The Islands of the Caribbean



The Caribbean Sea is the large body of water that lies north of the northern tip of South America. Within the Caribbean sea are many islands that have played an important role in the history and culture of the Western hemisphere.  

By far the largest island in the Caribbean is Cuba. Cuba was formerly a colony of Spain, but became independent in 1902. Cuba became a Communist country in 1959, when a revolution overthrew an unpopular government. After the revolution, many Cubans fled to the United States. Today, the American city of Miami, in the state of Florida, has been greatly influenced by Cuban culture. Tobacco is widely grown in Cuba, and the country is famous for the cigars that are produced in the capital city, Havana.  

The island of Hispaniola is located just east of Cuba. This island is divided into two countries. In the west is Haiti, where the people speak a variety of the French language that has been influenced by African languages. In the east is the Dominican Republic, where the people speak Spanish.  

Another important Caribbean island is Puerto Rico. This was previously a Spanish colony, but it is now governed by the United States. Many people from Puerto Rico have moved to the mainland United States, especially the New York area.  

In many other islands in the Caribbean, English is the main language. The largest of these islands is Jamaica, which is located just south of Cuba. Most Jamaicans are the descendants of African people who were brought to work as slaves on sugar plantations. Jamaica is famous as the birthplace of the style of music called “reggae,” which was popularized in other countries by Bob Marley, a famous Jamaican musician.  

Another important English-speaking Caribbean island is Trinidad. This island is located just north of South America. The population of Trinidad is very diverse. The largest groups of people are descended from people who came from Africa and India, but there are many other nationalities also. Trinidad is famous for a style of music known as “calypso,” and for musicians who produce pleasant sounds by playing steel drums.  

There are also many other, smaller islands in the Caribbean, each with its own unique features. Many of these islands possess fine beaches, and are popular tourist destinations. The warm weather of the Caribbean makes it a popular place for North Americans who must live through cold winters!

1 thought on “The Islands of the Caribbean

  • lie

    lie
    ▶PLACE◀
    if a town, village, etc lies in a particular place, it is in that place
    The town lies in a small wooded valley. The Tasman Sea lies between Tasmania and Australia.


    hemisphere

    hemisphere
    a half of the Earth, esp. the northern or southern halves above and below the EQUATOR, or the eastern or western half: What is the largest city in the southern hemisphere?


    overthrow

    overthrow
    to remove a leader or government from power, especially by force
    ᅳsynonym oust
    Rebels were already making plans to overthrow the government.
    the overthrow of monarchy 
    the Arabs overthrew the Sassanians


    flee

    flee
    past tense and past participle fled
    to escape (from) by hurrying away, esp. because one is afraid:
    His attackers turned and fled.
    Masaari spent six months in prison before fleeing the country .
    flee to/from/into
    Many German artists fled to America at the beginning of World War II.
    The spectators fled in panic when the bull got loose. | We were forced to flee the country. (=go abroad for safety)

    they were fleeing the police

    descendant

     descendant
    someone (or animal) who is related to a person (or animal) who lived a long time ago, or to a family, group of people etc that existed in the past
    ᅳsee also ancestor
    somebody’s descendants/the descendants of somebody

    The coastal areas were occupied by the descendants of Greek colonists.
    He was a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    plantation

    plantation
    a large area of land in a hot country, where crops such as tea, cotton, and sugar are grown
    a rubber plantation
    a sugar-cane plantation
    Look at this examples


    reggae

    reggae
    a kind of popular music originally from Jamaica, with a strong regular beat


    popularize

    popularize
    to make something well known and liked
    Bob Marley popularized reggae music in the 1970s.
    Reggae music was popularized by Bob Marley in the 1970s.


    diverse

    diverse
    very different from each other
    subjects as diverse as pop music and archaeology
    ᅳdiversely adverb


    calypso
    calypso
    a type of Caribbean song based on subjects of interest in the news

    drum
    drum

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