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Carriacou

Carriacou

Carriacou Parish encompasses the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique which are dependency of Grenada. These lie some 23 miles north-east of Grenada and 50 miles south of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Lesser Antilles. The Grenadine islands to the north of Carriacou and Petite Martinique now belong to the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Carriacou Island in the Caribbean Sea, is the largest island of the Grenadines, an archipelago in the Windward Islands chain, and is characterized by hilly terrain sloping to white sand beaches. The island stretches from Pegus Point in the south to Gun Point in the north, it stretches 16 miles long and is 13 square miles (34 km2) holding a population of 9,595 (2019 census). The main villages on the island are Hillsborough, L'Esterre, Harvey Vale, and Windward.

  • 10+
    Locations
  • 9,595 
    Population
  • 13 sq mi (34 km2)
    Area

The island has several natural harbors and many coral reefs and small offshore islets. The highest point on the island is High Point North at 955 ft (291 m) above sea level. Carriacou has no rivers which means that residents rely on rainfall for their water which they collect and store. There are two seasons, the wet and the dry and this dry season, which is between January and June when the Trade winds dominate the tropical climate, can cause problems with draught.

Its tiny neighbouring island of Petite Martinique, just 2½ miles away and also part of Grenada, covers only 586 acres (2.37 km2) and has a population of 900. The residents of this smaller island live by boat-building, fishing and seafaring. Carriacou and Petite Martinique is known for its Regatta and Village Maroon.

Historically Carriacou is known for having identified its first settlers through archaeological studies which has shown the islands were settled many years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean in 1492. The first inhabitants have been identified as Cibony Indians who would have migrated from the Amazon area of South America possible over 2000 years ago. They are considered cave dwellers who survived by fishing, living off wild fruits and hunting indigenous animals.

It seems that around 1 A.D these Cibony Indians were replaced by the Arawaks who would have came from the northern bank of the Orinnco River in Venezuela. They were considered cultivators of vegetables, shrubs and fruits, and fished using nets and hooks. They excelled in the field of art and handicrafts producing some of the finest pottery of the time.

Then another group called Carib Indians, also from the Orinoco Basin area, swept through the islands around 1000 A.D. often capturing the Arawaks women and children but killing the adult men. The Caribs were a seafaring people hollowing out the trunks of silk-cotton trees with fire and stone axe to make their canoes. It is believed seeing the reefs surrounding Carriacou they named the island Kayryaouacou meaning “land of (many) reefs.”

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Parishes

Carriacou

St George

Saint George

Saint George is one of the seven parishes of Grenada located on the south-western end of the island. The capital of the island of Grenada, St. George's, is located in this parish, and as of 2001, it has a population of 35,559, making it the most populous parish of Grenada. It is also the second largest, with an area of 26 sq mi (67 km2).

Often regarded all as the most picturesque capital in the Caribbean due to its majestic horseshoe-shaped harbour and steeply rising hillside. The harbour is ringed by the pastel coloured of warehouses and it is not uncommon to see red-tiled roofs on traditional shops and homes. Saint George is also the home of the world famous Grand Anse Beach and many of the island's holiday resorts.

The peninsula at the south-western tip of Saint George is called, after its original French name, Point Salines, and where is now Grenada's only active airport, originally Point Salines International Airport, now renamed Maurice Bishop International Airport. The parish is also home to famed St. George's University.

The parish was called Basse Terre or lowland by its original French inhabitants of 1649 and only after it was ceded to the British by the Treaty of Paris in 1763 was it renamed Saint George.

The island of Grenada, even to this day, is often ravaged by natural disasters as well as man made catastrophes. As early as 1770 the parish of Saint George suffered to "ruinous effects" of the Sugar Ant which destroyed every sugar plantation between this and its neighbouring parish of Saint John.

In its early history the town of Saint George's, with its narrow streets and close buildings originally constructed of wood, was frequently plagued by fires. In the night of the 17th December 1772 a fire broke out in the town and "before morning was reduced to ashes". Another occurred on the 1st of November 1775 and at that time was so famed that islands as far as Barbados were telling visitors "Oh Grenada all gone, no Grenada now," the town was entirely destroyed by fire. Then once again on the 15th June 1792 "a dreadful fire happened ... which consumed every house in the Carenage except three and loss is estimated at £100,000 sterling".

Then there are the terrible hurricanes, of which we to this day we are fully aware (Janet of 195, Ivan of 2004, etc). Though records early as the middle of October 1780 tell of "a truly severe hurricane ... houses and everything were levelled with the ground". And again on the 12th of October 1789 "a dreadful hurricane was felt at Grenada ... which has sustained very considerable damage".