Barbados ( or ) is an sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.
Barbados was initially visited by the Spanish around the late 1400s to early 1500s and first appears on a Spanish map from 1511. The Spanish explorers may have plundered the island of whatever native peoples resided therein to become slaves. The Portuguese visited in 1536, but they too left it unclaimed, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. The first English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1624. They took possession of it in the name of the British king James I. Two years later in 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England and it became an English and later British colony.
Barbados has an estimated population of 284,000 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country's capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of the Caribbean's leading tourist destinations and is one of the most developed islands in the region, with an HDI number of 0.788. In 2011 Barbados ranked 2nd in The Americas (16th globally) on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index
According to accounts by descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes in other regional areas, the original name for Barbados was Ichirouganaim, with possible translations including "Red Land with White Teeth", "Redstone island with teeth outside (reefs)", or simply "Teeth".
The reason for the later name Barbados is controversial. According to some sources the Portuguese, en route to Brazil, were the first Europeans to come upon the island, while others say it was the Spanish which gave the Spanish name "Los Barbudos". The word Barbados means "bearded ones", but it is a matter of conjecture whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (Ficus citrifolia), indigenous to the island; to allegedly bearded Caribs once inhabiting the island; or, more fancifully, to the foam spraying over the outlying reefs giving the impression of a beard. In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, an island in the Leewards which is very close in name to Barbados is Barbuda and was once named Las Barbudas by the Spanish.
Other names or nicknames associated with Barbados include "Bim" and "Bimshire". The origin is uncertain but several theories exist. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word commonly used by slaves and that it derives from the phrase "bi mu" or either ("bem", "Ndi bem", "Nwanyi ibem" or "Nwoke ibem") from an Igbo phrase meaning "my people". In colloquial or literary contexts, "Bim" can also take a more deific tone, referring to the "goddess" Barbados.
The word Bim and Bimshire are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries. Another possible source for "Bim" is reported to be in the Agricultural Reporter of 25 April 1868, The Rev. N Greenidge (father of one of the island's most famous scholars, Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge) suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England. Expressly named were "Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Bimshire". Lastly in the Daily Argosy (of Demerara, i.e. Guyana) of 1652 it referred to Bim as a possible corruption of the word "Byam", who was a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians. That source suggested the followers of Byam became known as Bims and became a word for all Barbadians.
Amerindian settlement of Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th century AD, by a group known as the Saladoid-Barrancoid. In the 13th century, the Caribs arrived from South America.
The Spanish and Portuguese briefly claimed Barbados from the late-16th to the 17th centuries, and may have seized the Arawaks on Barbados and used them as slave labour. Other Arawaks are believed to have fled to neighbouring islands. Apart from possibly displacing the Caribs, the Spanish and Portuguese left little impact and left the island uninhabited. Some Arawaks migrated from Guyana in the 1800s and continue to live in Barbados.
From the arrival of the first English settlers in 1627 1628 until independence in 1966, Barbados was under uninterrupted British governance (and was the only Caribbean island that did not change hands during the colonial period). In the very early years, the majority of the population was white and male, with African slaves providing little of the workforce. Cultivation of tobacco, cotton, ginger and indigo was handled primarily by European indentured labour until the start of the sugar cane industry in the 1640s. As Barbados' economy grew, Barbados developed a large measure of local autonomy through its founding as a proprietary colony. Its House of Assembly began meeting in 1639. Among the initial important figures was Anglo-Dutchman Sir William Courten.
Government and politics
Parliament Building. Barbados has been an independent country since 30 November 1966. It functions as a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, modelled on the British Westminster system, with Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, as head of state, represented locally by the Governor-General (currently Elliot Belgrave, the Acting Governor-General), and the Prime Minister as the head of the government. The number of representatives within the House of Assembly has gradually increased from 24 at independence to its present composition of 30 seats.
