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Caribbean – Wikipedia

CaribbeanArea2,754,000km2 (1,063,000sqmi)Land area239,681km2 (92,541sqmi)Population (2016)43,601,839[1]Density151.5/km2 (392/sqmi)Ethnic groupsAfro-Caribbean, European, Indo-Caribbean, Latino or Hispanic (Spanish, Portuguese, and Mestizo), Chinese Caribbean, Jewish, Arab, Indonesian (Javanese),[2] Amerindian, MultiracialReligionsChristianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism, Amerindian Religion, Yoruba, Bah’, Sikhism, Chinese folk religion (including Taoism and Confucianism), Kebatinan, Afro-American religion, Traditional African Religion, and othersDemonymCaribbean, West IndianLanguagesSpanish, English, French, Dutch, French Creole, English Creole, Haitian Creole, Caribbean Hindustani, among othersGovernment13 sovereign states17 dependent territoriesLargest citiesList of metropolitan areas in the West IndiesSanto DomingoHavanaPort-au-PrinceSan JuanKingstonSantiago de CubaSantiago de los CaballerosCamageyCap-HatienSpanish TownChaguanasGeorgetownParamariboInternet TLDMultipleCalling codeMultipleTime zoneUTC-5 to UTC-4

The Caribbean ( or , local most common pronunciation )[3] is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea[4] and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean)[5] 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.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays. (See the list.) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.[6] The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands). The Lucayans and, less commonly, Bermuda, are also sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize and the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.[7]

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America[8][9][10][11][12] and are organized into 30 territories including 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.[13] 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.

The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of America.[14]

The two most prevalent pronunciations of “Caribbean” outside the Caribbean are (karr–BEE-n), with the primary stress on the third syllable, and (k-RIB-ee-n), with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.[15] This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years.[16] It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer (karr–BEE-n) while North American speakers more typically use (k-RIB-ee-n),[17] but major US dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in US English too.[18][19][20][21] The stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is increasingly considered more up to date and more correct.[22]

The Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English is in fact on the first syllable, (KARR–bee-n).[3][22]

The word “Caribbean” has multiple uses. Its principal ones are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features), Curacao, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, and Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago.

Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles.

The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[24]

The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean.

The climate of the area is tropical to subtropical in Cuba, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rain forest /semi desert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional north westerlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ seasons, with the latter six months of the year being wetter than the first half.

Hurricane season is from June to November, but they occur more frequently in August and September and more common in the northern islands of the Caribbean. Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. A great example being recent events of Hurricane Irma devastating the island of Saint Martin during the 2017 hurricane season.

Water temperatures vary from 31C (88F) to 22C (72F) all around the year. The air temperature is warm, in the 20s and 30s C (70s, 80s and 90s F) during the year, only varies from winter to summer about 25 degrees on the southern islands and about 1020 degrees difference can occur in the northern islands of the Caribbean. The northern islands, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, may be influenced by continental masses during winter months, such as cold fronts.

Aruba: Latitude 12N

Puerto Rico: Latitude 18N

Cuba: at Latitude 22N

Lucayan Archipelago[a]

Greater Antilles

Lesser Antilles

All islands at some point were, and a few still are, colonies of European nations; a few are overseas or dependent territories:

The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. The independent countries formerly part of the B.W.I. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on the mainland of that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad.

Islands in and near the Caribbean

Maritime boundaries between the Caribbean (island) nations

The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International’s biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. The region also contains about 8% (by surface area) of the world’s coral reefs[30] along with extensive seagrass meadows,[31] both of which are frequently found in the shallow marine waters bordering the island and continental coasts of the region.

For the fungi, there is a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations.[32] That checklist includes more than 11250 species of fungi recorded from the region. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true total number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring in the Caribbean, including species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered.[33] Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island;[34] for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species;[35] for the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species;[36] for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.[37]

Many of the ecosystems of the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths.[38] The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals include the Puerto Rican amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile.

The region’s coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500700 species of reef-associated fishes[39] have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent years, and are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.[40] According to a UNEP report, the Caribbean coral reefs might get extinct in next 20 years due to population explosion along the coast lines, overfishing, the pollution of coastal areas and global warming.[41]

Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans found suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production as the region’s staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados were historically the largest producers of sugar. The tropical plantation system thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, for example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands in the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. However, they have salt pans that were exploited by the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.[42]

The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.[43]

The Martinique amazon, Amazona martinicana, is an extinct species of parrot in the family Psittacidae.

At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Tano of the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of eastern Hispaniola. The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity)[44] led to a decline in the Amerindian population.[45] From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[46] such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners from Ireland, who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[citation needed] Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[47]

The population is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800.[48] Immigrants from India, China, Indonesia, and other countries arrived in the mid-19th century as indentured servants.[49] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally.[50] The total regional population was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000.[51]

The majority of the Caribbean has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race (including Mulatto-Creole, Dougla, Mestizo, Quadroon, Cholo, Castizo, Criollo, Zambo, Pardo, Asian Latin Americans, Chindian, Cocoa panyols, and Eurasian); and European people of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially those of Chinese, Indian descent, and Javenese Indonesians, form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. Indians form a majority of the population in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Most of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African-Native American (tri-racial), and a large Mulatto (European-West African) and West African minority. Cuba also has a European majority with small but growing African population. The Dominican Republic has the largest mixed race population, primarily descended from Europeans, West Africans, and Amerindians.

