Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Celebrating the vibrant culture of people from the Caribbean/West Indies.

Associated Countries: Bermuda and the Lucayan Archipelago

Kmusser, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos are the two countries that make up the Lucayan Archipelao. Unlike the other countries that are located within or along the cost of the Caribbean Sea, the islands in this archipelago are not. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda is not located in the Caribbean. Bermuda also lies entirely in the North Atlantic Ocean, and is formally known as British North America. Through culture, history, or political commonalities, these islands are often associated with the Caribbean.

The Caribbean was originally inhabited by indigenous people, who migrated through the islands from Central and South America. While not every island's or country's indigenous name is known, you can learn most of them here. After the arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous people were either enslaved, killed, or died from diseases they were exposed to by European settlers.

Each country has its own history but there is also a common history of the destruction or removal of the native people, the colonization by European countries, the introduction of enslaved West Africans to the region via the Transatlantic Slave Trade; the establishment of slavery-based economies, the revolts or anti-slavery movements that eventually emancipated the enslaved populations, the indentured servants from East India and Asia, the stirring and mixing of African, European, Indigenous, East Indian, and Asian cultures that formed new cultures.

The infusion of musical traditions, culinary arts, climate, and heritage produced unique customs that bring the Caribbean community together. Despite different languages, dialects, or creoles spoken throughout the countries, there is a unifying value shared: an appreciation of and pride in who they are.

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The Bahamas consists of over 700 islands. The world's third largest coral reef, the Andros Barrier Reef. Located off the coast of Andros Island, it spans 170 miles long. The Bahamas is also part of CARICOM, an organization of countries that promote common goals, policies, and union.

Language(s): English, Bahamian English creole

Capital: Nassau

National Anthem: "March On, Bahamaland," written and composed by Timothy Gibson. Adopted in 1973.

Agriculture/Economy: Tourism, financial services

Currency: 1 Bahamian Dollar (BD) = $1 USD

National Dish: Conch (pronounced 'konk'), a mollusk or sea snail. As a protein, it can be fried, added to salads, or a cracked conch with french fries.

Image Credit: Canva

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos consists of forty islands in the Lucayan Archipelago. It is home to Indian Cave, located on Middle Caicos. Indian Cave is naturally formed through erosion caused by acidic rainfall. Turks and Caicos is also part of CARICOM, an organization of countries that promote common goals, policies, and union.

Language(s): English

Capital: Cockburn Town, located on Grand Turk

National Anthem: As a British overseas territory, "God Save the King" is the national anthem. The national song is "This Land of Ours," written by Dr. Rev. Conrad Howell.

Agriculture/Economy: Tourism, farming, fishing

Currency: United States Dollar (USD)

National Dish: Conch (pronounced 'konk'), a mollusk or sea snail. Often served as a fritter, salad, or ceviche.

Image Credit: Canva

Bermuda: British North America

Bermuda's Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a title bestowed on a location of cultural or architectural significance. Bermuda is an Associate State of CARICOM, an organization of fifteen Caribbean countries and five Associated States that promote common goals, policies, and union. Bermuda is home to pink sand beaches like Horseshoe Bay Beach, made from coral and seashells.

Language(s): English, Portuguese

Capital: Hamilton

National Anthem: The United Kingdom's "God Save the King" is the official national anthem. 

"Hail to Bermuda," is the local anthem, written and composed by Bette Johns. It was adapted in 1984.

Agriculture/Economy: Tourism, construction, financial services

Currency: 1 BMD = $1 USD

National Dish: Bermuda Fish Chowder, a seafood soup made with white fish, vegetables, a splash of rum, and spicy peppers.


Image Credit: Canva