During the 1990s, at the suggestion of Trinidad and Tobago's Patrick Manning, Barbados attempted a political union with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The project stalled after the then Prime Minister of Barbados Lloyd Erskine Sandiford became ill and his party (the Democratic Labour Party) lost the next general election. Barbados continues to share close ties with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, claiming the highest number of Guyanese immigrants after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Barbados functions as a two-party system, the two dominant parties being the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the opposition, Barbados Labour Party. Until 2003, each party had served two terms in office alternately. The election of 2003 gave the BLP a third term victory, at which time the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) achieved being in government for 14 years, (1994 until the 2008 elections). Under that administration, the former Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Owen S. Arthur acted as the Regional Leader of the CSM (Caribbean Single Market).
The Honourable David Thompson, who was elected Prime Minister of Barbados in 2008, died of pancreatic cancer on 23 October 2010. He was succeeded by Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who was sworn in the same day.
Barbados has had several third parties over a period of time since independence: The People's Pressure Movement formed in the early 1970s and contested the 1976 elections; The National Democratic Party, which contested the 1994 elections; and the People's Democratic Congress, which contested the 2008 elections. Apart from these there were several independents who contested the elections, but independents are yet to win a seat in Parliament.
The Constitution of Barbados is the supreme law of the nation. The Attorney General heads the independent judiciary. Historically, Barbadian law was based entirely on English common law with a few local adaptations. At the time of independence, the British Parliament ceased having the ability to change local legislation at its own discretion. British law and various legal statutes within British law at this time, and other prior measures adopted by the Barbadian Parliament, became the basis of the modern-day law system.
More recently, however, local Barbadian legislation may be shaped or influenced by such organisations as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, or other international fora to which Barbados has obligatory commitments by treaty. Additionally, through international cooperation, other institutions may supply the Barbados Parliament with key sample legislation to be adapted to meet local circumstances before crafting it as local law.
Laws are passed by the Barbadian Parliament, whereby upon their passage, are given official vice-regal assent by the Governor-General to become law.
In Barbados, camouflage clothing is reserved for military use and forbidden for civilians to wear, including children.
The local court system of Barbados is made-up of:
- Magistrates' Courts: Covering Criminal, Civil, Domestic, Domestic Violence, and Juvenile matters. But can also take up matters dealing with Corornor's Inquests, Liquor Licences, and civil marriages. Further, the Magistrates' Courts deal with Contract and Tort law where claims do not exceed $10,000.00.
- The Supreme Court: is made up of High Court and Court of Appeals.
- High Court: Consisting of Civil, Criminal, and Family law divisions.
- Court of Appeal: Handles appeals from the High Court and Magistrates' Court. It hears appeals in both the civil, and criminal law jurisdictions. It may consist of a single Justice of Appeal sitting in Chambers; or may sit as a Full Court of three Justices of Appeals.
- The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), (based in Port Of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago), is the court of last resort (final jurisdiction) over Barbadian law. It replaced the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). The CCJ may resolve other disputed matters dealing with the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Barbados is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Organization of American States (OAS), Commonwealth of Nations, and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which currently pertains only to Barbados, Belize and Guyana. In 2001 the Caribbean Community heads of government voted on a measure declaring that the region should work towards replacing the UK's Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Barbados is an original Member (1995) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and participates actively in its work. It grants at least MFN treatment to all its trading partners. As of December 2007, Barbados is linked by an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Commission. The pact involves the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) subgroup of the Group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states (ACP). CARIFORUM presently the only part of the wider ACP-bloc that has concluded the full regional trade-pact with the European Union.
Trade policy has also sought to protect a small number of domestic activities, mostly food production, from foreign competition, while recognising that most domestic needs are best met by imports.
The Barbados Defence Force has roughly 600 members; within it, 12-to-18-year-old youngsters make up the Barbados Cadet Corps. The defence preparations of the island nation are closely tied to defence treaties with the United Kingdom, the United States, and the People's Republic of China.
Geography and climate
Map of Barbados Beach near Bridgetown, Barbados.
Barbados is the easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles. It is flat in comparison to its island neighbours to the west, the Windward Islands. The island rises gently to the central highland region, with the highpoint of the nation being Mount Hillaby, in the geological Scotland District, above sea level. The island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the other West Indies Islands.
In the parish of Saint Michael lies Barbados' capital and main city, Bridgetown. Other major towns scattered across the island include Holetown, in the parish of Saint James; Oistins, in the parish of Christ Church; and Speightstown, in the parish of Saint Peter.