Larger islands such as Jamaica, have a large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, and has Chinese, Europeans, Indians, Latinos, Jews, and Arabs populations. This is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured laborers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or brown. Similar populations can be found in the Caricom states of Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrivals of Africans, Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Jews, Spanish, Portuguese, and Europeans along with the Native Amerindians population. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Dougla, Chindian, Mulatto-Creole, Afro-Asians, Eurasian, Cocoa panyols, and Asian Latin Americans

Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region, although a handful of unique creole languages or dialects can also be found in virtually every Caribbean country. Other languages such as Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, Indonesian, Amerindian languages, other African languages, other European languages, other Indian languages, and other Indonesian languages can also be found.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Caribbean (84.7%).[52] Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (Taoism and Confucianism), Bah’, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Kebatinan, Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Yoruba (Santera, Trinidad Orisha, Palo, Umbanda, Brujera, Hoodoo, Candombl, Quimbanda, Orisha, Xang de Recife, Xang do Nordeste, Comfa, Espiritismo, Santo Daime, Obeah, Candombl, Abaku, Kumina, Winti, Sanse, Cuban Vod, Dominican Vud, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, and Vodun).

Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens.[53] The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. From a political and economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM)[54] which is located in Guyana.

Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a “blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways.”[55] The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices.

The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. “Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action.”[56] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations’ desires to compete in the international economic system.[56]

Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. “With the end of the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment to the Caribbean.”[57] The lack of international support for these small, relatively poor states, helped regionalism prosper.

Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union’s allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other. [clarification needed]

The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe’s preferential program, known as the Lom Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply.[58] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States’ favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African, Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement.[59]

During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement.[60]

Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lom Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe.[61][62]

Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry. One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Proposed by CARICOM in 1992, the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. It was founded in July 1994. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues unique to the Caribbean Basin. Through coalition building, like the ACS and CARICOM, regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars, yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean.

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez launched an economic group called the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which several eastern Caribbean islands joined. In 2012, the nation of Haiti, with 9 million people, became the largest CARICOM nation that sought to join the union.[63]

Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration:

Coordinates: 143132N 754906W / 14.52556N 75.81833W / 14.52556; -75.81833

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Caribbean – Wikipedia

The Official Tourism Website of the Caribbean …

Explore the beauty of the Caribbean

Grace Bay Beach has more than 30 resorts, villas, private residences, thatched-roof bars, stretches of beach grass, driftwood and footprints in the sand. more

Does the reinvented RIU Palace Paradise Island offer the best all-inclusive value in Nassau-Paradise Island? more

Antigua is a winter wonderland of 365 beaches with snorkeling along a colourful coral reef, scenic harbours, seaside resorts, tasty treats & whole lot more more

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Caribbean – Wikipedia

CaribbeanArea2,754,000km2 (1,063,000sqmi)Land area239,681km2 (92,541sqmi)Population (2016)43,601,839[1]Density151.5/km2 (392/sqmi)Ethnic groupsAfro-Caribbean, European, Indo-Caribbean, Latino or Hispanic (Spanish, Portuguese, and Mestizo), Chinese Caribbean, Jewish, Arab, Indonesian (Javanese),[2] Amerindian, MultiracialReligionsChristianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism, Amerindian Religion, Yoruba, Bah’, Sikhism, Chinese folk religion (including Taoism and Confucianism), Kebatinan, Afro-American religion, Traditional African Religion, and othersDemonymCaribbean, West IndianLanguagesSpanish, English, French, Dutch, French Creole, English Creole, Haitian Creole, Caribbean Hindustani, among othersGovernment13 sovereign states17 dependent territoriesLargest citiesList of metropolitan areas in the West IndiesSanto DomingoHavanaPort-au-PrinceSan JuanKingstonSantiago de CubaSantiago de los CaballerosCamageyCap-HatienSpanish TownChaguanasGeorgetownParamariboInternet TLDMultipleCalling codeMultipleTime zoneUTC-5 to UTC-4

The Caribbean ( or , local most common pronunciation )[3] is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea[4] and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean)[5] 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.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays. (See the list.) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.[6] The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands). The Lucayans and, less commonly, Bermuda, are also sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize and the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.[7]

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America[8][9][10][11][12] and are organized into 30 territories including 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.[13] 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.

The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of America.[14]

The two most prevalent pronunciations of “Caribbean” outside the Caribbean are (karr–BEE-n), with the primary stress on the third syllable, and (k-RIB-ee-n), with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.[15] This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years.[16] It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer (karr–BEE-n) while North American speakers more typically use (k-RIB-ee-n),[17] but major US dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in US English too.[18][19][20][21] The stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is increasingly considered more up to date and more correct.[22]

The Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English is in fact on the first syllable, (KARR–bee-n).[3][22]

The word “Caribbean” has multiple uses. Its principal ones are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features), Curacao, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, and Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago.

Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles.

The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[24]

The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean.

The climate of the area is tropical to subtropical in Cuba, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rain forest /semi desert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional north westerlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ seasons, with the latter six months of the year being wetter than the first half.

Hurricane season is from June to November, but they occur more frequently in August and September and more common in the northern islands of the Caribbean. Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. A great example being recent events of Hurricane Irma devastating the island of Saint Martin during the 2017 hurricane season.

Water temperatures vary from 31C (88F) to 22C (72F) all around the year. The air temperature is warm, in the 20s and 30s C (70s, 80s and 90s F) during the year, only varies from winter to summer about 25 degrees on the southern islands and about 1020 degrees difference can occur in the northern islands of the Caribbean. The northern islands, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, may be influenced by continental masses during winter months, such as cold fronts.

Aruba: Latitude 12N

Puerto Rico: Latitude 18N

Cuba: at Latitude 22N

Lucayan Archipelago[a]

Greater Antilles

Lesser Antilles

All islands at some point were, and a few still are, colonies of European nations; a few are overseas or dependent territories:

The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. The independent countries formerly part of the B.W.I. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on the mainland of that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad.

Islands in and near the Caribbean

Maritime boundaries between the Caribbean (island) nations

The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International’s biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. The region also contains about 8% (by surface area) of the world’s coral reefs[30] along with extensive seagrass meadows,[31] both of which are frequently found in the shallow marine waters bordering the island and continental coasts of the region.

For the fungi, there is a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations.[32] That checklist includes more than 11250 species of fungi recorded from the region. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true total number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring in the Caribbean, including species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered.[33] Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island;[34] for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species;[35] for the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species;[36] for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.[37]

Many of the ecosystems of the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths.[38] The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals include the Puerto Rican amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile.

