Capital is Bridgetown with a population of approximately 285,000. Barbados receives 8-9 hrs. of sunshine most days. It measures 21 miles x 14 miles. Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean. It has the Atlantic Ocean aon the East coast and the Caribbean Sea on its West coast! West and South Coast have calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on the east coast. English is the official language with a broad dialect. Two Barbados dollars are equal to one USA dollar. They drive on the left side of the lane. There is no daylight savings time in Barbados. Their laws are largely based on English common law.
This 167-square mile country is believed to be inhabited by Amerindians coming from Venezuela around 350-400 BC. The Arawak people were the next wave of migrants followed by the Caribs.
In around mid 1500s to 1600, the Portuguese claimed this island but did not make a colony out of it. In 1625, British claimed the land in the name of King James I. British rule was basically uninterrupted.
During the 1600s up to the 1800s, Barbados was typically a slavery island using slaves from Africa to work Tobacco, the first plantation crops of Barbados but was later replaced by sugar. The slaves had occasional revolts but the rebellion in 1816 led by Bussa was so far the most tragic one. Slavery was abolished around 1834 in the entire British Empire. Slaves in Barbados however did not get free right away as they were first indentured into an apprenticeship program for four years before being declared free. However, It was only in 1949 when governmental controls by plantation owners were wrested from them. Sir Grantley Adams was the first Premier of Barbados that was free of undue influence from the plantation owners.
Finally, in 1966, Barbados was granted full independence. Barbados is now a Republic and free from the Commonwealth British rule!
What makes BARBADOS Unique:
Known as the birthplace of rum, and was once known as Los Barbados. Barbados also has a Pirate history. Two notorious pirates of Barbados were Sam Lord and Steve Bonnet. Barbados is considered the Land of Flying Fish… featured in the island’s national dish… cou cou & flying fish (made by steaming fish with local spices), served with cou cou, (which is made with cornmeal and okra).
Crop Over is an Epic Caribbean Carnival celebration having to do with the last sugar cane harvest of the season. Today it is Barbados’ biggest party. Celebrations start as early as June and span until the first Monday in August. The explosive finale of the Crop Over event is known as The Gand Kadooment (Kadooment Day)
Locals call themselves “Bajans”.
Chattlel houses are small, moveable wooden houses, which are closely tied to the island’s heritage. Popular with homeowners who may not necessarily own the land on which they live on. Constructed on blocks, which makes them easier to move when necessary.