Portal:Caribbean

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The Caribbean (/ˌkærɪˈbən, kəˈrɪbiən/ KARR-ib-EE-ən, kə-RIB-ee-ən, locally /ˈkærɪbiæn/ KARR-ib-ee-an; Spanish: el Caribe; French: les Caraïbes; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: de Caraïben) 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). They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago (the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands), which are considered to be part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region, 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. (Full article...)

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Band members performing on drums while in the street; one member is wearing a monkey mask and comic hat.
A Dominican Carnival costume band

The music of Dominica includes a variety of genres including all the popular genres of the world. Popular music is widespread, with a number of native Dominican performers gaining national fame in imported genres such as calypso, reggae, soca, kompa, zouk and rock and roll. Dominica's own popular music industry has created a form called bouyon, which combines elements from several styles and has achieved a wide fanbase in Dominica. Groups include WCK (Windward Caribbean Kulture), Native musicians in various forms, such as reggae (Nasio Fontaine, Lazo, Brother Matthew Luke), kadans (Ophelia Marie, (Exile One, Grammacks) and calypso (The Wizzard), have also become stars at home and abroad.

There is also "Cadence-lypso", the Dominica kadans, which has set the stage for some of the region's most significant musical developments such as zouk and bouyon (another Dominican creation). (Full article...)

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Montego Bay Photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
View of Montego Bay from the hillside

Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James in Jamaica. The city is the fourth-largest urban area in the country by population, after Kingston, Spanish Town, and Portmore, all of which form the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, home to over half a million people. As a result, Montego Bay is the second-largest anglophone city in the Caribbean, after Kingston.

Montego Bay is a popular tourist destination featuring duty-free shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches and resorts. The city is served by the Donald Sangster International Airport, the busiest airport in the Anglophone Caribbean, which is located within the official city limits. The city is enclosed in a watershed, drained by several rivers such as the Montego River. Montego Bay is referred to as "The Second City", "MoBay" or "Bay". (Full article...)

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Keshi yena.png
The Aruban and Curaçaoan dish Keshi Yena
Keshi yena is an Aruban and Curaçaoan main course dish, consisting of a large round ball of cheese stuffed with spiced meat (often chicken), served steamed or baked. The dish is believed to have originated from Dutch Empire slaves of the Dutch West Indies stuffing leftover rinds of Gouda or Edam cheeses with meat table scraps. The name "keshi" is reported to be the Papiamento language rendering of kaas, "cheese" in Dutch. Modern keshi yena recipes typically include olives, raisins and chicken as ingredients in the stuffing. While some modern cooks prepare keshi yena in ramekins, others stick to the traditional method of baking the dish in an empty can of sausages, or by wrapping the cheese in plantain leaves. (Full article...)

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Hurricane Jeanne 25 sept 1615Z full.jpg
  • ...that in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne (pictured) hit the Haitian coastal city of Gonaïves, where it affected about 80,000 of the city's 100,000 residents? And that official reports counted 3,006 people dead, with 2,826 of those in Gonaïves alone?

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A common coquí (Eleutherodactylus coqui), arguably the most recognizable species of Puerto Rico's fauna

The fauna of Puerto Rico is similar to other island archipelago faunas, with high endemism, and low, skewed taxonomic diversity. Bats are the only extant native terrestrial mammals in Puerto Rico. All other terrestrial mammals in the area were introduced by humans, and include species such as cats, goats, sheep, the small Indian mongoose, and escaped monkeys. Marine mammals include dolphins, manatees, and whales. Of the 349 bird species, about 120 breed in the archipelago, and 47.5% are accidental or rare.

The most recognizable and famous animal of Puerto Rico is probably the common coquí, a small endemic frog, and one of the 86 species that constitute Puerto Rico's herpetofauna. Some native freshwater fish inhabit Puerto Rico, but some species, introduced by humans, have established populations in reservoirs and rivers. The low richness-high diversity pattern is also apparent among invertebrates, which constitutes most of the archipelago's fauna. (Full article...)

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Interior of Catedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Credit: Lapo Luchini, 2004

Interior of Cathedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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Soca music is a genre of music defined by Lord Shorty, its inventor, as the "Soul of Calypso", which has influences of African and East Indian rhythms. It was originally spelt "sokah" by its inventor but through an error in a local newspaper when reporting on the new music it was erroneously spelt "soca"; Lord Shorty confirmed the error but chose to leave it that way to avoid confusion. It is a genre of music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1970s and developed into a range of styles during the 1980s and after. Soca was initially developed by Lord Shorty in an effort to revive traditional calypso, the popularity of which had been flagging amongst younger generations in Trinidad due to the rise in popularity of reggae from Jamaica and soul and funk from the United States. Soca is an offshoot of Calypso/Kaiso, with influences from East Indian rhythms and hooks.

Soca has evolved since the 1980s primarily through musicians from various Anglophone Caribbean countries, so not only from its birthplace Trinidad and Tobago but also from Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, the US and British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Belize. There have also been significant productions from artists in Venezuela, Canada, Panama, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. (Full article...)

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