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 The Caribbean Island Of Guadeloupe

Waterfalls-in-GuadeloupeGuadeloupe is an archipelago located in the eastern Caribbean Sea, location 16°15′N 61°35′W / 16.25°N 61.583°W / 16.25; -61.583, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometers (629 sq. mi

It is an overseas department of France. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe is also one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union; hence, as for most EU countries, its currency is the euro.

Guadeloupe does not fall under the Schengen Agreement. The prefecture of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre.

guadeloupe carnival

History of Guadeloupe

During his second trip to America, seeking fresh water in November 1493, Christopher Columbus became the first European to land on Guadeloupe. 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 did not leave any settlers ashore.

Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493, although the fruit had long been grown in South America. He called it piña de Indes meaning "pine of the Indians."
Guadeloupe in 1865

After successful settlement on the island of St Christophe (St Kitts), the French Company of the American Islands delegated Charles Lienard and Jean Duplessis, Lord of Ossonville to colonize one or any of the region’s islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique or Dominica. Due to Martinique’s inhospitable nature, the duo resolved to settle in Guadeloupe in 1635, took possession of the island and wiped out many of the Carib Amerindians. It was annexed to the kingdom of France in 1674. Over the next century, the island was seized several times by the British.

The economy benefited from the hugely lucrative sugar trade introduced during the closing decades of the seventeenth century: one indication of Guadeloupe's prosperity at this time is that in the Treaty of Paris (1763), France, defeated in war, agreed to abandon its territorial claims in Canada in return for British return of Guadeloupe which was captured in 1759.

 Guadeloupe Geography

map of Guadeloupe

The Island of Guadeloupe is Location in the Caribbean.
Guadeloupe comprises five islands: Basse-Terre Island, Grande-Terre (separated from Basse-Terre by a narrow sea channel called Salt River) with the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante.
Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains.
Further to the north, Saint-Barthélemy and the French part of Saint Martin once came under the jurisdiction of Guadeloupe but on 7 December 2003, both of these areas voted to become an overseas territorial collectivity, a decision which took effect on 22 February 2007.

Guadeloupe's culture is probably best known for the islanders' literary achievements, particularly the poetry of Saint-John Perse, the pseudonym used by Alexis Léger. Perse won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the soaring flight and the evocative images of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time."

Guadeloupe has always had a rich literary production prolonged today by many living writers, poets, novelists, essayists and journalists, among them Mesdames Maryse Condé and Simone Schwartz-Bart, M. Ernest Pépin. 


Also culturally important are the arts, particularly painting and sculpture. Famous painters and/or sculptors include Michel Rovelas, Claudie Cancelier, Jean-Claude Echard, Christian Bracy, Roger Arekian, les Frères Baptiste, Michelle Chomereau-Lamothe, Léogane, Pédurand, Nicole Réache, Victor Sainsily. Guadeloupean visual effects artist compositor Karim Sahai of Weta Digital, New Zealand, has worked on the visual effects of many movies such as The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and The Waterhorse.

Music and dance are also very popular, and the widely accepted interaction of African, French and Indian[8] cultures has given birth to some original new forms specific to the archipelago. Islanders enjoy many local dance styles including the quadrille "au commandement", zouk, zouk-love, kompa toumbélé, as well as all the modern international dances. Typical Guadeloupean music includes la biguine and gwo ka à la base. Kassav' and Admiral T embody the traditional and the new generation of music. Many international festivals take place in Guadeloupe, like the Creole Blues Festival, the Marie-Galante Festival, Festival Gwo-Ka Cotellon, etc. It goes without saying that all the Euro-French forms of art are also omnipresent in the melting pot.

Another element of the Guadeloupean culture is its dress. Women in particular have a unique style of traditional dresses, with many layers of colourful fabrics, now only worn on special occasions. On festive occasions they also wore a madras (originally the 'kerchief' from South India) head scarf tied in many different symbolic forms. The headdress could be done in many styles with names like the "bat" style, or the "firefighter" style, as well as the "Guadeloupean woman." Jewelry, mainly of gold, is also important in the Guadeloupean lady's dress, a product of European, African and Indian inspiration. Many famous couturiers like Devaed and Mondelo are Guadeloupeans.

Football (soccer) is popular in Guadeloupe. