Created from volcanic eruptions in the Lesser Antilles, the island nation of Granada is made up of seven total islands located in the eastern Caribbean ninety miles to the north of Venezuela. Grenada, the largest of the islands measures twenty-six miles from the top to bottom and fourteen miles across. It was once given the name of “The Spice Island” due to the immense production of cinnamon, cocoa and nutmeg. Its dense rain forest and picturesque beaches along with brilliant foliage are only made better by the mild climate. Its southern position provide it protection from hurricanes, making it the perfect vacation spot.
The history of Grenada started with its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians who migrated from the Amazoian basin of South America. In due time all of them were wiped out by the Carib Indians, so when Columbus arrived in 1498, he encountered the Caribs. The Caribs ruled the island until the arrival of the French in 1672, and held the island until the British invasion in 1762. The British rule lasted until its independence in 1974.
While more than 80% of the population is of African origin that descended from the African slaves planted on the island to work the European plantations, a lot of the original Amerindian culture is still evident in the pottery and Indian crafts being made using traditional methods. Grenada’s cultural attractions include Carnival, steel bands and Calypso music. Family is the central unit with several generations living together under one roof. Father is the dominant household figure, but children are raised collectively by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Grenada has undergone significant development in the last one decade. The tourist industry has expanded rapidly, with it has come more awareness to protect the natural environment. The National Parks have been significantly developed, while the rain forest along with the coral reefs is a high priority conservation matter.
Capital: St. George's
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestants
Land area: 131 sq mi (339 sq km)