Category Five:

More than 155mph (more than 249kph)

Category Four:

131-155mph (210-249kph)

Category Three:

111-130mph (178-209kmh)

Category Two:

96-110mph (154-177kmh)

Category One:

74-95mph (119-153kmh)



V.S. Naipaul in The Middle Passage (1962):

 "Every poor country accepts tourism as an unavoidable degradation. None has gone as far as some of these West Indian Islands which, in the name of tourism, are selling themselves into a new slavery."



This term is used in several senses:

(1)  In its widest geographical sense,  to the islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles excluding the Bahamas.

(2)  In relation to the Federation of the West Indies, a union of British possessions excluding Guyana and Belize. The union lasted from 1958 to 1962.

(3)  In relation to members of  the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

(4)  In relation to the cricket team that draws its players from countries in the region.

(5)  In relation to the official title of the regional University of the West Indies.



Bush Tea is known and used all over the Caribbean. It refers to any of a variety of plant potions made by boiling or heating herbs in water.


A Bush Baby is a baby who is brought up on bush tea. Sometimes this happens because the infant's stomach does not tolerate cow's milk well.



Many people still remember the family ritual observed in childhood of drinking from the bitter cup. In much of the Caribbean, amargo bitters (Quassia amara)  has been  regarded as good medicine for a number of conditions, including fever (especially malaria), stomachache, constipation, poor  appetite and lack of energy. 

Chips of amargo wood were soaked in a cup of water and drunk. Another way it was used was to obtain a cup commercially produced on a lathe from the wood itself. Water, wine, or other alcoholic beverage would be placed in it and allowed to absorb the bitters.

The bitter cup was generally taken during the weekend. 

Quassin, the bitter substance, is regarded as the bitterest substance found in nature.


A dense flatbread used in many parts of the Caribbean, usually made of cornmeal, shaped into a flat cake and baked or fried on a griddle. The type of batter and method of cooking varies from place to place. For example, Bahamas johnnycake, rather like a sweet cornbread, is sweeter than Barbados johnnycake. In Jamaica, johnnycakes are often made with wheat flour and without cornmeal and is usually fried. Varieties of johnnycake are also made in the U.S. New England states and in the upper Midwest.


Radio CARICOM, the Voice of the Caribbean Community, was launched on Tuesday, July 4, 2004, at the Opening Ceremony of the Twenty-Fifth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, held in Grand Anse, Grenada. Radio Caricom is being managed by the Secretariat of the Community and is expected to be established in all member states shortly. Barbados, Belize, Grenada, and St. Lucia, regarded as “pilot states” in the project, were the first to hear the broadcasts of the new service. The Secretariat’s staff will use a “test and fix” approach in refining and expanding the system. Radio Caricom’s initial test frequencies are: Barbados: 100.7 FM; Belize:  02.5 FM; Grenada: 102.5 FM; St. Lucia: 102.5 FM.


Some of the delicacies that available when Indians celebrate their major festivals include phulourie, potato ball, bigany, bara, gulgula, prasad, channa (chick peas), chutney (mango, tamarind), ghoja, mahambhoog, and kheer or sweet rice.


Yes. They can and they do bite humans. Many people who keep iguanas as pets have come to learn this the painful way. Even small or young iguanas can inflict nasty flesh wounds. Large males can tear flesh, causing wounds that need for stitches or even surgery. 

They have rows of very sharp serrated teeth (from 60 to over 100) hich they use with a tearing action when eating in the wild. The teeth are continually replaced. As the iguana grows in size and the jaws lengthen and more teeth are added behind the already established ones.

In some places, including New York City, the keeping of iguanas as pets is banned.


When a hurricane is born, it is given a name that stays with it until it dies. Hurricanes formed in the Caribbean used to be named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane formed. In 1953, the U.S. National Weather Service, the federal agency that tracks hurricanes and issues warnings and watches, began following a practice initiated by an Australian meteorologist and used women's names for tropical storms. In 1979, the agency began using men’s names as well.

The World Meteorological Organization, which prepares the list of names, selects one name for each letter of the alphabet, except the letters Q, U, Y, X and Z. English, French, or Spanish, the major languages spoken in countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, are used  for Atlantic Ocean hurricanes. The name of the first hurricane of a season starts with the letter A, the next with the letter B, and so on. Six lists of names are used for the Atlantic - one list a year. The first list is used again, after the sixth year. Names of notable hurricanes are retired and never used again.

Atlantic Hurricane Names

More about Hurricanes



composed and sung by Guyanese calypsonian Malcolm Corrica (Lord Canary) for the first ever Carifesta

Welcome to CARIFESTA '72

Oh what a great cultural break-through

The whole Caribbean territory,

South and Central America will be

Getting together and taking part

In this Festival of Creative Arts

Where Drama, concerts, folk groups and dance,

Art and literature will be in exuberance.



CARIFESTA I'm inviting you

To twenty-two days of education,

frolic and fun,


CARIFESTA it's a big to-do

We welcome you to CARIFESTA '72

The dark hand rising grasping the sun,

Depicts the skills and aspirations of

the tropical man with talent untold.

All of this CARIFESTA will unfold,

The children pageant, the children

art exhibition

Will sure please your heart.

So book your passage B.W.I.A.

For CARIFESTA '72 right away.


Christophene (scientific name: Sechium edule) is a small edible pear-shaped vegetable, that is well-liked in the Caribbean. Light green or cream in color, it is a native of Mexico and is known by many other names including Cho-cho,  Chayote or  Mirliton. Most North Americans call it "vegetable pear". However, in markets frequented by people of the Caribbean in the United States, it is called cho-cho. A member of the squash family, it grows on a vine and is mostly eaten boiled.  


Sugar cane resembles bamboo, but where bamboo has hollow "cells", sugar cane has a porous membrane or pulp in the cell.

After the cane is reaped from the canefields, it is transported to the mills. In Guyana, the transportation is done in punts or shallow steel barges. The cane pulp is now shredded and crushed by huge rollers to extract the juice inside. The extracted liquid is then treated, boiled to drive off water, leaving sugar crystals which are refined into different grades.

Some of what remains is molasses, which is either used to make rum or is exported.

The left over fiber, called bagasse, is in many instances used as fuel for the furnaces


Caribbean countries do not have a national holiday for thanksgiving, as is the practice in the United States and Canada.

The closest observation to it is found in the harvest services in Christian churches. At these harvest festivals, people take produce from their farms and gardens to the church where they are featured in a special worship service thanking God for his blessings.

Churches are usually decorated with baskets of fruit and vegetables, usually placed on display around the altar, on ledges and other convenient places. Vases of flowers may also be included. In some churches, the produce is distributed among the poor and elderly or used in fundraising for the church.

Harvest Festivals remind Christians of all the good things God gives them. The occasion inspires a feeling of gratitude and encourage a spirit of sharing with others who are less fortunate.


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