Comprise the tri-island Nation of Grenada. Located in the southern most section of the Windward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Grenada is often referred to as the ‘Spice Isle’ of the Caribbean. With a mountainous interior and fertile lands Grenada is a leading producer of organic cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice and most notably nutmeg. The nutmeg graces Grenada’s flag as the national economic crop of which, Grenada is the second largest producer in the world behind Indonesia.
These islands were first inhabited by sophisticated tribes of neolithic farmers; the Arawak Indians prospered here with fishing and agriculture in peace for centuries. Much later the ruthless tribe Caribs or Kalinago Indians decided to expand their territory and being far more primitive and ferocious than the Arawak, marganilized their Arawak neighbors; it was their cannibalistic custom to marry the women of the defeated tribes and eat the men. Today the number one beer in the Caribbean is called a” Carib” go figure.
Officially discovered by explorer Christopher Columbus on his third voyage in 1498, it is believed by historians that he first landed in the Bahamas calling these islands the Indies, assuming he had found Asia and the East Indies. When his mistake was discovered Spain renamed them the West Indies, distinguishing them from the Spice Islands of Indonesia.
In 1609 there was an attempt made by the English to form a settlement, but the warring Kalinago/Carib Indians outnumbered them and kept them from succeeding. In 1639 a French expedition of 203 men from Martinique came and settled in the South Coast needing a natural harbor for the protection of their Naval fleet during hurricanes. The first year the Indians traded with them, as the French began encroaching the Caribs fought them valiantly,yet in the end the French over took them, many fled to other islands like Dominica, and the rest were moved to the Northern part of the island. Carib’s Leap located just north of the town Sautuers is the steep cliff face of “Leapers Hill” where 40 plus Caribs jumped to their deaths to avoid the French occupation. The French commandeered their new colony naming it La Grenade. As the enslavement of the Caribs did not go their way, they began to import their free labor in the slave market from West Africa basing their economy on sugar and indigo.
In 1762 the British captured Grenada in the Seven Years War. Like many islands in the Caribbean in the 18th century, the island teetered between French and British control. In 1877 Grenada was made a British Crown Colony; an alliance that still exists today. Three years shy of a century later, Grenada was granted independence in 1974 under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first Prime Minister of Grenada.
On March 13th of 1979, the Grenada United Labour Party government of Eric Matthew Gairy was overthrown by Maurice Bishop’s, People’s Revolutionary Army.
Maurice Bishop, a lawyer by profession was now the face and voice and words of the Revolution. In an Address to the Nation delivered on Radio Free Grenada on 13 March 1979,:
“Brothers and Sisters,
This is Maurice Bishop speaking.
At 4.15 am this morning, the People’s Revolutionary Army seized control of the army barracks at True Blue.”
See full speech here: www.gov.gd The People’s Revolutionary Government lasted till 1983, when internal conflicts led to the murder of Bishop much to the disgust of the people. A welcomed U.S. led military intervention ensued, Clint Eastwood starred in the movie and Grenada has enjoyed peace, prosperity and free elections ever since.
What an amazing place. Full of history, beauty, culture, nature, education, conservation, and heritage. There is so much to do, or not to do. Grenada and her islands are unique in the Caribbean having preserved their culture and heritage, a geographical gem where visitors can sink into the serenity of warm breezes and soft moonlight; feel history in centuries old forts; touch the floor of the rain forest and swim among coral reefs.
When you discover the glory of Grenada, you feel the pure warmth of the people. Nature treks, diving excursions, sporting events, cultural celebrations and culinary selections will make your Spice Experience one to repeat. Whether you wish for sheer relaxation, invigorating adventures or a combination of both, your Spice Experience will satisfy.