The Caribbean Islands consist of 3 diﬀerent island groups:1) The Greater Antilles2) The Lesser Antilles3) The Bahamas with the exception of some of the islands in the Bahamas, a# of the islands in the Caribbean are in the Tropics
The Greater Antilles include:CubaJamaicaHispaniola (Haiti and the DominicanRepublic)Puerto Ricothe 4 largest islands in the CaribbeanThe Lesser Antilles form an arc thatseparates the Caribbean Sea from the AtlanticOcean and include, among others:The Virgin IslandsDominicaSt. LuciaBarbadosGranadaThe Bahamas include nearly 700 islandsnorth of CubaThe Netherlands Antilles hug thecoast of South AmericaArubaTrinidad and Tobago
Volcanic Islands of the Caribbean Many islands are actually volcanoes pushed up from subduction taking place along the Atlantic side of the Archipelago.The Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted on the island of Martinique in 1997, killing 19 people. The volcano is still active today.
Coral Islands of the CaribbeanOver time, some islands are built as sand andsediment accumulate on top of a coral reef. Eventually, the islandemerges from the ocean, plants form and anecosystem develops. The sandy soil drains too easily and doesn’t support agriculture.
Wind and Water Temperatures aﬀect landtemperatures on islands in the Caribbean. As wind blows oﬀ of cooler water onto the shores of the islands, it cools the temperature over land. Modest temperatures hover in the 80s year around. Also, the windward side of the islands receive considerably more rainfall (200”/year) than the leeward sides (30”/year).
Where are the Natives?... European colonists arrived shortly after Columbus’ visit in 1492 and within 100 years, most native islanders had vanished due to diseases and mistreatment. Most currents islanders are descendants of Africans brought over to work on the Sugar Cane plantations Culturally, Calypso music, with its steel drums, satire, and a rhythmic beat, traces back to enslaved Africans working on the plantations in Trinidad. There is a sizable Asian population in the Caribbean. When slavery wasabolished, the need for plantation workers brought an inﬂux of Asians from half way around the world.
Independent Island Nations of the Caribbean Cuba Haiti the Dominican Republic Barbados Jamaica the Bahamas Trinidad and Tobago (one country) about 90% of the Caribbean population live in independent countries Other interesting connections... Colonies of the United Kingdom The British Virgin Islands, Monserrat, and the Cayman Islands Independent Members of the British Commonwealth Jamaica and the Bahamas US Territories US Virgin Islands US Commonwealth Puerto Rico Department of France Guadeloupe and Martinique Netherlands Associates the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
Economics - Agriculture fertile volcanic soils produce much of the world’s bananas, sugar, coconuts, cocoa, rice and cotton; secondary jobs related to agriculture include reﬁning sugar, packagingproducts and making textiles; tertiary jobs are found in the shipping industry Economics - Tourism Climate, beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and coral reefs attract visitors from all over the world; however, as tourism thrives, many of the business associated with tourism (hotels, cruise lines...) are owned by foreign companies so most of the proﬁt doesn’t beneﬁt the islands.
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