Barbados lies on the boundary of the South American and the Caribbean Plates. The shift of the South American plate beneath the Caribbean plate scrapes sediment from the South American plate and deposits it above the subduction zone forming an accretionary prism. The rate of this depositing of material allows Barbados to rise at a rate of about per 1,000 years. This subduction means geologically the island is composed of coral roughly ( thick), where reefs formed above the sediment. The land slopes in a series of "terraces" in the west and goes into an incline in the east. A large proportion of the island is circled by coral reefs.
The erosion of limestone rock in the North East of the island, in the Scotland District, has resulted in the formation of various caves and gullys, some of which have become popular tourist attractions such as Harrison's Cave and Welchman Hall Gully. On the Atlantic East coast of the island coastal landforms, including stacks, have been created due to the limestone composition of the area.
The country generally experiences two seasons, one of which includes noticeably higher rainfall. Known as the "wet season", this period runs from June to November. By contrast, the "dry season" runs from December to May. The annual precipitation ranges between and . From December to May the average temperatures range from , while between June and November, they range from .
On the K ppen climate classification scale, much of Barbados is regarded as a Tropical monsoon climate (Am). However, gentle breezes of 12 16 kilometres per hour (8 10 mph) abound throughout the year and give Barbados a warm climate which is moderately tropical.
Infrequent natural hazards include earthquakes, landslips, and hurricanes. Barbados is often spared the worst effects of the region's tropical storms and hurricanes during the rainy season. The far eastern location in the Atlantic Ocean puts the country just outside the principal hurricane strike zone. On average, a major hurricane strikes about once every 26 years. The last significant hit from a hurricane to cause severe damage to Barbados was Hurricane Janet in 1955, and more recently in 2010 the island was struck by Hurricane Tomas, but this only caused minor damage across the country.
The island is susceptible to environmental pressures. As one of the world's most densely populated isles, the government worked during the 1990s to aggressively integrate the growing south coast of the island into the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant to reduce contamination of offshore coral reefs. As of the 2000s, a second treatment plant has been proposed along the islands' west coast. With such a dense populus, Barbados has placed large efforts on protecting its underground aquifers. As a coral-limestone island, Barbados is highly permeable to seepage of surface water into the earth. As such, a major emphasis by the government has been placed on protecting the catchment areas (in specific surface areas known as buffer zones) that lead directly into the huge network of underground aquifers and streams. On occasion illegal squatters have breached these areas, and the government has removed squatters in order to preserve the cleanliness of the underground springs for islands drinking water. The government has placed a huge emphasis on keeping Barbados clean with the aim of protecting the environment and preserving offshore coral reefs which surround the island. Many initiatives to mitigate human pressures on the coastal regions of Barbados and seas is the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU). Barbados has nearly 90 km of coral reefs just offshore and two protected marine parks have been established off the west coast. Overfishing is another threat which faces Barbados.
Barbados is host to four species of nesting turtles (green turtles, loggerheads, and leatherbacks) and has the second largest hawksbill turtle breeding population in the Caribbean. The driving of vehicles on beaches can crush nests buried in the sand and such activity should be avoided in nesting areas.
Though on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and some 3000 miles west of Africa, Barbados is one of many places in the American continent which experiences heightened levels of mineral dust from the Sahara Desert. Some particularly intense dust episodes have been blamed partly for the impacts on the health of coral reefs surrounding Barbados or asthmatic episodes, but evidence has not wholly supported the former such claim.
Map of the parishes of Barbados Barbados is divided into 11 parishes:
- Christ Church
- Saint Andrew
- Saint George
- Saint James
- Saint John
- Saint Joseph
- Saint Lucy
- Saint Michael
- Saint Peter
- Saint Philip
- Saint Thomas
St. George and St. Thomas located in the middle of the country are the only two parishes without coastlines.
Barbados is the 51st richest country in the world in terms of GDP (Gross domestic product) per capita, has a well-developed mixed economy, and a moderately high standard of living. According to the World Bank, Barbados is classified as being in its 66 top High income economies of the world. A 2012 self-study in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank revealed 20 percent of Barbadians live in poverty, and nearly 10 percent cannot meet their basic daily food needs.
