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Antigua and Barbuda

By Edited Feb 2, 2016 0 0

Frederik Ramm  CC
Antigua and Barbuda are twin island nations that are located in the Eastern Caribbean. It is made up of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands. These islands include Great Bird, Green, Guinea, Long, Maiden and York Island and altogether these land masses are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands. Montserrat , Port Louis, and Guadeloupe are located to the south, to the west are St. Kitts and Nevis.

Antigua was inhabited in 3100 BCE by the Archaic Age Amerindians , mistakenly referred to as the "stone people" or Siboney. Migrating from Venezuela, the Arawaks were the next to inhabit the island. A warlike tribe called the Caribs invaded the surrounding islands. The Amerindians, great sea vessel makers, along with the Carib tribe colonized most of South America and the Caribbean. In 1100 CE, many of the Arawaks left Antigua, and those that were left were defeated by the Caribs. They were taken as slaves. Most of the Caribbean nation was wiped out due to malnutrition and slavery.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed on the islands and named them "Santa Maria de la Antigua." Sir Christopher Codrington established a large sugar plantation in Antigua in 1674, and he leased Barbuda and named the only city there after himself. He used slaves in 1684, and this practice was abolished by 1834. The British ruled the islands until 1981, and on November 1, 1981 the islands became a independent state with Queen Elizabeth II as its ruler.

Today Antigua and Barbuda is on of the worlds premier tourist destinations accounting for 50% of the gross domestic product. Major world banking and financial services along with agriculture make up the rest. American University of Antigua College of Medicine added a another source of revenue for their economy.

Antigua is home to warm winds, a winding coastline, harbors, and an almost perfect wall coral reef that attracts snorklers from all over the world Cricket is the most popular sport there and it held 8 matches of the 2007 Cricket World Cup at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Antigua also host a regional cricket game known as the Sanford Twenty20 and Association Football is a popular sport there.

Barbuda, the sister island, remains mostly undeveloped. It is home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Other than the sanctuary, tourist are attracted to it pink and white sand beaches, the numerous shipwrecks, and the coral reefs. At Barbuda's highest point, the remains of the Highland House still stand. This was the estate of Sir Codrington. Martello Castle, a fortress, and a tower are visible from the south. The bird sanctuary is only accessible by boat.

English is the official language, but most of the local still speak Antiguan Creole. Even though those of any budget can visit there, many famous people have winter homes in Antigua. Among the ranks are Eric Clapton, Giorgio Armani, Ken Follett, and even Oprah herself.

Resources:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm

http://www.antigua-barbuda.org/agbar01.htm

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/antigua-and-barbuda

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigua_and_Barbuda

 

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