The region’s coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500700 species of reef-associated fishes[39] have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent years, and are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.[40] According to a UNEP report, the Caribbean coral reefs might get extinct in next 20 years due to population explosion along the coast lines, overfishing, the pollution of coastal areas and global warming.[41]

Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans found suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production as the region’s staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados were historically the largest producers of sugar. The tropical plantation system thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, for example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands in the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. However, they have salt pans that were exploited by the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.[42]

The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.[43]

The Martinique amazon, Amazona martinicana, is an extinct species of parrot in the family Psittacidae.

At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Tano of the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of eastern Hispaniola. The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity)[44] led to a decline in the Amerindian population.[45] From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[46] such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners from Ireland, who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[citation needed] Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[47]

The population is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800.[48] Immigrants from India, China, Indonesia, and other countries arrived in the mid-19th century as indentured servants.[49] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally.[50] The total regional population was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000.[51]

The majority of the Caribbean has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race (including Mulatto-Creole, Dougla, Mestizo, Quadroon, Cholo, Castizo, Criollo, Zambo, Pardo, Asian Latin Americans, Chindian, Cocoa panyols, and Eurasian); and European people of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially those of Chinese, Indian descent, and Javenese Indonesians, form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. Indians form a majority of the population in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Most of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African-Native American (tri-racial), and a large Mulatto (European-West African) and West African minority. Cuba also has a European majority with small but growing African population. The Dominican Republic has the largest mixed race population, primarily descended from Europeans, West Africans, and Amerindians.

Larger islands such as Jamaica, have a large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, and has Chinese, Europeans, Indians, Latinos, Jews, and Arabs populations. This is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured laborers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or brown. Similar populations can be found in the Caricom states of Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrivals of Africans, Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Jews, Spanish, Portuguese, and Europeans along with the Native Amerindians population. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Dougla, Chindian, Mulatto-Creole, Afro-Asians, Eurasian, Cocoa panyols, and Asian Latin Americans

Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region, although a handful of unique creole languages or dialects can also be found in virtually every Caribbean country. Other languages such as Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, Indonesian, Amerindian languages, other African languages, other European languages, other Indian languages, and other Indonesian languages can also be found.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Caribbean (84.7%).[52] Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (Taoism and Confucianism), Bah’, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Kebatinan, Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Yoruba (Santera, Trinidad Orisha, Palo, Umbanda, Brujera, Hoodoo, Candombl, Quimbanda, Orisha, Xang de Recife, Xang do Nordeste, Comfa, Espiritismo, Santo Daime, Obeah, Candombl, Abaku, Kumina, Winti, Sanse, Cuban Vod, Dominican Vud, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, and Vodun).

Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens.[53] The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. From a political and economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM)[54] which is located in Guyana.

Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a “blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways.”[55] The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices.

The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. “Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action.”[56] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations’ desires to compete in the international economic system.[56]

Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. “With the end of the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment to the Caribbean.”[57] The lack of international support for these small, relatively poor states, helped regionalism prosper.

Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union’s allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other. [clarification needed]

The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe’s preferential program, known as the Lom Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply.[58] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States’ favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African, Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement.[59]

During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement.[60]

Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lom Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe.[61][62]

Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry. One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Proposed by CARICOM in 1992, the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. It was founded in July 1994. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues unique to the Caribbean Basin. Through coalition building, like the ACS and CARICOM, regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars, yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean.

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez launched an economic group called the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which several eastern Caribbean islands joined. In 2012, the nation of Haiti, with 9 million people, became the largest CARICOM nation that sought to join the union.[63]

Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration:

Coordinates: 143132N 754906W / 14.52556N 75.81833W / 14.52556; -75.81833

See the rest here:

Caribbean – Wikipedia

The Official Tourism Website of the Caribbean …

Explore the beauty of the Caribbean

Antigua is a winter wonderland of 365 beaches with snorkeling along a colourful coral reef, scenic harbours, seaside resorts, tasty treats & whole lot more more

Health & wellness have been a major focus at many Caribbean resorts in the past couple of years. One Aruba resort is taking the concept to the next level. more

How will events such as the hurricanes of 2017 affect you in 2018? Spoiler alert: it will affect your travel plans much less than you might think. more

Continued here:

The Official Tourism Website of the Caribbean …

Caribbean – Wikipedia

CaribbeanArea2,754,000km2 (1,063,000sqmi)Land area239,681km2 (92,541sqmi)Population (2016)43,601,839[1]Density151.5/km2 (392/sqmi)Ethnic groupsAfro-Caribbean, European, Indo-Caribbean, Latino or Hispanic (Spanish, Portuguese, and Mestizo), Chinese Caribbean, Jewish, Arab, Indonesian (Javanese),[2] Amerindian, MultiracialReligionsChristianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism, Amerindian Religion, Yoruba, Bah’, Sikhism, Chinese folk religion (including Taoism and Confucianism), Kebatinan, Afro-American religion, Traditional African Religion, and othersDemonymCaribbean, West IndianLanguagesSpanish, English, French, Dutch, French Creole, English Creole, Haitian Creole, Caribbean Hindustani, among othersGovernment13 sovereign states17 dependent territoriesLargest citiesList of metropolitan areas in the West IndiesSanto DomingoHavanaPort-au-PrinceSan JuanKingstonSantiago de CubaSantiago de los CaballerosCamageyCap-HatienSpanish TownChaguanasGeorgetownParamariboInternet TLDMultipleCalling codeMultipleTime zoneUTC-5 to UTC-4

The Caribbean ( or , local most common pronunciation )[3] is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea[4] and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean)[5] 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.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays. (See the list.) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.[6] The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands). The Lucayans and, less commonly, Bermuda, are also sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize and the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.[7]

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America[8][9][10][11][12] and are organized into 30 territories including 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.[13] 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.