Historically, the economy of Barbados had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but in the late 1970s and early 1980s it has diversified into the manufacturing and tourism sectors. Offshore finance and information services have become important foreign exchange earners, and there is a healthy light manufacturing sector. Since the 1990s the Barbados Government has been seen as business-friendly and economically sound. The island has seen a construction boom, with the development and redevelopment of hotels, office complexes, and homes.
Recent government administrations have continued efforts to reduce unemployment, encourage foreign direct investment, and privatise remaining state-owned enterprises. Unemployment has been reduced to 10.7 in 2003.
The economy contracted in 2001 and 2002 due to slowdowns in tourism, consumer spending and the impact of the 11 September 2001 attacks, but rebounded in 2003 and has shown growth since 2004. Traditional trading partners include Canada, the Caribbean Community (especially Trinidad and Tobago), the United Kingdom and the United States.
Business links and investment flows have become substantial: as of 2003 the island saw from Canada CA$ 25 billion in investment holdings, placing it as one of Canada's top five destinations for Canadian foreign direct investment (FDI). Businessman Eugene Melnyk of Toronto, Canada, is said to be Barbados' richest permanent resident.
It has been reported that the year 2006 would have been one of the busiest years for building construction ever in Barbados, as the building-boom on the island entered the final stages for several multi-million dollar commercial projects.
The European Union is presently assisting Barbados with a 10 million programme of modernisation of the country's International Business and Financial Services Sector.
Barbados maintains the third largest stock exchange in the Caribbean region. At present, officials at the stock exchange are investigating the possibility of augmenting the local exchange with an International Securities Market (ISM) venture.
Barbados has numerous internationally known hotels. Time-shares are available, and many of the smaller local hotels and private villas which dot the island have space available if booked in advance. The southern and western coasts of Barbados are popular, with the calm light-blue Caribbean Sea and their white and pinkish sandy beaches. Along the island's east coast, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, there are tumbling waves that are perfect for light surfing. Some areas remain risky to swimmers due to under-tow currents.
Shopping districts are popular in Barbados, with ample duty-free shopping. There is also a festive night-life in mainly tourist areas such as the Saint Lawrence Gap. Other attractions include wildlife reserves (Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary), jewellery stores, scuba diving, helicopter rides, golf, festivals (the largest being the annual Crop Over festival July/Aug), sightseeing, cave exploration (Harrison's Cave), exotic drinks and fine clothes shopping.
Attractions, landmarks and points of interest
Tourism accounts for almost one half of the economy. Name / Parish Location:
- Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary
- Saint Lawrence Gap
- Grantley Adams International Airport
- Chancery Lane Swamp
- Christ Church Foundation School (1809)
- Ocean Park, Barbados
- Chalky Mount potteries
- Cherry Tree Hill
- Morgan Lewis Windmill
- Barclays Park
- Francia Great House
- Gun Hill Signal Station
- Orchid World
- Codrington College
- Conset Bay
- St. John Parish Church & church yard
- Massiah Street
- Andromeda Gardens
- Flower Forest
- Hackleton's Cliff
- Animal Flower Cave
- Little Bay
- Shamarra's House
- Barbados Historical Museum
- Bridgetown Synagogue and Cemetery
- Bussa Emancipation Statue
- Ilaro Court
- Garrison Savannah
- Kensington Oval
- Mount Gay Rum
- Barbados National Museum
- George Washington House
- The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters
- Barbados Wildlife Reserve
- Farley Hill National Park
- St Nicholas Abbey
- Crane Beach
- Sunbury Plantation
- Bayley's Plantation
- Clifton Hill Moravian Church
- Harrison's Cave
- Sharon Moravian Church
- Welchman Hall Gully
List of: Cities, towns and villages in Barbados.
