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Playa de Cayo Levantado
Location Caribbean.png

The Caribbean (/ˌkærɪˈbən, kəˈrɪbiən/, locally /ˈkærɪbiæn/) (Spanish: El Caribe; French: la Caraïbe; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben; Caribbean Hindustani: कैरेबियन / کیریبین; Chinese: 加勒比) 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...

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The British Virgin Islands sent a delegation to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia from 7–23 February 2014. This was the second Winter Olympic Games appearance for the territory, after the 1984 Winter Olympics. The team consisted of one athlete, the freestyle skier Peter Crook, who became the territory's second Winter Olympian ever. In the men's halfpipe, he came in 27th place. Read more...

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Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg

The Turks and Caicos Islands (abbreviated TCI; /tɜːrks/ and /ˈkkəs, -ks, -kɒs/) are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Atlantic Ocean and northern West Indies. They are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre. The resident population was 31,458 of whom 23,769 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands; July 2018 estimates put the population at 53,700. It is the third largest of the British overseas territories by population.

The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain, northeast of Cuba, and north of the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 1,042 kilometres (647 mi) east-southeast of Miami, United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres (170 sq mi). Read more...

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Walkerswood Solomon Gundy smoked herring paste

Solomon Gundy is a Jamaican pickled (with salt) fish pâté usually served with crackers as an appetizer.

The pâté is made with smoked red herring (although other fish such as mackerel and shad are also sometimes used) and is minced and spiced with chili peppers and seasonings. The dish appears on the menus of Jamaican restaurants and resorts. It is also sold as a packaged food for export. Read more...

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AdmiraltyBayBequia.jpg
  • ...that Bequia, the name of the largest island in the Grenadines (pictured), means "island of clouds" in Arawak?
  • ...that Trenchtown, a neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica, gets its name from a large open-trenched sewer that ran through the neighbourhood?

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Adult of the subspecies sclateri perching on a nest box

The golden swallow (Tachycineta euchrysea) is a passerine in the swallow family, Hirundinidae. Two subspecies are recognised, the Jamaican T. e. euchrysea and T. e. sclateri of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). It usually inhabits the hills on the interior of islands, preferring open country. Currently, this swallow is restricted to isolated montane forests that primarily consist of the Hispaniolan pine. This species is considered to be a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although the nominate subspecies, T. e. euchrysea, is likely extinct. The exact cause of extinction is unknown, but likely factors include predation by mammals and habitat loss, although the habitat loss theory is not supported by very much evidence. The last sighting of the nominate subspecies was in Hardwar Gap (located on the boundary between Saint Andrew and Portland parishes), with three birds being seen on 8 June 1989.

A relatively small swallow, the nominate subspecies has bronze upperparts and bronze sides of the head. The ears and lores are duller and the forehead area is more green than bronze. The shoulders, back, rump, and uppertail-coverts are, on the other hand, a coppery-bronze colour. The lesser and median coverts are more coppery, with the greater and primary-wing-coverts being more of a dusky green. The primaries, secondaries, and tail are a dusky bronze-green. The underparts are mostly white. The legs, feet, and irides are dark brown, and the bill is 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 extant 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. Read more...

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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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The Mongoose Play, a popular production of folk theatre and music

The music of Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival (December 17 to January 3 on Saint Kitts). The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival, while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August.

In addition, there are other festivals on the island of Saint Kitts. There is Inner City Fest in February in Molineaux Green Valley Festival usually around Whit Monday in the village of Cayon, Easterama around Easter (April) in the village of Sandy Point, Fest-Tab, around July-August in the village of Tabernacle, and La festival de Capisterre, around Independence Day in Saint Kitts and Nevis (19 September), in the Capisterre region. These celebrations typically feature parades, street dances and salsa, jazz, soca, calypso and steelpan music. Read more...

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