The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of America.[14]

The two most prevalent pronunciations of “Caribbean” outside the Caribbean are (karr–BEE-n), with the primary stress on the third syllable, and (k-RIB-ee-n), with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.[15] This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years.[16] It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer (karr–BEE-n) while North American speakers more typically use (k-RIB-ee-n),[17] but major US dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in US English too.[18][19][20][21] The stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is increasingly considered more up to date and more correct.[22]

The Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English is in fact on the first syllable, (KARR–bee-n).[3][22]

The word “Caribbean” has multiple uses. Its principal ones are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features), Curacao, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, and Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago.

Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles.

The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[24]

The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean.

The climate of the area is tropical to subtropical in Cuba, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rain forest /semi desert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional north westerlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ seasons, with the latter six months of the year being wetter than the first half.

Hurricane season is from June to November, but they occur more frequently in August and September and more common in the northern islands of the Caribbean. Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. A great example being recent events of Hurricane Irma devastating the island of Saint Martin during the 2017 hurricane season.

Water temperatures vary from 31C (88F) to 22C (72F) all around the year. The air temperature is warm, in the 20s and 30s C (70s, 80s and 90s F) during the year, only varies from winter to summer about 25 degrees on the southern islands and about 1020 degrees difference can occur in the northern islands of the Caribbean. The northern islands, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, may be influenced by continental masses during winter months, such as cold fronts.

Aruba: Latitude 12N

Puerto Rico: Latitude 18N

Cuba: at Latitude 22N

Lucayan Archipelago[a]

Greater Antilles

Lesser Antilles

All islands at some point were, and a few still are, colonies of European nations; a few are overseas or dependent territories:

The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. The independent countries formerly part of the B.W.I. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on the mainland of that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad.

Islands in and near the Caribbean

Maritime boundaries between the Caribbean (island) nations

The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International’s biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. The region also contains about 8% (by surface area) of the world’s coral reefs[30] along with extensive seagrass meadows,[31] both of which are frequently found in the shallow marine waters bordering the island and continental coasts of the region.

For the fungi, there is a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations.[32] That checklist includes more than 11250 species of fungi recorded from the region. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true total number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring in the Caribbean, including species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered.[33] Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island;[34] for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species;[35] for the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species;[36] for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.[37]

Many of the ecosystems of the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths.[38] The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals include the Puerto Rican amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile.

The region’s coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500700 species of reef-associated fishes[39] have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent years, and are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.[40] According to a UNEP report, the Caribbean coral reefs might get extinct in next 20 years due to population explosion along the coast lines, overfishing, the pollution of coastal areas and global warming.[41]

Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans found suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production as the region’s staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados were historically the largest producers of sugar. The tropical plantation system thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, for example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands in the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. However, they have salt pans that were exploited by the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.[42]

The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.[43]

The Martinique amazon, Amazona martinicana, is an extinct species of parrot in the family Psittacidae.

At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Tano of the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of eastern Hispaniola. The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity)[44] led to a decline in the Amerindian population.[45] From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[46] such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners from Ireland, who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[citation needed] Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[47]

The population is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800.[48] Immigrants from India, China, Indonesia, and other countries arrived in the mid-19th century as indentured servants.[49] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally.[50] The total regional population was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000.[51]

The majority of the Caribbean has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race (including Mulatto-Creole, Dougla, Mestizo, Quadroon, Cholo, Castizo, Criollo, Zambo, Pardo, Asian Latin Americans, Chindian, Cocoa panyols, and Eurasian); and European people of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially those of Chinese, Indian descent, and Javenese Indonesians, form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. Indians form a majority of the population in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Most of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African-Native American (tri-racial), and a large Mulatto (European-West African) and West African minority. Cuba also has a European majority with small but growing African population. The Dominican Republic has the largest mixed race population, primarily descended from Europeans, West Africans, and Amerindians.

Larger islands such as Jamaica, have a large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, and has Chinese, Europeans, Indians, Latinos, Jews, and Arabs populations. This is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured laborers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or brown. Similar populations can be found in the Caricom states of Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrivals of Africans, Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Jews, Spanish, Portuguese, and Europeans along with the Native Amerindians population. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Dougla, Chindian, Mulatto-Creole, Afro-Asians, Eurasian, Cocoa panyols, and Asian Latin Americans

Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region, although a handful of unique creole languages or dialects can also be found in virtually every Caribbean country. Other languages such as Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, Indonesian, Amerindian languages, other African languages, other European languages, other Indian languages, and other Indonesian languages can also be found.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Caribbean (84.7%).[52] Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (Taoism and Confucianism), Bah’, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Kebatinan, Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Yoruba (Santera, Trinidad Orisha, Palo, Umbanda, Brujera, Hoodoo, Candombl, Quimbanda, Orisha, Xang de Recife, Xang do Nordeste, Comfa, Espiritismo, Santo Daime, Obeah, Candombl, Abaku, Kumina, Winti, Sanse, Cuban Vod, Dominican Vud, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, and Vodun).

Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens.[53] The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. From a political and economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM)[54] which is located in Guyana.

Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a “blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways.”[55] The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices.

The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. “Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action.”[56] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations’ desires to compete in the international economic system.[56]

Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. “With the end of the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment to the Caribbean.”[57] The lack of international support for these small, relatively poor states, helped regionalism prosper.

Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union’s allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other. [clarification needed]

The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe’s preferential program, known as the Lom Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply.[58] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States’ favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African, Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement.[59]

During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement.[60]

Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lom Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe.[61][62]

Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry. One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Proposed by CARICOM in 1992, the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. It was founded in July 1994. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues unique to the Caribbean Basin. Through coalition building, like the ACS and CARICOM, regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars, yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean.

