Charles Cenac runs a taxi and tour company on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia called “Charles in Charge,” after the ’80s American television show. The nickname started with his mother’s observation of his leadership as the oldest of his family’s 11 children, and it has since spread around the island. “Everything that had to be done was done by me,” Cenac says of his childhood years in Soufrière. Today, he uses that take-charge mentality in his work, leading tours throughout St. Lucia. After 30 years of telling other people where to go and what to do, Charles remains in charge.
St. Lucia is, as we call it, the heaven of the west. Barbados has beautiful beaches, but St. Lucia has so much more. We have white-sand beaches and black-sand beaches from the volcano, banana plantations, many waterfalls and rainforests. My tours are involved in the culture. For lunch, I will take them to this local restaurant called Fado’s New Adventure. It’s where all the locals and many taxi drivers eat. Get the fish curry or chicken curry in a local sauce. If I have tours from the city or to the city, I stop at Plas Kassav bakery. Right now [the owner] has created something called the Kassav drink. It’s made from root plant. It’s very common in St. Lucia. I sing our local songs to my people, tell them about our culture, share jokes with them, stop for a drink of Piton beers, local juice and local spiced rum. In 1992, I drove Prince Mahvi from Iran. He was a small, simple man. He was about 70 when I knew him. I had an old man and his son on a mud-bath tour, and the son and myself had to hold on to him down the steps to the bath. After entering the bath, the son went to the changing room. By the time he came back, the father was up the steps by himself — the son could not believe it. The mud bath makes you 10 years younger.