- Six Cross Roads
- Saint Lawrence Gap
- Black Rock, Barbados
- Bank Hall
A bus stop in Barbados High Street Barbados has a population of about 281,968 and a population growth rate of 0.33% (Mid-2005 estimates). It currently ranks as: the 4th most densely populated country in the Americas (18th globally), and the 10th most populated island country in the region, (101st globally). Close to 90% of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as Bajan) are of African descent ("Afro-Bajans") and mixed-descent. The remainder of the population includes groups of Europeans ("Anglo-Bajans" / "Euro-Bajans") mainly from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Chinese, Bajan Muslims from India. Other groups in Barbados include people from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Barbadians who return after years of residence in the U.S. and children born in America to Bajan parents are called "Bajan Yankees", this term is considered derogatory by some. Generally, Bajans recognise and accept all 'children-of-the-island' as Bajans, and refer to each other as such.
The biggest communities outside the Afro-Caribbean community are:
- The Indo-Guyanese, an important part of the economy due to the increase of immigrants from partner country Guyana. There are reports of a growing Indo-Bajan diaspora originating from Guyana and India. They introduced roti and other Indian dishes to Barbados' culture. Mostly from southern India and Hindu states, they are growing in size but smaller than the equivalent communities in Trinidad & Guyana.
- Euro-Bajans (4% of the population) have settled in Barbados since the 16th century, originating from England, Ireland and Scotland. In 1643, there were 37,200 whites in Barbados (86% of the population). More commonly they are known as "White Bajans". Euro-Bajans introduced folk music, such as Irish music and Highland music, and certain place names, such as "Scotland", a mountainous region. Among White Barbadians there exists an underclass known as Redlegs; the descendants of indentured servants, and prisoners imported to the island. Many additionally moved on to become the earliest settlers of modern-day North and South Carolina in the United States.
- Chinese are a minute portion of Barbados' Asian demographics, far smaller than the equivalent communities of Jamaica and Trinidad. Most if not all first arrived in the 1940s during the Second World War, originating mainly from the then British territory of Hong Kong. Many Chinese-Bajans have the surnames Chin, Chynn or Lee, although other surnames prevail in certain areas of the island.
- Lebanese and Syrians form the Arab community on the island and the Muslim minority among them make up a small percentage of the Muslim population. The majority of the Lebanese and Syrians arrived in Barbados due to trade opportunities. Although in the numbers are dwindling due to emigration and immigration to other countries.
- Jewish people arrived in Barbados just after the first settlers in 1627. Bridgetown is the home of the oldest Jewish Synagogue in the Americas, dating from 1654, though the current structure was erected in 1833 replacing one ruined by the hurricane of 1831. Tombstones in the neighbouring cemetery date from the 1630s. Now under the care of the Barbados National Trust the site was deserted in 1929, but was subsequently saved and restored by the Jewish community in 1983.
- Indians from Gujarat in India make up majority of the Muslim population. Muslim-Indian Barbadians are often perceived to be the most successful group in business, along with the Chinese Bajans.
The average life expectancy is 72 years for males and 77 years for females. Barbados and Japan have the highest per capita occurrences of centenarians in the world.
English is the root official language of Barbados, and is used for communications, administration, and public services all over the island. In its capacity as the official language of the country, the standard of English tends to conform to the vocabulary, pronunciations, spellings, and conventions akin to, but not exactly the same as, those of British English. A regional variant of English, referred to locally as Bajan, is spoken by most Barbadians in everyday life, especially in informal settings. In its full-fledged form, Bajan sounds markedly different from the Standard English heard on the island.
The degree of intelligibility between Bajan and general English changes depending on the speakers' origins and the "rawness" of one's accent. In rare instances, a Bajan speaker may be completely unintelligible to an outside English speaker if sufficient slang terminology is present in a sentence. Bajan is somewhat differentiated from, but highly influenced by other Caribbean English dialects; it is a fusion of British English and elements borrowed from the languages of West Africa. Hindi and Bhojpuri are also spoken on the island by a small Indo-Bajan minority. Spanish is considered the most popular second language on the island, followed by French.
Most Barbadians of African and European descent are Christians (95%), chiefly Anglicans (40%). Other Christian denominations with significant followings in Barbados are the Catholic Church, Pentecostals (Evangelicals) Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist and Spiritual Baptists. The Church of England was the official state religion until its legal disenfranchisement by the Parliament of Barbados following independence. Religious minorities include Hindus, Muslims, the Baha'i Faith, Jews and Wiccans.