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez launched an economic group called the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which several eastern Caribbean islands joined. In 2012, the nation of Haiti, with 9 million people, became the largest CARICOM nation that sought to join the union.[63]

Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration:

Coordinates: 143132N 754906W / 14.52556N 75.81833W / 14.52556; -75.81833

Go here to see the original:

Caribbean – Wikipedia

The Official Tourism Website of the Caribbean …

Explore the beauty of the Caribbean

Antigua is a winter wonderland of 365 beaches with snorkeling along a colourful coral reef, scenic harbours, seaside resorts, tasty treats & whole lot more more

Health & wellness have been a major focus at many Caribbean resorts in the past couple of years. One Aruba resort is taking the concept to the next level. more

How will events such as the hurricanes of 2017 affect you in 2018? Spoiler alert: it will affect your travel plans much less than you might think. more

More:

The Official Tourism Website of the Caribbean …

International fugitive who bilked $130K out of elderly people arrested in SC – The State


The State
International fugitive who bilked $130K out of elderly people arrested in SC
The State
Hainsley DaCosta Browne, who also goes by Barbados, was arrested Friday in Fairfield County, according to a news release Sunday. Brown fled the Caribbean island of Barbados to escape law enforcement for operating a phone scam ring in which he …

and more »

See the original post here:

International fugitive who bilked $130K out of elderly people arrested in SC – The State

UPDATE: 2 potential systems brewing in Caribbean, Atlantic – MyPalmBeachPost (blog)

8 P.M. UPDATE: The showers and thunderstorms associated with a strong tropical wave over the central Caribbean is showing signs of organization, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Additional development is possible while it moves west-northwest at 10-15 mph, and a tropical depression or tropical storm could form over the northwestern Caribbean before it reaches the Yucatan peninsula late Monday or Tuesday, according to the Hurricane Centers outlook issued at 8 p.m. Theres now a 70 percent chance of formation in the next five days.

Its also possible for a tropical depression or tropical storm to form over the Bay of Campeche during the middle of next week after the system passes over the Yucatan peninsula. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system tomorrow afternoon, if necessary.

Meanwhile, shower activity associated with an elongated area of low pressure about 1,000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is becoming slightly more organized. Some additional slow development is possible during the next two to three days before the system encounters less favorable environmental conditions during the middle part of next week.

Forecasters put the chance of development over the next five days at 50 percent as the system moves generally west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean at about 15 mph.

Related Check the latest tropical outlook Storm2017: Tracking map, preparation guide, more Sign up for email newsletters

PREVIOUS STORY:

The National Hurricane Center dropped the chance of development for a system in the central Atlantic Ocean, but forecasters say they expect some development as it heads toward the Antilles.

The National Hurricane Center is watching two areas for tropical development.

A large area of disturbed weather more than 1,000 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, and still more than 2,000 miles from Florida, has been given a 30 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Monday afternoon and a 50 percent chance by Thursday afternoon, the NHC said in its 2 p.m. advisory. The system is moving west-northwest at about 15 mph.

Check The Palm Beach Post storm tracking map

Forecasters are also closely watching a system in the central Caribbean Sea that they say is starting to show some signs of organization, with data showing a small area of winds just below tropical-storm force. The system is moving west-northwest at 10-15 mph, and forecasters say a tropical depression or storm could form over the Yucatan peninsula Monday or Tuesday.

A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the system Sunday afternoon at this time.

Updated season forecast: 61 percent chance of Florida landfall

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UPDATE: 2 potential systems brewing in Caribbean, Atlantic – MyPalmBeachPost (blog)

THE RITZ-CARLTON’S LUXURY RESORT OFFERINGS IN EVER-POPULAR CARIBBEAN TO GROW WITH … – St. Lucia Times Online News (press release)

Press Release:FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Castries, SAINT LUCIA 3 August 2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) has signed a management agreement with Range Developments to open a Ritz-Carlton property in Saint Lucia in 2021, bringing the award-winning luxury brand for the first time to the Eastern Caribbean island known for its lush, mountainous terrain and expansive beaches.

The 180-room Ritz-Carlton, St. Lucia will be located on the picturesque southern tip of the island, on the Caribbean southwest coast. Not only will the hotel be within easy reach of Hewanorra International Airport which has seen increased airlift catering to luxury travellers in recent years it also will be in close proximity to the famous twin volcanoes known as the Pitons, two spires that rise dramatically from the sea. The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Among the hotels many amenities will be ample meeting and group space both indoors and out; multiple dining facilities, all with outdoor seating; a spa that includes an outdoor treatment area; and several swimming pools, including one that will be designated as a quiet relaxation area only for adults.

Today, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, and other members of the cabinet joined the principals of Range Developments and representation from Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton to commemorate the signing of the agreement to build The Ritz-Carlton, St. Lucia. The Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet noted that this was an historic and significant event in the continuing development of tourism on the island.

We are delighted to see this first step in what will be a major project on the southern tip of the island, said PM Chastanet. We have maintained that our focus is on enhancing our tourism offerings and we are committed to ensuring sustainable investment and employment in Saint Lucia and particularly in the south. I am elated that we have such eminent partners in this project in what is surely going to be one of the best resorts in the Caribbean.

We are delighted to bring The Ritz-Carlton to the stunning island of Saint Lucia, and are happy to have found the right partner and opportunity to do so, said Herv Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. Were excited about the increased demand for luxury travel offerings on Saint Lucia and look forward to welcoming guests to experience the unparalleled service of The Ritz-Carlton against such a breathtaking backdrop.

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Lucia is the anchor of a larger development project led by Range Developments, a multi-phase project currently titled the Black Bay Master Development, set on a total of 180 acres. The project will be developed under the countrys Citizenship-by-Investment programme.

Range Developments has received plaudits and awards both for its designs and robust and innovative corporate social responsibility activities.

This will be our third major luxury development in the Caribbean and we are delighted to be working with the Government of Saint Lucia, says Mohammed Asaria, Vice Chairman of Range Developments. Range is aggressively expanding in the Caribbean and we are excited to bring the legendary Ritz-Carlton brand to this exclusive destination.

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Lucia will be designed and built to the highest standards. The project is estimated to create about 500 jobs on the island during construction, with a similar amount once the hotel is operational.

