The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
Caribbean (, ;
Spanish: El Caribe;
French: les Caraïbes;
Haitian Creole: Karayib;
Dutch: De Caraïben;
Papiamento: Karibe) is a region of the
Americas that consists of the
Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the
Gulf of Mexico and the
North American mainland, east of
Central America, and north of
Situated largely on the
Caribbean Plate, the region has more than 700 islands,
cays (see the
list of Caribbean islands).
Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the
Caribbean Sea: the
Greater Antilles on the north and the
Lesser Antilles on the south and east (which includes the
Leeward Antilles). They form the
West Indies with the nearby
Lucayan Archipelago (
The Bahamas and the
Turks and Caicos Islands), which are sometimes considered to be a part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland,
Caribbean region of Colombia,
Margarita Island, and
The Guianas (
Guayana Region in
Brazil) are often included due to their
cultural ties with the region.
A mostly tropical geography, the climates are greatly shaped by sea temperatures and precipitation, with the
hurricane season regularly leading to natural disasters. Because of its tropical climate and low-lying island geography, the Caribbean is vulnerable to a
number of climate change effects, including increased
storm intensity, saltwater intrusion, sea-level rise and coastal erosion, and precipitation variability. These weather changes will greatly change the economies of the islands, and especially the major industries of agricultural and tourism.
The Caribbean was
occupied by indigenous people since at least 3600 BC. When European colonization followed the arrival of Columbus, the population was quickly decimated by brutal labor practices, enslavement and disease and on many islands, Europeans supplanted the native populations
with enslaved Africans. Following the
independence of Haiti from France in the early 19th century and the decline of slavery in the 19th century, island nations in the Caribbean gradually gained independence, with a wave of new states during the 1950s and 60s. Because of the proximity to the United States, there is also a long history of United States intervention in the region.
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Selected geography article -
Selected fare or cuisine -
duckanoo, also referred to as tie-a-leaf and blue drawers (draws), called Dokonon (in
French Guiana), is a dessert in
Antigua and Barbuda,
French Guiana and some other
Lesser Antilles. It is a variation on the dish
ducana which originated in Africa. The
Caribbean cuisine dish is made from batata, sweet potato,
brown sugar, all tied up in a
banana leaf. It is then cooked in boiling water.
Duckanoo is a relatively new name for some that was added to the name "tie a leaf". However, the names vary depending on location in various islands. "Ducana" is the Antiguan/Barbudan as well as some of the smaller Caribbean islands name of this dumpling or dessert.
Did you know? -
- ...that the
Carretera Central is an east-west highway spanning the length of the island of Cuba?
Trenchtown, a neighbourhood in
Kingston, Jamaica, gets its name from a large open-trenched sewer that ran through the neighbourhood?
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), arguably the most recognizable species of Puerto Rico's fauna
fauna of Puerto Rico is similar to other island archipelago
faunas, with high
endemism, and low, skewed
Bats are the only
extant native terrestrial mammals in
Puerto Rico. All other terrestrial mammals in the area were introduced by humans, and include species such as cats,
small Asian mongoose, and escaped
Marine mammals include
whales. Of the 349
bird species, about 120 breed in the archipelago, and 47.5% are accidental or rare.
The most recognizable and famous animal of Puerto Rico is probably the
, a small endemic frog, and one of the 86 species that constitute
Puerto Rico's herpetofauna
. Some native freshwater fish inhabit Puerto Rico, but some species, introduced by humans, have established populations in
. The low richness-high diversity pattern is also apparent among
, which constitutes most of the archipelago's fauna.
Selected image -
Selected music -
music of Cuba, including its instruments, performance and dance, comprises a large set of unique traditions influenced mostly by west African and European (especially Spanish) music. Due to the syncretic nature of most of its genres, Cuban music is often considered one of the richest and most influential regional musics of the world. For instance, the
son cubano merges an adapted Spanish guitar (tres), melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. Almost nothing remains of the original native traditions, since the native population was exterminated in the 16th century.
Since the 19th century Cuban music has been hugely popular and influential throughout the world. It has been perhaps the most popular form of regional music since the introduction of recording technology. Cuban music has contributed to the development of a wide variety of genre and musical styles around the globe, most notably in
. Examples include
, many West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music (
), Spanish fusion genres (notably with
), and a wide variety of genres in Latin America.
The following are images from various Caribbean-related articles on Wikipedia.
A carriage on a street in
Martinique, one of the Caribbean islands that has not become independent. It is an
overseas region of
France, and its citizens are full French citizens.
Political evolution of Central America and the Caribbean from 1700 to present
Illustration circa 1815 showing "Incendie du Cap" (Burning of Cape Francais) during the
Haitian Revolution. The caption reads: "General revolt of the Blacks. Massacre of the Whites".
Map of Antilles / Caribbean in 1843.
Agostino Brunias. Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape, ca. 1770-1796
A container ship docked in the deep water harbour of
Barbados, which opened in 1961.
Battle of the Saintes by Thomas Mitchell. This 1782 battle between the British and French navies took place near
Crane Resort old and new buildings, Cobblers Reef, Barbados
1536 map of the Caribbean
Bath Hotel, Nevis, photograph by Jose Anjo of Antigua
Spanish Caribbean Islands in the American Viceroyalties 1600.
Contemporary political map of the Caribbean
A 19th-century lithograph by Theodore Bray showing a sugarcane plantation. On right is "white officer", the European overseer, watching plantation workers. To the left is a flat-bottomed vessel for cane transportation.
A medallion showing the Capture of
Tobago by the British in 1797.
The slaves brought to the Caribbean lived in inhumane conditions. Above are examples of slave huts in
Bonaire provided by Dutch colonialists. About 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, between 2 and 3 slaves slept in these after working in nearby salt mines.
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