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Caribbean Culture: Ruben Vanterpool Tortola Mural

Caribbean Culture: Ruben Vanterpool Tortola Mural

Along a stretch of road on Tortola’s ridge of mountains there is a mural painted by local artist Ruben Vanterpool.  It’s a favorite stop for tourists, but it also catches our eye each time we drive by.  The wall is in sections which capture a aspects of the life in the islands in a bygone era before tourism and, really,  before the Virgin Islands were the destination it is now.  Sections include walking to school, baking bread, attending church, drawing water from a well, making charcoal and more.  
Ruben Vanterpool was born near where this mural was painted.  He became a teacher when teachers were both in short supply and the trade was considered a very honorable vocation.  In 1997 he entered politics as the speaker of the house, a post he held for 16-years.  Now he’s a full time artist.  Recently we ran into Mr. Vanterpool as he was doing some touch-up work on his masterpiece.  We stopped to say “hi” and admire this cultural icon.