Saint Lucias natural beauty attracts travellers who wish to immerse themselves in stunning surroundings, with ample opportunities for hiking, sailing, swimming, and many other watersports. Travelers are drawn to the islands mountainous terrain, waterfalls, natural hot springs, coral reefs, and seemingly endless beaches.

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THE RITZ-CARLTON’S LUXURY RESORT OFFERINGS IN EVER-POPULAR CARIBBEAN TO GROW WITH … – St. Lucia Times Online News (press release)

US forecaster see 90 percent chance of cyclone over northwestern Caribbean sea – Reuters

(Reuters) – A low pressure area located about 405 miles east-southeast of Chetumal, Mexico has a 90 percent chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

“The center will pass north of Honduras tonight and early Monday, then approach the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula Monday afternoon,” the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft

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US forecaster see 90 percent chance of cyclone over northwestern Caribbean sea – Reuters

UPDATE: 2 potential systems brewing in Caribbean, Atlantic – Palm Beach Post (blog)

8 P.M. UPDATE: The showers and thunderstorms associated with a strong tropical wave over the central Caribbean is showing signs of organization, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Additional development is possible while it moves west-northwest at 10-15 mph, and a tropical depression or tropical storm could form over the northwestern Caribbean before it reaches the Yucatan peninsula late Monday or Tuesday, according to the Hurricane Centers outlook issued at 8 p.m. Theres now a 70 percent chance of formation in the next five days.

Its also possible for a tropical depression or tropical storm to form over the Bay of Campeche during the middle of next week after the system passes over the Yucatan peninsula. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system tomorrow afternoon, if necessary.

Meanwhile, shower activity associated with an elongated area of low pressure about 1,000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is becoming slightly more organized. Some additional slow development is possible during the next two to three days before the system encounters less favorable environmental conditions during the middle part of next week.

Forecasters put the chance of development over the next five days at 50 percent as the system moves generally west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean at about 15 mph.

Related Check the latest tropical outlook Storm2017: Tracking map, preparation guide, more Sign up for email newsletters

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The National Hurricane Center dropped the chance of development for a system in the central Atlantic Ocean, but forecasters say they expect some development as it heads toward the Antilles.

The National Hurricane Center is watching two areas for tropical development.

A large area of disturbed weather more than 1,000 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, and still more than 2,000 miles from Florida, has been given a 30 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Monday afternoon and a 50 percent chance by Thursday afternoon, the NHC said in its 2 p.m. advisory. The system is moving west-northwest at about 15 mph.

Check The Palm Beach Post storm tracking map

Forecasters are also closely watching a system in the central Caribbean Sea that they say is starting to show some signs of organization, with data showing a small area of winds just below tropical-storm force. The system is moving west-northwest at 10-15 mph, and forecasters say a tropical depression or storm could form over the Yucatan peninsula Monday or Tuesday.

A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the system Sunday afternoon at this time.

Updated season forecast: 61 percent chance of Florida landfall

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UPDATE: 2 potential systems brewing in Caribbean, Atlantic – Palm Beach Post (blog)

Caribbean franchise celebrates National Jamaican Patty Day – News 12 Bronx (registration)

THE BRONX –

The nations largest Caribbean franchise chain celebrated National Jamaican Patty Day Saturday with 99 cent beef patties, live reggae music and activities across the country.

News 12 visited Golden Krust in the Bronx to celebrate the sites third annual patty festivity, where hundreds of people turned out and close to 1,000 patties were sold.

Attendees were also invited to participate in a beef patty eating contest.

The franchise serves nine different patties, including beef, shrimp and spinach, and has over 120 locations across the US.

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Caribbean franchise celebrates National Jamaican Patty Day – News 12 Bronx (registration)

Puerto Rican island is a Caribbean paradise without the frills [column] – LancasterOnline

VIEQUES, Puerto Rico Our family wanted a Caribbean island with the white sand, secluded beaches, aqua water, palm trees, vivid sunsets and great snorkeling, but without wall-to-wall resorts.

Yes, such a place still exists, and it is Vieques, a small island 8 miles off the eastern coast of the Puerto Rican mainland.

We encountered the laid-back vibe as soon as we landed in the eight-seat puddle jumper from San Juan. Exiting the one-room terminal, we walked out the door, suitcases in tow, and were startled to see two wild horses sparring over a mare and foal in the parking lot.

There are some 4,000 free-range horses on the island, and they go everywhere and anywhere, including the main streets in the islands two modest small seaside towns.

The wild horses of Vieques are usually shadowed by cattle egrets, which savor the insects the horses flush when they walk. Sometimes, the egrets perch on the horses back, eating bugs.

A mongoose on Vieques island. The predator from India has played havoc with native wildlife

The remains of the Puerto Ferro lighthouse.

A 300-year-old ceiba tree.

Lounging dogs are part of the open-air restaurant scene in Esperanza on Vieques island.

Clashing clouds during a Vieques sunset.

The wild horses of Vieques are usually shadowed by cattle egrets, which savor the insects the horses flush when they walk. Sometimes, the egrets perch on the horses back, eating bugs.

A mongoose on Vieques island. The predator from India has played havoc with native wildlife

The remains of the Puerto Ferro lighthouse.

A 300-year-old ceiba tree.

Lounging dogs are part of the open-air restaurant scene in Esperanza on Vieques island.

Clashing clouds during a Vieques sunset.

Youll also see dates clip-clopping around town, texting in the saddle. Many of the open-air restaurants in the quaint fishing village of Esperanza have fixtures of dogs on the floor.

Add the unpenned dogs, cats and chickens that also roam as they please, and you may see more animals than the islands 9,000 residents.

The Vieques experience is not for the resort crowd there is only one on the island.

But get yourself a Jeep almost all rentals are Jeeps bounce down lumpy dirt roads, and you have your pick of about two-dozen iconic beaches as found in one of those Corona Find your Beach ads.

The island is a mere 5 miles wide and 21 miles long so youre never far from a new cove, each with its own flavor, color of sand, height of waves and coral reefs.

