Caribbean

The Caribbean (/ˌkærɨˈbiːən/ or /kəˈrɪbiən/; Spanish: Caribe; Dutch: Caraïben; French: Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles) is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (most of which are enclosed by the sea), and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and North America, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. (See the list) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which consists of the Greater Antilles on the north, the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands (the Lucayan Archipelago, which does not border the Caribbean Sea)—and countries such as Belize in Central America and Guyana in South America, which are historically and culturally part of the British West Indies.

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations.

Read more about CaribbeanEtymology and Pronunciation, Definition, Geography and Climate, Biodiversity, Demographics, Regional Institutions

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Famous quotes containing the word caribbean:

    It is a curious thing to be a woman in the Caribbean after you have been a woman in these United States.
    Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)

    But now Miss America, World’s champion woman, you take your promenading self down into the cobalt blue waters of the Caribbean and see what happens. You meet a lot of darkish men who make vociferous love to you, but otherwise pay you no mid.
    Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)