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.

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Bahamas

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My first card from Bahamas comes from Niki. 🙂

The Bahamas is an island country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence.

Originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus’ first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists, taking their enslaved Africans, moved to the Bahamas, where the Americans set up a plantation economy. After Britain abolished the international slave trade in 1807, the Royal Navy resettled many free Africans liberated from illegal slave ships in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Hundreds of American slaves and Black Seminoles escaped to the islands from Florida, and nearly 500 were freed from American merchant ships in the domestic trade. Slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Today the descendants of slaves and free Africans form the majority of the population; issues related to the slavery years are part of society. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch.

 

Puerto Rico

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My first card from Puerto Rico comes from Nicole (who really likes the Bulgarian quidditch team, yeah! :D).

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port”) is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. The national language is Spanish but English is recognized as an official language as well.

Originally populated for centuries by the aboriginal people known as Taíno, the island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas on November 19, 1493. Under Spanish rule, the island was colonized while the Taíno were forced into slavery and suffered high fatalities from epidemics of European infectious diseases. Spain held Puerto Rico for over 400 years, despite attempts at capture of the island by the French, Dutch, and British. In 1898, Spain ceded the archipelago to the United States as a result of its defeat in the Spanish–American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

 

San José – Teatro Nacional

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My first card from Costa Rica comes from Erick. 🙂 It pictures the National Theater.  It is located in the central section of San José, Costa Rica. Construction began in 1891, and it opened to the public on 21 October 1897 with a performance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust. The National Theatre stood as a cultural asset of the country during a time when coffee exports were a source of its success. The building is considered the finest historic building in the capital, and it is known for its exquisite interior which includes its lavish furnishings.

San Jose (“Saint Joseph”, Spanish: San José) is the capital of Costa Rica, head of the province of San José, and the nation’s largest city. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton is 288,054, though the metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country’s population.

Culturally, the city can be considered almost entirely European influenced, in part because of Spanish immigration soon after Costa Rica’s discovery by Christopher Columbus, and the privileged classes which generally studied in Europe during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. This can be seen in the architecture of the city, namely theatres, museums and houses in the city centre. It is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.

Antigua

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This awesome card, my first one from Antigua and Barbuda, comes from Monique.

Antigua, also known as Wadadli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Antigua—St. Mary of the Old Cathedral. The name Wadadli comes from the native Indian inhabitants and means approximately “our own”. The economy is mainly reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market.

Tobago (without Trinidad)

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My second T&T card comes again from Reinelle. 🙂

Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. According to the earliest English-language source cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, Tobago bore a name that has become the English word tobacco. The national bird of Tobago is the Cocrico.

Fruit market in Guadeloupe

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This very colorful card came from Olga from Guadeloupe. First of all, I was very happy to receive a card from such a hard-to-get country. And on top of that – just look how pretty this postcard is! It’s one of my favorite ones! 😀

Guadeloupe is a Caribbean island located in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 403,977 inhabitants. It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department.

As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union and the Eurozone; hence, as for all Eurozone countries, its currency is the euro. However, as an overseas department, Guadeloupe is not part of the Schengen Area. The official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Guadeloupéen).

During his second trip to America, in November 1493, Christopher Columbus became the first European to land on Guadeloupe, while seeking fresh water. He called it Santa María de Guadalupe de Extremadura, after the image of the Virgin Mary venerated at the Spanish monastery of Villuercas, in Guadalupe, Extremadura. The expedition set ashore just south of Capesterre, but left no settlers behind.