Jamaica

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My first card from Jamaica comes from Rachel. 🙂

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Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean.

Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country’s largest city and its capital, with a population of 937,700.

Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, currently Patrick Allen. The head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica is Portia Simpson-Miller. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.

Puerto Rico map

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This map card comes from Charlie. 🙂

 

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Puerto Ricans often call the island Borinquen – a derivation of Borikén, its indigenous Taíno name, which means “Land of the Valiant Lord”. The terms boricua and borincano derive from Borikén and Borinquen respectively, and are commonly used to identify someone of Puerto Rican heritage. The island is also popularly known in Spanish as la isla del encanto, meaning “the island of enchantment”.

Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of the Catholic Saint John the Baptist, while the capital city was named Ciudad de Puerto Rico (English: Rich Port City). Eventually traders and other maritime visitors came to refer to the entire island as Puerto Rico, while San Juan became the name used for the main trading/shipping port and the capital city.

Aruba

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My first card from Aruba comes from Denise. It was a great surprise to see this card in my mailbox – it was so, so, so sweet of Denise to think of  me while on her trip to Aruba.

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Aruba is an island 33 kilometres long; it is located about 1,600 kilometres west of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea and 27 kilometres north of the coast of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Netherlands Antilles or the Dutch Caribbean.

Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.

Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 179 km2 and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants at the 2010 Census. It lies outside the hurricane belt.

Sint Maarten

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My first card from Sint Maarten comes from Pat. 🙂

YYSeDLgSeTB6A5C1e7UYE1L4Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It encompasses the southern half of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, while the northern half of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Its capital is Philipsburg. Its population is 37,000 on 34km2.

Before 10 October 2010, Sint Maarten was known as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (Dutch: Eilandgebied Sint Maarten), and was one of five island territories (eilandgebieden) that constituted the Netherlands Antilles.

The official languages are Dutch and English. A local English-based creole dialect is also spoken.

St. Maarten’s economy is mostly based on tourism, either from tourists staying on the island or day tourists from the many cruise lines that dock in the Philipsburg harbour.

Roseau, Dominica

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My first postcard from Dominica comes from Jenny. 🙂

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Roseau is the capital and largest city of Dominica. It is a small and compact urban settlement, located within the Saint George parish and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Roseau River and Morne Bruce. Built on the site of the ancient Kalinago Indian village of Sairi, it is the oldest and most important urban settlement on the island of Dominica.

Roseau is Dominica’s most important port for foreign trade. Some exports include bananas, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges, and cocoa. The service sector is also a large part of the local economy.

Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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This one comes from Renew Family. 🙂

Saint Thomas is an island in the Caribbean Sea and, together with St. John and Water Island, forms a county and constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an unincorporated territory of the United States. Located on the island is the territorial capital and port of Charlotte Amalie. As of the 2010 census, the population of Saint Thomas was 51,634 about 48.5% of the US Virgin Islands total. The district has a land area of 31.24 square miles (80.9 km2).

Martinique #2

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This lovely beach card comes from Christine. 🙂

Martinique is an island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 386,486 inhabitants (as of Jan. 2013). Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.

As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-seven regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the euro. The official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais).