Antigua & Barbuda
The country of Antigua and Barbuda is made up two major islands – Antigua and Barbuda – along with a series of smaller islands. This island country is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The largest port city is Saint John’s on the island of Antigua.
Though these islands were inhabited already, in 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered the island and gave it the name “Antigua” after a saint in the Seville Cathedral.
Sadly, slavery was part of these islands’ history as a result of the sugar plantation located there from 1684-1834. In 1981, Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from British rule. Though the islanders still call Elizabeth II their queen, their country is independent. The Governor General represents the queen. He appoints a Council of Ministers under the advice of the Prime Minister, the country’s main leader. There is also a Parliament with two chambers as part of its governmental system.
Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the United Nations. This country has made a statement to the UN regarding the few nations which have apologized for their part in slavery. They believe it is time for those countries to give materially as a result of what they did during the time that they practiced enslavement. The original people groups of these islands have presumably died off over time as a result of smallpox, slavery, and malnutrition.
In present day Antigua and Barbuda, the majority of the people are dark-skinned with a heritage descending from West Africa, Britain, and Madeira. Less than 10% of the population are of other various skin tones – primarily Irish and British.
Most of the people on the island speak English with a distinctive accent. Less than 10% of the people speak Spanish. The people of Antigua & Barbuda are 90% literate meaning that 90 % off those who are 15 years old or older are able to read and write.
The culture of the islands has its roots in British and West African culture. As a result, the popular sports are cricket, soccer, boat racing, and, of course, surfing. The annual Carnival is a celebration of the end of slavery in the British West Indies. The island folk stories have much in common with the countries of West Africa.
These beautiful islands have a moderate temperature with low humidity. The sandy beaches abound. As a result of volcanic ash it provides fertile ground for the forestry of acacia, mahogany, and cedar trees; however, as a result of the low amount of fresh water the agricultural aspect of this country is small.
When it comes to religion, a large percentage of the people attend church primarily in what are considered to be the “Christian” religions – primarily Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholicism. I am aware of Baptist missionaries who have established the Caribbean Radio Lighthouse, a Christian radio station in Antigua. (You can listen to the station online at http://www.radiolighthouse.org/ )
I have found some recipes from Antigua & Barbuda you may want to try. They can be found at http://globaltableadventure.com/category/countries/antigua-barbuda/ I would love to hear what you think if you try one of the recipes!
You will want to see this short video about the "black pineapple" which is unique to Antigua.
On September 6, 2017 these beautiful islands were hit directly by a powerful category 5 hurricane. So far this morning, we do not know of any direct communication from anyone, specifically on Barbuda, since 2:00 AM. These people need our prayers, and they will need immediate assistance after contact is restored.
Beside this paragraph you will find a link to Operation Renewed Hope, a reputable Christian Humanitarian organization who aids in disaster relief. If you want to make a difference in these islands you can trust Jan Milton and Operation Renewed Hope.