The Rural Unknown Basic Rights for Vendors
Good news came this week of the newly announced “Vendors’ Registration Programme” where 178 provisions vendors, craft vendors and “roadside traders” became registrants.
Even the line “free access to public bathrooms” made me cringe. Should not vendors already have had access to that, particularly when they play such a vital role in cruise-tourism? The Castries Market is one of the first depictions of the authenticity of Saint Lucia that cruise ship tourists observe when they walk from Point Seraphine to Castries.
Another concern is the simple fact of modernization.
The Vendors’ Registration Programme is a baby step but, if we keep moving at this snail’s pace, the Vendors’ Arcade and Castries Central Market will look less and less like an attractive option for talented micro-entrepreneurs. As Nelson Mandela once said, “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” If so, what does the treatment of our vendors say about us as a nation?