Denmark owned the island from 1733 until selling its group of Caribbean islands to the United States.
This piece of land and several other Virgin Islands remain U.S. territories to this day, making it easy for residents of the states to the north to travel there without the need for a passport. They can even work on the island without a visa and move there permanently if they decide this could be their new home.