And then theres Mosquito Bay, the worlds best bioluminescent water where microscopic organisms when disturbed turn each paddle stroke into a silvery streak.

Under a new moon one night in a glass-bottom kayak, we oohed and aahed as a fish zig-zagged away in a shimmering dart.

Its like chasing Tinkerbell, my nephew exclaimed under a sky festooned by the arc of the Milky Way. It looked like shooting stars passing under the glass in our skimming boats. Even the waves were tipped with phosphorescence.

Snorkeling day after day, we lost ourselves in watery worlds following fingers of coral. Reef madness.

Underwater plants bowed to the pulse of currents and sea turtles glided effortlessly through grass beds. I felt like I was floating through a dream.

From our hilltop rental bungalow, we watched daily spectacles where billowy dark storm clouds sailed over outbursts from sunrises and sunsets.

Sunsets on Vieques are spectacular.

All these wonders on Vieques came at a price.

Beginning in World War II, the U.S. military seized the island for bombing practice and to simulate beach invasions. Barbed wire was strung between palm trees and beaches bulldozed. Bombs containing napalm, Agent Orange and radioactive plutonium were dropped over the next 50 years.

After the U.S. bought most of the island from owners of former sugar cane plantations, thousands of self-sufficient islanders with farms and orchards were forced to squeeze into the middle of the island without compensation.

After decades of protests that attracted increasing worldwide sympathy, the island was returned to Puerto Rican control in 2003.

More than half the island was made a national wildlife refuge. No other island in the Caribbean has as much land under conservation.

Though parts of the island still contain unexploded ordnance and are off-limits, the military rule did keep some of the best beaches in the Caribbean from being developed and are now open to the public for free. One morning, we had an entire beach to ourselves.

Environmental degradation goes even further back.

A mongoose on Vieques island. The predator from India has played havoc with native wildlife

Foreign plantation owners brought the mongoose, a predator from India, to control the rat population. The animal controlled ground rats, but not tree rats. With no natural predators of their own, the out-of-control mongoose population has killed many native birds and virtually wiped out snakes.

Yet islanders do not appear to hold a grudge. Several times, locals stopped to offer guidance when I stopped in uncertainty in our Jeep.

There are no friendlier people on the planet, maintains E. Martin Walker, a New York psychologist whose search for an alternative to overdeveloped Mexican beach resorts led him to Vieques 21 years ago.

He arrived sight unseen in a puddle jumper that landed in a field with a cargo container for a terminal. He slept behind a bar his first night.

Now, he spends part of the year in a small house tending to 15 varieties of tropical fruit trees, whose bounty he gives away to neighbors.

I love driving the rough roads that go nowhere because it is impossible to get lost on a tiny island, and breathtaking views are around every corner, he says.

Adds the Rev. Don Bradley, 68, who visited the island from his home in Massachusetts four years ago and has felt the pull ever since, Its just one great place after another.

One morning, on U-shaped Playa Media Luna beach, I spied an islander, face pasted with sunscreen, slowly walking along the beach, picking up flotsam washed in by the sea and stuffing it into a bag.

He walked a long way and when he got close I asked him why he was doing it.

In broken English, he said he does it so that the beach is as it should be.

Panoramic view of a Vieques beach.

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Puerto Rican island is a Caribbean paradise without the frills [column] – LancasterOnline

Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green Bring Their PDA to the Caribbean on Barbados Vacation – Entertainment Tonight

Playing Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green Bring Their PDA to the Caribbean on Barbados Vacation

Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green are taking their PDA to the Caribbean!

The couple showed off plenty of PDA while vacationing in Barbados on Saturday.

WATCH: Jeremy Meeks Reconnects With Chloe Green In Steamy LA Makeout Session After Filing for Separation From Wife

Meeks and Green both sported printed bathing suits as they held hands during a stroll along the beach. Later, the two heated things up with a makeout session in the ocean.

Photo: MEGA

Photo: MEGA

RELATED: Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green Flaunt PDA on Beverly Hills Coffee Run

Meeks and Green first made headlines last month when they couldn’t keep their hands off each other during a Mediterranean yacht vacay — while Meeks was still married to his wife, Melissa.

After seeing the photos, Melissa declared that their “marriage is over” and Meeks filed for legal separation upon his return to Los Angeles. Meeks continued to flaunt PDA with Green while Melissa threw shade at the model over social media.

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Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green Bring Their PDA to the Caribbean on Barbados Vacation – Entertainment Tonight

Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas Adding Havana, Cuba As Port of Call In 2019 – SpaceCoastDaily.com

Majesty of the Seas homeports in Port Canaveral

Royal Caribbeans Majesty of the Seas will be adding Havana, Cuba as a port of call beginning in March, 2019. The ship homeports in Port Canaveral and accommodates more than 2,700 passengers.

BREVARD COUNTY PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA Royal Caribbeans Majesty of the Seas will be adding Havana, Cuba as a port of call beginning in March, 2019.

Majesty of the Seas homeports in Port Canaveral and accommodates more than 2,700 passengers.

The Havana stop will be part of a four-night cruise, including a day at sea, 12 hour stay in Havana, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and then another day and night sailing back to Port Canaveral.

Empress of the Seas is currently the only Royal Caribbean vessel to offer cruises to Cuba. Those cruises began in April of this year.

Empress of the Seas currently operates a 7-day cycle with four night cruises sailing every Monday through Friday, stopping at Nassau, Coco Cay (a private island owned by Royal Caribbean), and one day at sea.

A three-night cruise follows to Nassau and Coco Cay only each weekend.

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Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas Adding Havana, Cuba As Port of Call In 2019 – SpaceCoastDaily.com

Free Caribbean Cruise – HuffPost

Boy, was I excited or what? Imagine picking up the phone expecting to hear the familiar voice of a friend and instead being informed, by a perky female, that youd won a free Caribbean cruise! I was so tired of the guy with an Indian accent claiming to be Bob from Ohio and offering to fix the Windows computer that Ive never had. But a cruise, warm breezes, margaritas, island girls. Well, it turned out to be not entirely free, but at least the pitch was delivered by a living person.

