Grenada is located in the Southern Caribbean, between Trinidad, St. Vincent and Barbados, about 100 miles north of Venezuela. The country consists of the main island of Grenada and six smaller islands, including Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Grenada is dominated by a central ridge of mountains, covered with lush rainforests. The island is blessed with numerous bays and harbors, and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
The world's leading exporter of nutmeg and mace, Grenada is known as “The Spice Isle.” Grenadians also produce cloves, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, a variety of tropical fruits and, of course, cocoa. About a quarter of Grenada's labor force is employed in agriculture.
Fishing is a particularly important occupation on the smaller islands. Shellfish and fish are caught daily.
TOURISM is Grenada's main source of foreign exchange.
PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE
Grenada's population is estimated at 107,000.
British English is the official language of Grenada, but the language most people speak--Grenadian Creole--is a rich combination of English, French, and African influences.
When Columbus landed on Grenada in 1498, the island was inhabited by Carib Indians. It remained uncolonized for more than a century. The French settled Grenada in the 17th century, established sugar estates, and imported large numbers of African slaves. Britain took the island in 1762 and expanded sugar production. In the 19th century, cacao surpassed sugar as the main export crop; in the 20th century, nutmeg became the leading export.
In 1967, Britain gave Grenada autonomy over its internal affairs. Full independence was attained in 1974, making Grenada one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Grenada was seized by a Marxist military council on October 19, 1983. Six days later, the island was invaded by military forces from the United States and six Caribbean nations. They quickly captured the Marxist leaders and their hundreds of Cuban advisers. Free elections were reinstituted the following year and have continued since that time.