Montserrat is one of the Caribbean's most dramatic islands, not only in terms of its soaring peaks and lush, rainforest-covered hills, but also due to the eruptions of the Soufrière Hills Volcano that took place in the 1990s. Hundreds of successive eruptions devastated the island, leading to the abandonment of the capital Plymouth and the removal of the entire population from the island's lower two-thirds.
Recovering from the volcano
Two decades later, the island is slowly recovering. The population is growing, and sand-mining and geothermal energy provide new sources of income. A small number of tourists are also returning, mostly for volcano-related day trips. They also enjoy the slow rhythm of life, friendly locals, fabulous hiking and birdwatching, and the blessedly tranquil ambience of the old Caribbean, where mass tourism isn’t so visible.
The Montserrat Flag
Montserrat is one of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. The island's current flag was officially adopted in 1962. The flag consists of a blue field with the flag of the UK in the upper left-side quadrant and the Montserrat coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag.
The arms feature a woman in a green dress. Erin is the female personification of Ireland. She is depicted as standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm. Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry. The Irish began settling on the island in 1632, and the Montserrat coat of arms dates back to 1909.
Blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness.
Currency in Montserrat
Montserrat is one of the Caribbean islands that uses Eastern Caribbean dollar as its official currency. The Eastern Caribbean dollar is coded as XCD and uses the dollar ($) symbol or EC$ to distinguish it from other currencies. The currency is fixed to the US dollar at 1 US$ to 2.7 EC$.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar has been the currency of Montserrat since 1965 and has been pegged to the US$ since 1972. Besides the currency, the US dollar is also widely acceptable but change is mostly given in EC$.
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