Growing up in Barbados, Rihanna became one of the biggest international pop icons.
The influence of the English on Barbados is more noticeable than on other islands in the West Indies. A good example of this is the island's national sport: cricket. Barbados has brought forth several great cricketers, including Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Frank Worrell.
Citizens are officially called Barbadians. The term "Bajan" (pronounced "beijan) may have come from a localised pronunciation of the word Barbadian which at times can sound more like "Bar-bajan".
The largest carnival-like cultural event which takes place on the island is the Crop Over festival. As in many other Caribbean and Latin American countries, Crop Over is an important event for many people on the island, as well as the thousands of tourists that flock to the island to participate in the annual events. The festival includes musical competitions and other traditional activities. The male and female Barbadian that harvested the most sugarcane are also crowned as the King and Queen of the crop. It gets under way from the beginning of July, and ends with the costumed parade on Kadooment Day, held on the first Monday of August.
In the music business, Rihanna is currently one of Barbados' most well known Grammy winning artists. As of 2009 she was appointed as an official Honorary Ambassador of youth and culture for Barbados by the late Prime Minister, David Thompson.
Similar to other nations within the Commonwealth of Nations all Barbadian citizens are covered by national healthcare. Barbados has over twenty polyclinics throughout the country in addition to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (General Hospital) located in Bridgetown. In 2011 the Government of Barbados signed a Memorandum of Understanding to lease its 22-acre Saint Joseph Hospital to Denver, Colorado based America World Clinics. Under the deal the group will use Barbados as one of its main destinations for medical tourism at that facility. The government also announced it would begin constructing a new $800 million dollar state-of-the-art hospital to replace the QEH.
Education and literacy
Barbados' literacy rate is ranked close to 100%, with both UNESCO and the Minister of Education stating that Barbados was in the top 5 countries worldwide for literacy rate. thus placing the country alongside many of the industrialised nations of the world. The mainstream public education system of Barbados is fashioned after the British model. The government of Barbados spends 6.7% of the GDP on education (2008). All young people in the country must attend school until age 16. Barbados has over 70 primary schools, and over 20 secondary schools throughout the island. There are also a number of private schools catering to various teaching models including Montessori and International Baccalaureate. Degree level education in the country is provided by the Barbados Community College, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, and a local Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies
The Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup final.Cricket is one of the most followed games in the nation and the Kensignton Oval is often referred to as the 'Mecca in Cricket' due to its significance and contributions to the sport.
As in other Caribbean countries of British colonial heritage, cricket is very popular on the island. Barbadians play on the West Indies cricket team. In addition to several warm-up matches and six "Super Eight" matches, and the country hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. They have had many great cricketers such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Gordon Greenidge, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall.
Obadele Thompson is a world class sprinter from Barbados; he won a bronze medal at Olympic Games over 100m in 2000. Ryan Brathwaite, a hurdler, reached the 2008 Olympic semi-finals in Beijing. Brathwaite also earned Barbados its first ever medal at the world championships in Berlin, Germany on 20 August 2009, when he won the men's 110 meter hurdles title. The 21-year-old timed a national record of 13.14 seconds to win the Gold Medal.
Polo is very popular amongst the rich 'elite' on the island and the 'High-Goal' Apes Hill team is based in the St James's Club. It is also played at the private Holders Festival ground.
In golf, the Barbados Open is an annual stop on the European Seniors Tour. In December 2006 the WGC-World Cup took place at the country's Sandy Lane resort on the Country Club course, an 18-hole course designed by Tom Fazio. The Barbados Golf Club is the other main course on the island. Sanctioned by the PGA European Tour to host a PGA Seniors Tournament in 2003 and it has also hosted the Barbados Open on several occasions.
Basketball is a popular sport played at school or college and is increasing in popularity, as is volleyball, though volleyball is mainly played indoors.
Motorsports also play a role, with Rally Barbados occurring each summer and currently being listed on the FIA NACAM calendar.
