Portal:Caribbean
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Portal:Caribbean
The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
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Playa de Cayo Levantado
Location Caribbean.png

The Caribbean (, ) (Spanish: El Caribe; French: la Caraïbe; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America islets, reefs and cays (see the list of Caribbean islands). Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: The Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago on the north and the Lesser Antilles and the on the south and east (which includes the Leeward Antilles). They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago (the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands), which are considered to be part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.

Geopolitically, the islands of the Caribbean (the West Indies) are often regarded as a region of North America, though sometimes they are included in Central America or left as a region of their own. and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. (Full article...)

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Carlos Calunga, Barbarito Torres and Idania Valdés performing with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in 2012

Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in 1996. The project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members' club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as son, bolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, some of whom had been retired for many years.

The group's eponymous album was recorded in March 1996 and released in September 1997, quickly becoming an international success, which prompted the ensemble to perform with a full line-up in Amsterdam and New York in 1998. German director Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary--also called Buena Vista Social Club--that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders' film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards. This was followed up by a second documentary Buena Vista Social Club: Adios in 2017. (Full article...)

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Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean. Consisting of the main islands Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous much smaller islands, it is situated 130 kilometres (81 miles) south of Grenada and 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. It shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest and Venezuela to the south and west. Trinidad and Tobago is generally considered to be part of the West Indies. According to some geographic definitions, Trinidad and Tobago are also part of the Windward Islands and Lesser Antilles, while other definitions regard Trinidad and Tobago as a separate island group.

The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by Indigenous peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire, following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498. Spanish governor José María Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonists more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens as separate states and unified in 1889. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976. (Full article...)

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Location of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago has a unique history and its food is influenced by African, Indian, European, Chinese and Afghan culinary styles. Trinidad and Tobagonian food is dominated by a wide selection of seafood dishes, most notably, curried crab and dumplings. Trinidad and Tobago is also known for its sumptuously prepared provisions, such as dasheen (taro root), sweet potato, eddoe, cassava, yam, soups and stews, also known as blue food across the country. Corresponding to the Blue Food Day event held annually in Trinidad and Tobago. (Full article...)

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The palm family, Arecaceae, is widespread in the Caribbean. Globally there are about 191 genera and 2339 species as reported in 2004 by Carlo Morici. Their distribution is biased toward islands - 36% of genera and 52% of species are found only on islands, while 32% of genera and 6% of species are found only on continents. Sixty-two percent of monotypic genera are found only on islands.

Phytogeographically, the Caribbean region is often considered to include the coastal plains of the United States (including south Florida), Mexico (especially the Yucatan), Belize, Colombia and Venezuela. Most species either have a wide distribution which includes part of the Caribbean, or are endemic to the Greater Antilles. Of the islands in the Caribbean, Cuba has the most species of palm, followed by Hispaniola. The Windward and Leeward Islands have the fewest. The palm flora of Trinidad and Tobago consists primarily of species with a South American distribution. Three genera of palm are endemic to the Greater Antilles: Calyptronoma, Hemithrinax and Zombia. Although nearly ubiquitous in the region, the coconut (Cocos nucifera) is not native to the Caribbean. The Caribbean species in the genus Copernicia are all Greater Antillean endemics; two species are restricted to Hispaniola, while the others are restricted to Cuba.

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Interior of Catedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Credit: Lapo Luchini, 2004

Interior of Cathedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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The music of Puerto Rico has evolved as a heterogeneous and dynamic product of diverse cultural resources. The most conspicuous musical sources have been Spain and West Africa, although many aspects of Puerto Rican music reflect origins elsewhere in Europe and the Caribbean. Puerto Rican music culture today comprises a wide and rich variety of genres, ranging from essentially indigenous genres like bomba to recent hybrids like Latin trap and reggaeton. Broadly conceived, the realm of "Puerto Rican music" should naturally comprise the music culture of the millions of people of Puerto Rican descent who have lived in the United States, and especially in New York City. Their music, from salsa to the boleros of Rafael Hernández, cannot be separated from the music culture of Puerto Rico itself. (Full article...)

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