Carriacou Travel Guide

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Carriacou is the most southerly of the Grenadines, situated 20 miles north of Grenada, latitude 12,5 degrees. It has an area of 13 square miles and is the largest of the chain of islands between Grenada and St. Vincent.

The first settlers, the Amerindians appropriately referred to Carriacou as the 'Land of Reefs'. The surrounding waters teem with a variety of marine life, creating the perfect underwater experience.

Carriacou was settled by the French, but in 1763 was ceded with Grenada to the British. The majority of the inhabitants today are of African descent, with the influence in the island mainly British, such as driving on the left, though French names are still noticed, especially in the L'Esterre area. The village of Windward was home to a group of Scottish boatbuilders who settled here in the 19th century. The Scottish names and boatbuilding skills have been passed down through the generations. Many locally built boats from small fishing sloops to large trading schooners are seen in the Carriacou waters. Boat building is still carried out in the traditional way on the beaches but fewer have been built in recent years.

Carriacou produced mostly cotton with some sugar, limes, coffee and cocoa. Today the inhabitants grow corn and pigeon peas for their own consumption and subsistence farming, live stock rearing, fishing and seafaring form the main occupations.

The collapse of the sugar estates and the introduction of nutmeg and cocoa encouraged the development of smaller land holdings and the island developed a land-owning yeoman farmer class. Slavery was outlawed in 1834. In 1833, Grenada became part of the British Windward Islands Administration. The governor of the Windward Islands administered the island for the rest of the colonial period. In 1958, the Windward Islands Administration was dissolved, and Grenada joined the Federation of the West Indies. After that federation collapsed in 1962, the British Government tried to form a small federation out of its remaining dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean.

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June 13, 2005 change by giorgio

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