- Location: Eastern Caribbean Sea
- Capital: Fort-de-France
- Language(s): French, Antillean Creole(Martiniquan Creole)
- Total Area: 1,128 sq km
- Population: 398,675
- Currency: Euro
- Curious Alcohol Fact: The rum is made from sugarcane which is cultivated locally.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: Not available
- Most Popular Drink(s): Rum, wines
Located in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea, Martinique is an overseas department of the French nation and is also part of the Lesser Antilles group of islands, in an area that is also regarded as the Windward Islands. To the south is the island nation of Saint Lucia while Dominica is to the northwest. Guadeloupe, another overseas département of France lies to the north of Martinique. Of all the overseas départements of France, Martinique is one of the smallest in area and that contributes to its relatively high population density. It is believed that the name of the department is a modification of the word ‘Madiana’ meaning the ‘Island of Flowers’. Fort-de-France is the capital city, major port and the center of government.
Originally inhabited by the Carib Indians, Martinique also became populated by settlers from France over time and today, the population is made up of various ethnicities such as the mulattoes or those with mixed ancestry and whites. There is also a considerable population of those that descended from the slaves shipped in from Africa during the infamous Slave Trade. The most widely used languages in the department include French which is the official tongue and Creole. Like many of the other jurisdictions in the Caribbean, agriculture and tourism are the most important economic activities in the French department. Sugarcane, tobacco and bananas are the most important crops cultivated in Martinique especially for exports.
When it comes to enjoying yourself and stimulating your palate, Martinique is the place for you. From spicy African dishes to exotic Carib Amerindian meals, the island has more than enough to offer. There are also refreshing local drinks such as the coconut milk, sugarcane rum and fruit juices. You will surely enjoy yourself staying in Martinique, like many of the other islands in the region.
Staying on Martinique means you have the ticket to unlimited fun and enjoyment. Every year, there is an annual event called the Fort-de-France Carnival and is one of the most colorful festivities in the Caribbean. In various parts of the department, you will also be thrilled with the spectacular shows of cockfighting.
- Martinique is headed not by a mayor or president but by a prefect.
- Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine was born on this island where her father was a plantation owner.
- One of the most spectacular volcanic eruptions was recorded in Martinique in 1902 when Mt. Pelée erupted and destroyed one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean.
- Material ejected during the eruption of Mt. Pelée has colored the beaches of the island.
- Martinique is actually part of the European Union.
- Martinique is one of the islands visited by Christopher Columbus.
- All the islanders are citizens of France.
- France helps out with financial aid from time to time.
- A number of the islanders have moved to France.
- It is one of the 27 regions of France.
- The official currency is the euro and French is the official language.
- It was once called Juanacaera-Matinino after the iguanas.
- Christopher Columbus called it Martinica.
- There are beautiful tropical forests on the island.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).