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Unemployment, underemployment, and the drug trade are the main problems Saint Vincent has had to face in modern times. The Grenadines, with their many uninhabited islets, are a transhipment point for illicit drugs from South America to the United States. Military Activity. The country has no formal military. The duties of a military have been taken over by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Royal Police Force. S. military has a training and advisory role. S. Peace Corps and Canadian Crossroads organizations maintain a presence in Saint Vincent.
S OCIAL W ELFARE AND CHANGE P ROGRAMS The government is responsible for health, education, and welfare in cooperation with villages and churches. Health care and education are provided for a nominal cost. Families provide for their members’ welfare. The state grants a small old-age pension, and the Catholic Church runs a senior citizens’ home. 1910 SAMOA People under the portico of the immigration office as traffic passes by in Apia. Ethnic tensions are virtually non-existent in Samoa. N ONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER A SSOCIATIONS The most influential nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are the churches, in which 99 percent of Samoans participate actively and which actively comment on the government’s legislative program and activity.
1899 —DOUGLAS MIDGETT SAINT VINCENT AND THE CULTURE N AME Vincentians A LTERNATIVE N AMES The locals sometimes call the main island ‘‘Hairoun,’’ its Carib name. The term ‘‘Saint Vincent’’ is often used for the whole group, including the Grenadines. Symbolism. The national flag is a tricolor of green, gold, and blue, with a stylized V in the center— representing the rich foliage of the island, the sun, and the sea. All public buildings display the flag, as do many private homes. Vincentians dwell on the natural beauty of the islands: the volcano and the ‘‘black sand’’ of the beaches; the Vincentian parrot, an endangered endemic species; the rainforest of the interior; the beautiful views.