I said how glad I was that shed called because I lived in an isolated lighthouse and was lonely: did she have time to talk? She paused, then hung up. I guess there were lots of other winners to move down the list to.

To be truthful, Im surprised it took so long to make my phone into an advertising medium. I was used to ads on the TV, the car radio, billboards, magazines, the local newspaper, coasters, shopping bags, and in my mailbox. Plus door-to-door guys hawking religion. Why not the phone, too? And what about the internet?

On the computer screen it was such a relief to find ads increasingly decorating what would otherwise have been plain unaccompanied articles and videos. Sending content out alone is like pushing a kid out the door to make his or her way to school past all the terrorists and sex perverts. It would be un-American to pass a law against calling a number at which you didnt actually know someone or otherwise restricting uninvited solicitations, wouldnt it?

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Free Caribbean Cruise – HuffPost

Caribbean, East Atlantic may spawn tropical threats in coming days – Fox News

There is the potential for two tropical systems, one in the Atlantic and one in the Caribbean, to slowly develop and drift westward over the next week.

The next two names on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic for 2017 are Franklin and Gert.

Residents and those planning vacations around the Caribbean should closely monitor the weather and forecasts.

Up to this point in the season, there have been extensive areas of dry air and Saharan dust as well as a large zone of strong westerly winds aloft. These three factors act as a strong deterrent toward tropical storm formation and can bring an early demise to well-developed tropical storms and hurricanes.

Conditions are gradually becoming more favorable for development in the tropical Atlantic with dry air, dust and strong winds aloft on the retreat. Waters are sufficiently warm over the region.

One system, dubbed 90L, was located close to South America over the south-central Caribbean and is the more immediate concern of the two.

“In the short-term, the close proximity to South America will be a significant inhibiting factor for development,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

“However, once this system moves away from South America, it will have a better chance for development sometime this weekend,” Doll said.

Depending on the track and speed of strengthening of 90L, some of the islands and mainland areas may be affected by adverse conditions and perhaps localized flooding.

An immediate concern for torrential downpours, gusty thunderstorms and building seas will be in northwestern Venezuela, northern Colombia, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao through Saturday.

As 90L grows in size, the risk of flooding downpours, gusty winds and rough seas may affect Jamaica late Saturday night and Sunday.

Westerly steering winds may bring 90L close over Nicaragua and Honduras later this weekend.

While this track would mark an end for strengthening, the two nations could be affected by damaging and dangerous conditions from flooding and gusty winds.

Should 90L take a more northwesterly track, toward the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, it would have more time for development and may then wander into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico next week.

The system farthest away from North America, dubbed 99L, has the potential to gradually develop into next week and beyond, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

“Nintey-nine L could become a tropical depression by the end of the weekend,” Doll said.

Provided the system avoids strong winds aloft and dry air to the north, significant additional strengthening could occur.

If 99L develops and/or survives, then it is likely approach the Windward and Leeward islands during the middle to latter part of next week. Parts of these islands are likely to experience an uptick in showers and thunderstorms at very least during that time.

The exact track of 99L in relation to the proximity to the islands will depend on how quickly the system strengthens. A weak and poorly organized system is more likely to track to the west. A developed system is more likely to track north of west.

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Caribbean, East Atlantic may spawn tropical threats in coming days – Fox News

South Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival planned for Aug. 19 – News-Daily.com

JONESBORO The Caribbean Association of Georgia Inc. is hosting its 8th Annual South Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival on Aug. 19.

The festival, presented by Clayton County Board of Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, will be held at the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138, from 1 to 8 p.m. The event will celebrate Caribbean American heritage.

The CAG festival will feature a lineup of entertainers including dancers, singers, musicians, stilt performers and spoken word artists. Visitors will have the chance to taste authentic Caribbean food and children can play in the CAG Kids Zone. Free medical screenings will also be available.

The Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival provides a family friendly atmosphere that highlights the rich contributions of the Caribbean American community. Each year, the Caribbean Association of Georgia shares the spirit and economic power of Atlantas Caribbean American community. This years celebration in Clayton County will help support CAGs ongoing international humanitarian efforts and local social impact programs.

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available, but space is limited. For more information about the South Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival and the work of CAG visit http://www.caribbeangeorgia.org.

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South Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival planned for Aug. 19 – News-Daily.com

Airbnb will let you rent your own off-the-grid Caribbean island – Inhabitat

Why settle for a beachfront cabana when you can rent the whole island? For $595 per night, Bird Island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean could be yours. The listing comes courtesy of Airbnb, which plies such unique retreats as a treehouse in a 150-year-old oak, a replica of Vincent Van Goghs Bedroom in Arles, and a floating house on Australias Great Barrier Reef.

Stay on your own in a truly private island on a beautiful atoll, with excellent swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and exploringwith all the comforts, Airbnb promises. It is a perfect setting for either a romantic get-away for a couple, a family gathering/reunion or for a small group of friends.

The spot, which is 20 minutes by boat from Placencia Village on the mainland, includes a private three-bedroom home that can accommodate up to six guests, a brand-new propane refrigerator and freezer, and a rainwater filtration system.

Although Bird Island is off the gridpower is generated through solar and windyou dont have to be cut off from the world if you dont want to. The locale boasts a phone for local numbers, plus good and reliable WiFi.

Related: Washington Hobbit Hole is the first of three in an off-grid Shire

Self-sufficiency is key, however. Youll have to supplyor fish foryour own food. Snorkling or angling equipment is also strictly BYO.

The central theme of Bird Island is a self-catering, Robinson Crusoe type of adventure, yet with all the comforts, where one could get to do their own thing in total privacy, Airbnb says. We offer Bird Island at an exceptional price for an experience best-suited for the adventurous who are totally self-sufficient.

+ Airbnb

Photos via Airbnb

Via Thrillist

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Airbnb will let you rent your own off-the-grid Caribbean island – Inhabitat


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