Grenada is an island country in the Windward group of the Caribbean sea, south of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, located 12 07 N, 61 40 W. Saint George's is the capital. English is the official language.
Grenada has a population of 108,419, with an average life expectancy of 73.04 years. The island is 82% black, 13% mixed black and European, 5% European and East Indian. It is 53% Roman Catholic ,13.8% Anglican, and 33.2% other Protestant. Grenada has a literacy rate of 96%.
Grenada has been hit with all the ills of climate change, extreme weather patterns-- from heavy torrential rains to droughts. Hurricane Ivan ravaged the island , which it had not encountered a hurricane in fifty years. She lies outside the hurricane belt. Deforestation and rising sea levels have been a major problem. To mitigate climate change, she has engaged in a massive education campaign, using Soca superstars like Hollice Mapp(Mr. Killa) to spread the message. School children have been actively engage in mitigating climate change by the planting of trees and clean-up and garbage disposal drives. With financing from the German government, 21 community base projects have been pursued. This include developing coastal policy, which includes the building of coastal barriers, mangrove tree planting. Very significant is the development of Marine Protected Areas(MPA) to protect marine life and coral reefs(vital in preventing beach and coastal erosion). This will help in alleviating over-fishing and a more eco-friendly tourism industry. In agriculture, Grenada is pursuing permaculture techniques and is educating local farmers on the methodology by providing working examples. Permaculture techniques will help in soil nutrient retention and water preservation during times of drought. Compost as a natural aid to fertilizing is being used. Waste from plants like the Grenada Distiller Limited is being converted to biogas. The biogas is being re-used to run generators.
*Grenada is class with Organization of Eastern Caribbean States(OECS)
The Island of Grenada was originally inhabited by Arawaks, who were conquered later by Caribs. Columbus arrived in 1498, on his third voyage. The island was called Camerhogue by the Caribs. It later was named Granada, after the Spanish town. During the 1700s, the French named it La Grenade. It later became known as Grenada.
1609 the English tried to colonise the island, but failed. The French tried in 1638 and also failed. In 1650, the French made peace with the Caribs and was able to settle the island. When relation with the Carib soured, the French called for backup. Caribs jumped to their death at Sauteurs or Morne des Sauteurs, rather than surrender to the French.
The French grew cotton, cocoa, coffee, and tobacco. Slave were imported to grow these cash crops. In 1795, Grenada had a slave revolt led by a freeman named Fedon. Slavery was abolished in 1834.
The English regain the island in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. In 1779, the French regained the island. In 1783, the island was returned to Britain under the Treaty of Versailles. During the 1780s, the British introduced nutmeg farming, due to the sugar industry being decimated by a hurricane.
In 1833, Grenada joined the Windward Islands Administration. It remained until 1958, when the organization was dissolved. It then joined the Federation of the West Indies, which dissolved in 1962. In 1974, Grenada became independent.
Two parties dominated Grenadian politics, Eric Gairy's United Labour Party and Herbert Blaize's Grenada National Party. During the 70's Herbert Blaize was prime minister and the Grenada National Party dominated politics. Blaize's administration began to be viewed as authoritarian and corrupt. In 1973, a bloodless coup was instigated by the communist New Jewel Party founded by Maurice Bishop.Grenada was brought politically closer to Cuba, which provided much aid. Maurice was later assasinated by political rivals.
The US invaded the island and established an interim government, until election in 1984. In 1984, Herbert Blaize of the New National Party was elected prime minister. At the death of Herbert Blaize the party split into two: Ben Jones's National Party and Keith Mitchell who retained the name New National Party. In 1990, the NDC led by Nicholas Brathwaite, won a majority.
CIA Factbook, Grenada