Facts about Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is a group of nine Caribbean islands and an overseas department of France. Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on Guadeloupe in 1493. He named it after the Virgin Mary’s image in a monastery in Guadalupe, Extremadura, Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extremadura. When Columbus briefly visited Guadeloupe, the Caribs (indigenous people) inhabited the area, and when Spanish settlers attempted to take over in the 1600s, the Caribs repelled them. The French took control in 1674, but the British regained control several times over the next 100 years. Guadeloupe was returned to France at the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. Control of Guadeloupe shifted hands several times over the next two centuries as a result of various invasions and rebellions. It became a French overseas department in 1946.
Interesting facts about Guadeloupe:
Guadeloupe is in the Caribbean, bordered to the north by Antigua and Barbuda and to the south by Dominica.
Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus, Guadeloupe was known as ‘Karukera,’ which translates as ‘The Island of Beautiful Waters.’
Slavery did not end in Guadeloupe until May 28, 1848. For many years, it had been a major issue in the country.
Guadeloupe consists of several islands. The two main ones are Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, also known as the twin islands. A narrow channel separates these two islands.
Guadeloupe also includes the islands of La Desirade, Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes (two islands), Iles de la Petite Terre, and a portion of Saint Martin.
Basse-Terre is Guadeloupe’s capital city. It has a population of about 12,750 people.
Guadeloupe’s largest city, Pointe-a-Pitre, has a population of around 133,000 people.
Guadeloupe has a population of approximately 405,500 people.
Guadeloupe uses the Euro as its currency because it is a French overseas department.
Guadeloupe has a total land area of 687 square miles, of which 659 square miles are land.
The best time to visit Guadeloupe for tourists is when it is warm and dry, which is usually between December and May. It is especially hot, humid, and rainy between July and November.
Guadeloupe is thought to have some of the best scuba diving sites in the world.
Guadeloupe’s official language is French, but Creole is also widely spoken and is considered the island’s unofficial second language.
On the island of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe, there is an active volcano called La Soufriere.
The agricultural industry in Guadeloupe produces eggplant, bananas, cocoa, gourds, sugar cane, pomegranates, and jackfruit.
When Christopher Columbus visited Guadeloupe, he thought he had ‘discovered’ pineapples. They had been growing in South America for centuries. The pineapple was given the name ‘pina de Indias,’ which translates as ‘pine cone of the Indies.’
Guadeloupe dishes frequently include seafood, and curry is used in some dishes.
Because of its location, Guadeloupe is vulnerable to hurricanes. Okeechobee killed thousands of people in 1929.
Over the last century, tropical storms and hurricanes have destroyed many crops in Guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe’s famous ‘biguine’ dance is a Creole dance that is still performed in colorful costumes.