The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
The Caribbean (, locally ) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region has more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays (see the list of Caribbean islands). Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: The Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago on the north and the Lesser Antilles and the on the south and east (which includes the Leeward Antilles). The Lucayan Archipelago (the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands), do not border the Caribbean Sea, but are still within the boundaries of the Caribbean region. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.
Geopolitically, the islands of the Caribbean (the West Indies) are often regarded as a region of North America, though sometimes they are included in Central America or left as a region of their own. 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. 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. Read more...
The known history of Puerto Rico
began with the settlement of the archipelago
of Puerto Rico
by the Ortoiroid culture, sometime between 3000–2000 BC. Other tribes, such as the Igneri
Indians, populated the island between 120 and 1000 AD. At the time of Christopher Columbus
's arrival in the New World
, the dominant indigenous culture was that of the Taínos
. The Taíno culture died out during the latter half of the 16th century because of exploitation, war and diseases brought by the Spanish.
Located in the northeastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico was the key to the Spanish Empire since the early years of the exploration, conquest and colonization of the New World. The smallest of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico was a major military post during many wars between Spain and other European powers for control of the region during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The island was a stepping-stone in the passage from Europe to Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and the northern territories of South America. Throughout most of the 19th century and until the conclusion of the Spanish–American War, Puerto Rico and Cuba were the last two Spanish colonies in the New World and served as the final outposts in Spanish strategies to regain control of the American continents.
Did you know?
- ...that Alexander Bustamante, the prominent Jamaican politician, was born William Alexander Clarke but took the name Bustamante to honour an Iberian sea captain who befriended him in his youth?
[[Image:|center|350px|picture taken by Isaac Alonzo in the top of Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic, in the picture the face of Juan Pablo Duarte, independence hero, behind in the picture La Pelona]]
Statue of Juan Pablo Duarte at Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic.
Selected geography article
is the easternmost island of the Lesser Antilles
, situated 480 kilometers north of Guyana
, 160 kilometers east of St. Vincent
, and 965 kilometers southeast of Puerto Rico
. This isolated pear-shaped island extends for 34 kilometers along a north-south axis and has a maximum breadth of 23 kilometers, giving it a total land area of 430 square kilometers.