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Portal:Caribbean

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The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
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Playa de Cayo Levantado
Location Caribbean.png

The Caribbean (/ˌkærɪˈbən, kəˈrɪbiən/, locally /ˈkærɪbiæn/; Spanish: El Caribe; French: la Caraïbe; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben) 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 South America islets, reefs and cays. Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: the Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago 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 Turks and Caicos Islands), which are considered to be part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.

Geopolitically, the islands of the Caribbean (the West Indies) are often regarded as a region of North America sometimes as part of Central America or left as a region of their own. They are organized into 30 sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. (Full article...)

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Hurricane Dennis on July 7 2005 1550 UTC.jpg

In early July 2005, Hurricane Dennis brushed Jamaica, bringing torrential rain and damaging floods to the island nation. Forming from a tropical depression on July 4, Dennis began impacting Jamaica three days later. Approximately 6,000 people evacuated from coastal and flood-prone areas prior to the storm's arrival while relief agencies allocated resources for recovery operations. Passing northeast of the island, impact from Dennis stemmed primarily from rainfall—accumulations peaked at 24.54 in (623 mm) and reached 1-in-50 year event levels. Widespread flooding and landslides damaged homes and isolated communities. Saint Thomas and Portland Parishes were hardest-hit; hundreds required evacuation as multiple rivers burst their banks.

Overall, 209,000 people were affected with 6,000 households requesting assistance. A week after Dennis, Hurricane Emily brought further rain to the island, exacerbating damage. Their combined effects damaged or destroyed 440 homes with total losses reaching J$5.976 billion (US$96.87 million), of which at least J$2.128 billion (US$34.5 million) can be attributed to Dennis alone. One person died due to flooding. Relief operations began before the hurricane subsided, and international communities provided further aid. The overall effects of Dennis were limited and the nation's economy sustained no major ramifications. (Full article...)

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Welcome gateway of Nassau, The Bahamas
Welcome gateway of Nassau, The Bahamas

Nassau (/ˈnæsɔː/ NASS-aw) is the capital and largest city of the Bahamas. With a population of 274,400 as of 2016, or just over 70% of the entire population of the Bahamas, Nassau is commonly defined as a primate city, dwarfing all other towns in the country. It is the centre of commerce, education, law, administration, and media of the country.

Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of the city centre of Nassau, and has daily flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States. The city is located on the island of New Providence. (Full article...)

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Bahamian cuisine refers to the foods and beverages of The Bahamas. It includes seafood such as fish, shellfish, lobster, crab, and conch, as well as tropical fruits, rice, peas, pigeon peas, and pork. Popular seasonings commonly used in dishes include chilies (hot pepper), lime, tomatoes, onions, garlic, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, rum, and coconut. Rum-based beverages are popular on the islands. Since the Bahamas consist of a multitude of islands, notable culinary variations exist.

Bahamian cuisine is somewhat related to that of the American South, with dishes held in common such as "fish 'n' grits". A large portion of Bahamian foodstuffs are imported (cf. economy of the Bahamas). International cuisine is offered, especially at hotels. (Full article...)

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Piña Colada.jpg
  • ...that the Cauto River is the longest river in Cuba at 213 miles?

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The palm family, Arecaceae, is widespread in the Caribbean. Globally there are about 191 genera and 2339 species as reported in 2004 by Carlo Morici. Their distribution is biased toward islands – 36% of genera and 52% of species are found only on islands, while 32% of genera and 6% of species are found only on continents. Sixty-two percent of monotypic genera are found only on islands.

Phytogeographically, the Caribbean region is often considered to include the coastal plains of the United States (including south Florida), Mexico (especially the Yucatan), Belize, Colombia and Venezuela. Most species either have a wide distribution which includes part of the Caribbean, or are endemic to the Greater Antilles. Of the islands in the Caribbean, Cuba has the most species of palm, followed by Hispaniola. The Windward and Leeward Islands have the fewest. The palm flora of Trinidad and Tobago consists primarily of species with a South American distribution. Three genera of palm are endemic to the Greater Antilles: Calyptronoma, Hemithrinax and Zombia. Although nearly ubiquitous in the region, the coconut (Cocos nucifera) is not native to the Caribbean. The Caribbean species in the genus Copernicia are all Greater Antillean endemics; two species are restricted to Hispaniola, while the others are restricted to Cuba.

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Columbus landing on Hispaniola
Credit: Theodor de Bry, c. 1594

Depiction of Christopher Columbus landing on Hispaniola in 1492

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Chanté mas (masquerade song) and Lapo kabrit is a form of Carnival music of Dominica. It is performed by masquerading partygoers in a two-day parade, with a lead vocalist (chantwèl), who is followed by the responsorial chorus (lavwa), with drummers and dancers dancing backwards in front of the drummer on a tambou lélé. The Carnival has African and French roots and is otherwise known as Mas Dominik, the most original Carnival in the Caribbean.

Carnival in Dominica is held in the capital city of Roseau, and takes elements of carnival that can be seen in the neighbouring French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Notable events that take place during the season leading up to carnival include "j'ouvert" the opening of Carnival celebrations, the calypso Monarch music competition, the queen of Carnival Beauty Pageant and bouyon music bands. Celebrations last for the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Dominica's carnival is known to be the most original and least commercialized in the Caribbean giving the carnival its name the original mas (Full article...)

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