- Location: Eastern Caribbean Sea
- Capital: Basse-Terre
- Language(s): French, Creole
- Total Area: 1,628 sq km
- Population: 405,557
- Currency: Euro
- Curious Alcohol Fact: French wines are available
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: Not available
- Most Popular Drink(s): Wines
An overseas department of the French government, Guadeloupe is actually not a single island but an archipelago located in the Lesser Antilles. To the south of Guadeloupe lies the Republic of Dominica and Martinique, which is another overseas department of France. Montserrat, which belongs to the United Kingdom lies to the northwest of Guadeloupe. In most instances, Guadeloupe is described as being made up mainly of two islands and these are Basse-Terre and Grand-Terre. The former lies to the west while the latter is located to the left. In addition to these two islands, others include Marie-Galante which lies to the southeastern corner of the group and to the east lies the island of La Désirade. Towards the south lies the twin islands of Terre d'en Haut and Terre d'en Bas. These two islands are sometimes referred to as the Saintes Islands. Basse-Terre is the capital city and the administrative center. Interestingly, the city of Pointe-à-Pitre located on the island of Grande Terre is the principal port and thus the center of commerce in Guadeloupe.
The people of Guadeloupe are predominantly of African ancestry and mixed heritage. That was not what I actually had in mind before visiting the overseas department. There is also a tiny population of Europeans. Migrants from Middle East and Asian nations are also seen, especially those from India, Syria, China and Lebanon. Tourism, agriculture (especially cultivation of sugar cane), commerce and the production of alcoholic drinks are the major economic activities in the French overseas department. The most predominant religion in Guadeloupe is Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church happens to be the largest denomination while others include the Protestants and Jehovah Witnesses. Many of the islanders are involved in tourism, agriculture and services and contribute greatly to the local economy.
Some of the most popular meals in Guadeloupe include conch stew, smoked fish, and spicy soups. You can also be sure of getting the finest wines from France at many of the hotels and bars.
Not surprisingly, football is very popular on the island, and as a matter of fact, famous footballers like Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry (both of France) have links with the island. Fencing, athletics and jet ski are also other sports enjoyed in Guadeloupe.
- Guadeloupe is under the administration of France.
- The capital city of Basse-Terre is known for producing high-quality vanilla although another city is regarded as the commercial nerve center.
- The name ‘Guadeloupe’ is said to have been given by Christopher Columbus who named it after a monastery.
- Guadeloupe was once under British rule.
- France is the largest and the most important trading partner of Guadeloupe, and I will say that that is quite understood.
- The euro is the currency of Guadeloupe.
- Guadeloupe was one of the islands visited by Christopher Columbus.
- Slavery once thrived in Guadeloupe.
- One of the islanders, Alexis Leger received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1960.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).