|Official Name:||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Area:||442 sq km or 170 sq mi|
|Currency:||Eastern Caribbean Dollar (US $1=2.67)|
|Religion:||Christianity||Literacy:||90%||Languages:||English (official), Patois||Major Cities:||Saint John's||Climate:||Tropical and mild|
Antigua and Barbuda is an island located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, situated east-southeast of Puerto Rico.
Physical Map of Antigua & Barbuda
The country has mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas.
Climate of Antigua & Barbuda
The climate of Antigua and Barbuda is tropical and mild in nature. The overall pleasant year-round climate is maintained by the cool trade winds and low humidity.
Temperatures range from 240C to 300C. While August and September are the hottest months, January and February remain relatively much cooler. Antigua and Barbuda receive average rainfall of about 42 inches every year. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer.
History & Political Map of Antigua & Barbuda
Most of the people of Antigua can be traced back to their African origins, majority of them being descendants of slaves brought to the island centuries ago to work in the sugarcane fields.slaves brought to the island centuries ago to work in the sugarcane fields.
Ancient history reveals that Antigua started witnessing habitation as early as two and a half millennia before Christ. The Siboney were the first ones to settle here. Also known as Stone-people, they were very good at making shell and stone tools. Later in 1632, a group of Englishmen from St. Kitts established a successful settlement. In the year 1684, Sir Christopher Codrington spotted Antigua and realized its potential in large-scale sugar cultivation. The following years saw sugar cultivation flourish massively in Antigua. By the middle of the 18th century, the island was dotted with more than 150 cane-processing windmills, which today serve as houses, bars, restaurants and shops.
Horatio Nelson arrived in 1784 at the head of the Squadron of the Leeward Islands to develop the British naval facilities at English Harbour and to enforce stringent commercial shipping laws. Later in 1834, under the reign of King William IV, slavery was abolished but this hurt the sugarcane industry, which soon began to wane. The country struggled for prosperity until tourism developed in full form few decades ago, putting Antigua back on tracks.
The year 1940 saw strong labour movement under the leadership of V.C. Bird which finally achieved independence for the country. In 1967, with Barbuda and the tiny island of Redonda as dependencies, Antigua became an associated state of the Commonwealth, and in 1981 it finally gained entire independence.
The population of Antigua is mainly made up of people of African descent though there are British, American, Portugese, Lebanese, and Syrian origin people too residing here. In Berbuda, most of the people reside in the Codrington. The annual population growth here is about 1.3 per cent. Antiguans and generally warm and friendly, and possess the true Caribbean laid back style. However, most are hard working, holding two or more jobs.
Arts & Crafts
The Antiguans are known for their arts and crafts. Their folk pottery dates back to the early 18th century, when the slaves made cooking vessels from local clay. Today, beautiful pottery can be found in a number of places around Antigua, which are made from the clay collected from pits located nearby, and heated in an open fire under layers of green grass in the yards of the potters' houses. Apart from this, exhibitions are a common feature. Harmony Hall, in Brown's Bay at Nonsuch Bay, is the center of the Antiguan arts community. The exhibits keep changing throughout the year, with the highlights being the Antigua Artist's Exhibition and the Craft Fair, which are always held in November.
As Antigua has witnessed the settling down of diverse ethnic races, its culture broth is made up of African, European, American and Middle Eastern ingredients.