Q:  What does the following refer to?  June too soon // July stand by // Ausgust come it must // September remember // October all over.

A:  Hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Q:  Who were freebooters?

A:  Dutch pirates were known as vrijbuiters (plunderers). The term became  corrupted into the English freebooters and French flibustiers. In the Caribbean, pirates were also called buccaneers.

Q:  What is Caricom  Day?

A:  Caricom Day  commemorates the treaty establishing CARICOM  (the Caribbean Community and Common Market) and is observed annually by all CARICOM countries, though not necessarily on the same date of the year. The Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed on July 4, 1973 at Chaguaramas in Trinidad. Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are among the CARICOM countries that observe the day on the first Monday in July every year. St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrate Caricom Day on the second Monday in July, Jamaica on July 4, and Barbados in August.

Q:  What is a "bend-down plaza?"

A:  In the Caribbean, a sidewalk market. One has to bend down to examine or select goods on display. Also called the "bend-down market" or "bendung market."

Q:  Name the Caracas-born revolutionary leader, called “the Liberator”, who became president of Greater Colombia (now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador – all liberated by him) and is now regarded as the national hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

A:  Simón Bolívar. He also helped liberate Peru and Bolivia.

Q:  What was the name of the notorious French penal colony off French Guiana, used from the late 19th Century to the first half of the 20th Century as a penal colony, mainly for political prisoners? Alfred Dreyfus was one of its famous inmates.

A:  Devil’s Island.

Q: Why are the Caribbean islands sometimes referred to as "the Caribbean archipelago."

A:  The word "archipelago" means "a large group, or chain of islands." The word is also sometimes used to refer to a body of water or sea that contains the islands. The Caribbean archipelago is a  group ( mostly a chain) of islands extending from the peninsula of Florida in the United States to the mouth of the Orinoco river in South America - a distance of about 1,500 miles.

Q:  Why is the coconut tree called the “Tree of Heaven”?

A:  This description came to be used in recognition that every part of the tree -  roots, trunk,  bark,  fruit, leaves – has some practical value. 

Q:  How did the Star Apple get its name?

A:  When cut across (horizontally), this purple-skinned fruit reveals a star-shaped pattern.  (Star Apple is sometimes combined with orange juice and condensed milk to make a dessert called 'Matrimony'.)

Q:  Why do calabash trees need bats?

A:  To pollinate their flowers.

More about calabash.

Q:  What animal swallows air to make itself lighter in order to swim across deep water?

A:  The armadillo. When crossing shallow water, armadillos just walk across the bottom, but if the water is deep, they lighten themselves with air, then paddle their way across. 

Q:  Cochineal. What is it? Plant or insect?

A:  Both. The insect was used to make a popular dye. The plant, a cactus, was used to host the insect and eventually became known as the cochineal cactus or cochineal.

Q:  What sheep are sometimes called St. Croix sheep?

A:  They are prolific hair sheep from St Croix (and also in other Virgin Islands) that are growing in popularity because they are economical to rear. They are descended from a strain of sheep imported to the island in the 1500’s.