St. Benedict's is the only orphanage on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was started in the 1960's by a priest who saw a need for better care of malnourished and mistreated children in the community. Thus, the orphanage started out as a child and infant hospital, and soon evolved into the orphanage it is today. Unfortunately, parents would leave their children, never to be claimed. Currently there are only 9 children there, many with mental handicaps. It was not meant to be a place for mentally disabled children, but the sisters that run the orphanage could not turn them away, and neither should they have--for although all of them may not be able to readily talk, these children can laugh.
Shanique is a 16 year old girl whose giggles are so contagious you find yourself laughing before you realize what happened. We played hide and go seek, played around the jungle gym, and ate pizza together. Adam, an 5 year old albino boy abandoned by his family, showed me his reading books and was so proud to read 2 lines to me. It was two hours that managed to put life into better perspective, and I'm sure if you travel to this special place, you won't leave untouched. (It's the last town before the volcano, Mt. Soufriere, so it makes for an ideal stop either coming or going from the volcano.) See the reviews of the volcano for more information.