- OFFICIAL NAME = BARBADOS
- NATIONALITY = BARBADIANS OR BAJAN
- LOCATION = ATLANTIC OCEAN
- CAPITAL = BRIDGETOWN
- CONTINENT = NORTH AMERICA
- OFFICIAL LANGUAGE = ENGLISH
- POPULATION = 287,010
- CURRENCY = BARBADIAN DOLLAR
- AREA = 431 SQ KM (166 SQ MILES)
- HIGHEST POINT = MOUNT HILLABY 343 METERS (1,115 FEET)
- MAIN RIVER = CONSTITUTION RIVER
- CLIMATE = GENERALLY WARM AND SUNNY
- CALLING CODE = DIAL 011+246+PHONE NUMBER
- DRIVES ON = LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD
- RELIGION = MAINLY CHRISTIAN
- INDEPENDENCE = 30TH NOVEMBER, 1966 (FROM BRITAIN)
- NATIONAL HOLIDAY = INDEPENDENCE DAY: 30TH NOVEMBER
- GOVERNMENT = PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY
- HEAD OF STATE = QUEEN ELIZABETH II
- MAIN SPORTS = CRICKET, GOLF, FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL
- NATURAL RESOURCES = ITS CLIMATE FOR TOURISM, OIL AND NATURAL GAS
- MAIN EXPORTS = SUGAR, RUM, MANUFACTURES, CHEMICALS, FOOD AND BEVERAGES
- MAJOR INDUSTRIES = TOURISM, SUGAR, RUM AND LIGHT INDUSTRY
- AGRICULTURE = TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS, PUMPKINS, CABBAGE, BEANS,
CARROTS, LETTUCE, BEETS, PEPPERS AND YAMS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BARBADOS
The first to discover Barbados was Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos en route to Brazil in 1536. He named the island “Los Barbados”when he saw the native fig trees with distinctive beard like features.”Los Barbados” means “The bearded ones” in Portuguese.
However, they decided not to try and colonize the island, because of the fierce Carib Indians who were already inhabiting the island.
The history of Barbados is one of mixed information, but it’s widely accepted that the Spanish arrived on their shores and virtually exterminated the Caribs, by either transporting them to Spain as slaves, or they died as a result of European diseases brought over by the Spanish. Despite having taking control of the island, the Spanish left to concentrate on larger islands in the Caribbean.
By 1625, the island was virtually deserted, when Captain John Powell landed an English ship on its shores and claimed the island in the name of King James 1st.
By 1627, the first British settlers had arrived, consisting of 80 English settlers and 10 slaves to work on the land. They named the settlement “Jamestown”, which is called Holetown nowadays.
Between 1660 to 1690, the sugarcane farming industry was booming in Barbados, thanks to the thousands of West African slaves brought over to work on the sugarcane plantations.
Due to the horrible treatment of the slaves, tension built up between the slaves and their British landlords, leading to numerous rebellions over the next decade.
With one rebellion after another, pressure was starting to increase on the British Government to address the issue of slavery. Eventually in 1834, slavery was finally abolished in Barbados.
After time, the Barbados Labour Party was created, and on 30th November, 1966, after being recognised as a British colony for over 300 years, Barbados was granted independence from the British, although they still maintain ties to the British monarch by becoming a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
SHORT FACTS ON BARBADOS
The first known settlers on the island of Barbados was an Amerindian tribe of Arawaks, who were displaced by another Amerindian tribe, called the Caribs. It is presumed that the Carib killed the Arawak men and married the Arawak women, prior to the European colonization in the early 16th century.
Barbados is an island nation located in the Caribbean, and is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
The closest neighbors to Barbados are, Martinique to the northwest, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, Trinidad and Tobago to the south and Grenada to the southwest.
Barbados is 21 miles (34 km) long and 15 miles (24 km) wide, and is shaped like a triangle.
Barbados has 60 miles (97 km) of stunning coastline.
Barbados is made up of four main town: Bridgetown, Oistins. Holetown and Speightstown.
Barbados is divided up into eleven parishes: Christ Church, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Thomas, Saint Andrew, Saint Phillip, Saint Peter, Saint Michael and Saint Lucy.
Bridgetown, the capital is located in the parish of St. Michael in the central part of the island.
Barbados has a terrain that is relatively flat, but rises gently to the central highland region.
Barbados is one of the more flourishing Caribbean islands. In years gone by, the export of sugar was their main revenue earner, but nowadays the economy has branched out into tourism and finance. It also has offshore reserves of oil and natural gas.
Barbados is a very popular tourist destination, with over 1 million people visiting their shores every year. When you get there, you can expect blue skies, white sandy beaches, quaint villages, stunning landscapes and a welcoming hospitality. Many tourist often return a second and third time to the island.
Over three-quarter of a million cruise ship passengers pass through the port in Barbados every year.
The capital and largest town in Barbados is Bridgetown, which is also the main seaport.
Barbados has some of the most luxurious villas and vacation rentals in the world.
Barbados has just the one airport, the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Barbados was once served by the famous Concorde. This came to an end in 2003, when it was decommissioned. It made more than 7000 flights, carrying some very famous people to these shores.
Barbados is the home of the flying fish, and is commonly known as the “land of the flying fish”. These fish can jump right out of the water and glide in the air for up to 50 metres (164 feet). This fish is a very popular meal in Barbados, where it’s served with a cornmeal dish called cou-cou.
Animals found in Barbados: the green monkey, the mongoose, the European hare, the red-footed tortoise, lizards, whistling frogs (which sounds like flutes), toads, snakes and eight species of bat.
The endangered sea turtles in Barbados are protected by the University of West Indies project.
The world’s smallest snake is found in Barbados. Its called the leptotyphlops carlae. It is so small that it fits on a coin and is as thin as spaghetti.
Barbados is home to over 270 different species of birds.
Barbados has a tropical climate. The wet season takes place from June to November, and the dry season takes place from December to May.
Barbados is surrounded by coral reefs of many different shapes and sizes, which helps protect their beaches from erosion and wave action.
Corals are tiny animals (not plants) called polyps.
Every year in Barbados at the end of the cane harvest, the locals have a huge festival called the Crop Over. This tradition of singing, dancing and feasting, could go on for weeks. It first started in 1688.
Barbados is only one of two Eastern Caribbean states to maintain a standing military force, after the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) was set up in 1978. The other state is Antigua and Barbuda. The BDF has roughly 600 members.
The grapefruit tree was first spotted on the island of Barbados in 1750, its a cross between a sweet orange tree and a pomelo tree.
Rum is so popular in Barbados, with over 1500 rum shops located all over the island.
The national motto of Barbados is “Pride and Industry”.
It is over 40 years since a hurricane made landfall in Barbados, making it one the safest islands to visit in the Caribbean.
Cricket is very popular on the island, and the island has produced some of the greatest cricketers in the world, including Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Garfield Sobers and Wes Hall.
Barbados hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The traditional music of the Barbadians is Calypso and Soca music.
Pop star Rihanna (Rihanna Fenty) was born in Barbados. She is considered as one of the best selling artists of all time.
The literacy rate in the country is nearly 100 percent. Barbados also has one of the best rates in the world for the amount of people living over 100 years of age.