The presence of the trade winds along with favourable swells make the southern tip of the Island an ideal location for wave sailing (an extreme form of the sport of windsurfing).
Netball is also popular with women in Barbados.
Barbadian team The Flyin' Fish, are the 2009 Segway Polo World Champions.
Typical ZR-van with markings indicating that it serves the number 11 route. In addition to being one of the world's most densely populated countries, Barbados also has one of the most dense road networks in the world. Although Barbados is only about at its widest point, a car journey from Six Cross Roads in St. Philip (south-east) to North Point in St. Lucy (north-central) can take one and a half hours or longer, thanks to the country's narrow, winding and rough roads.
Barbados has half as many registered cars as citizens in the country. The first letter of a vehicle's licence plate designates its usage or owner's registered parish of residence. "Z" and "ZR" are for taxis; "H" for rental cars; "B" for buses and minibuses; "CD" for diplomatic cars; and "3D" or "7D" for defence force vehicles, while "ML" or "MP" with green plates usually designate military, police or government vehicles. As regards residence, "X" is for Christ Church; "A" for St. Andrew; "G" for St. George; "S" for St. James; "J" for St. John; "O" for St. Joseph; "L" for St. Lucy; "M" for St. Michael; "E" for St. Peter; "P" for St. Philip; and "T" for St. Thomas.
Public transport on the island is relatively convenient, with 'route taxis', called "ZRs" (pronounced "Zed-Rs"), travelling to most points on the island. These small buses can at times be crowded, as passengers are generally never turned down, regardless of the number. However, they will usually take the more scenic routes to destinations. They generally depart from the capital Bridgetown or from Speightstown in the northern part of the island.
Old Barbados Transport Board bus in Bridgetown. Including the ZRs there are three bus systems running seven days a week (though less frequently on Sundays). There's ZRs, the yellow minibuses and the blue Transport Board buses. A ride on any of them costs BBD$2.00. The smaller buses from the two privately owned systems ("ZRs" and "minibuses") can give change; the larger blue buses from the government-operated Barbados Transport Board system cannot, but do give receipts. Children in school uniform ride for free on the government buses and for $1.50 on the minibuses and ZRs. Most routes require a connection in Bridgetown. Some drivers within the competitive privately owned systems are reluctant to advise persons to use competing services, even if those would be more suitable.
A Mini Moke at Speightstown beach Some hotels also provide visitors with shuttles to points of interest on the island from outside the hotel lobby. There are several locally owned and operated vehicle rental agencies in Barbados but there are no multi-national companies.
The island's lone airport is the Grantley Adams International Airport. It receives daily flights by several major airlines from points around the globe, as well as several smaller regional commercial airlines and charters. The airport serves as the main air-transportation hub for the eastern Caribbean. In the first decade of 21st century it underwent a US$100 million upgrade and expansion.
There is also a helicopter shuttle service, which offers air taxi services to a number of sites around the island, mainly on the West Coast tourist belt. Air and maritime traffic is regulated by the Barbados Port Authority.
- Outline of Barbados
- Index of Barbados-related articles
- Commonwealth of Nations
- International rankings of Barbados
- Lesser Antilles
- List of Barbadians
- Burns, Sir Alan 1965. History of the British West Indies. George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London England.
- Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-514073-7
- Frere, Samuel, A Short History of Barbados: From its first discovery and settlement, to the end of the year 1767, published by J. Dodsley, London, 1768, download pdf from archive.org
- Gragg, Larry Dale, 2003. Englishmen transplanted: the English colonisation of Barbados, 1627 1660. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-925389-7
- Hamshere, Cyril 1972. The British In the Caribbean. Harvard University Press, Massachusetts USA. ISBN 0-674-08235-4
- Northrup, David, ed. The Atlantic Slave Trade, Second Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. ISBN 0-618-11624-9
- O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson 2000. An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia ISBN 0-8122-1732-2
- Rogozinski, January 1999. A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and Carib to the Present. Revised version, New York, USA. ISBN 0-8160-3811-2
- Scott, Caroline 1999. Insight Guide Barbados. Discovery Channel and Insight Guides; fourth edition, Singapore. ISBN 0-88729-033-7
- General information
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