The Caribbean is the dreamland of many people, the place where everyone wishing to escape from everyday life wants to end up.
Who hasn’t heard the statement “I sell everything and buy a bar in the Caribbean”?
Well, the Caribbean is a region of the Americas that includes all the countries washed by the Caribbean Sea, which means all the Anthill islands and the coasts of some continental countries of the Central and South America that face that Sea.
The several islands that separate the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean form the Caribbean area.
The islands are divided in groups of archipelagos, the Big Anthills (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico), the Small Anthill (the oriental half arch), and the Bahamas.
The name comes from the Spanish, who were inspired by the term “karipo” (man) used by the Caribe ethnic groups that were living there at the moment of the Conquista.
They are the first regions discovered by the European countries, mostly Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and France, who colonized them; it became a place of slaves’ deportation from Africa to work in the plantations and also place of piracy.
In any country of the Caribbean you might see the difference between its inhabitants: the majority of the population is mixed race, descending from the Europeans, the Africans and the Amerindians.
The languages spoken are mostly Spanish, English, French and Dutch.
Despite their different nationalities, you may notice that there’s a great bond between Caribbeans or South Americans in general, that usually identify themselves as “latino”.
The best period to visit the Caribbean is between mid December and the end of March, when the rains reduce and the weather is almost perfect.
Music and dancing are dominant elements in the popular culture of the Caribbean, and they convey the rhythms imported by the African slaves forced to work in the plantations.
Another characteristic of the Caribbean is the Santería, the religion born from the syncretism of the catholic religion imposed by the colonizing cultures and the traditional one (Yoruba), which was prohibited by them; that forced the natives to elude the prohibition by hiding their God behind the catholic iconography.
Despite many economic and political problems concerning every country in different ways (most of the countries passed from being colonies, meaning subdued to others willing and decisions, to the difficulties of an unready independence, to the dependency from other countries economies again), the Caribbean is a must-see place at least once in your life, for the beauty of its land, the traditions of its culture and the warmth of its people, and, who knows, even to end up buying a bar!