A mostly tropical geography, the climates are greatly shaped by sea temperatures and precipitation, with the hurricane season regularly leading to natural disasters. Because of its tropical climate and low-lying island geography, the Caribbean is vulnerable to a number of climate change effects, including increased storm intensity, saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and coastal erosion, and precipitation variability. These weather changes will greatly change the economies of the islands, and especially the major industries of agricultural and tourism.
The Caribbean was occupied by indigenous people since at least 6000 BC. When European colonization followed the arrival of Columbus, the population was quickly decimated by brutal labour practices, enslavement and disease and on many islands, Europeans supplanted the native populations with enslaved Africans. Following the independence of Haiti from France in the early 19th century and the decline of slavery in the 19th century, island nations in the Caribbean gradually gained independence, with a wave of new states during the 1950s and 60s. Because of the proximity to the United States, there is also a long history of United States intervention in the region. (Full article...)
The French were the first Europeans to settle on the island. They signed a treaty with the native Island Caribs in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667. In ensuing years, it was at war with France fourteen times, and the rule of the island changed frequently (it was ruled seven times each by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because it switched so often between British and French control, Saint Lucia was also known as the "Helen of the West" after the Greek mythological character, Helen of Troy. (Full article...)
Mangú is a Dominican traditional dish served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Mangú is made up of boiled (either ripe or green) plantains or green bananas. The plantains are then mashed with butter, margarine or oil in the water in which they were boiled. The dish is topped with sautéed red onions that have been cooked with vinegar. Queso frito (fried cheese), fried Dominican salami, and fried eggs are often added as side dishes. Mangú is also known as los tres golpes, a popular slang term used in the Dominican community. Los tres golpes literally means "the three hits," a term meaning mangú with cheese, salami, and eggs. (Full article...)
A relatively small swallow, the Jamaican subspecies had bronze upperparts and bronze sides of the head. The ears and lores were duller and the forehead area was more green than bronze. The shoulders, back, rump, and uppertail-coverts were, on the other hand, a coppery-bronze colour. The lesser and median coverts were more coppery, with the greater and primary-wing-coverts being more of a dusky green. The primaries, secondaries, and tail were a dusky bronze-green. The underparts are mostly white. The legs, feet, and irides are dark brown, and the bill was black. The female is similar, but with its breast, and occasionally throat and undertail-coverts, being mottled grey-brown. The juvenile is also mottled-grey brown, in addition to it being duller overall. The Hispaniolan subspecies, T. e. sclateri, is primarily differentiated by its more deeply forked tail, blue-green forehead and uppertail-coverts, and blue-black wings and tail. (Full article...)
Rumba is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave. According to Argeliers León, rumba is one of the major "genre complexes" of Cuban music, and the term rumba complex is now commonly used by musicologists. This complex encompasses the three traditional forms of rumba (yambú, guaguancó and columbia), as well as their contemporary derivatives and other minor styles.
Traditionally performed by poor workers of African descent in streets and solares (courtyards), rumba remains one of Cuba's most characteristic forms of music and dance. Vocal improvisation, elaborate dancing and polyrhythmic drumming are the key components of all rumba styles. Cajones (wooden boxes) were used as drums until the early 20th century, when they were replaced by tumbadoras (conga drums). During the genre's recorded history, which began in the 1940s, there have been numerous successful rumba bands such as Los Papines, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Clave y Guaguancó, AfroCuba de Matanzas and Yoruba Andabo. (Full article...)
Image 4A 19th-century lithograph by Theodore Bray showing a sugarcane plantation. On right is "white officer", the European overseer, watching plantation workers. To the left is a flat-bottomed vessel for cane transportation. (from History of the Caribbean)
Image 12The slaves brought to the Caribbean lived in inhumane conditions. Above are examples of slave huts in Bonaire provided by Dutch colonialists. About 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, between 2 and 3 slaves slept in these after working in nearby salt mines. (from History of the Caribbean)
Image 23Illustration circa 1815 showing "Incendie du Cap" (Burning of Cape Francais) during the Haitian Revolution. The caption reads: "General revolt of the Blacks. Massacre of the Whites". (from History of the Caribbean)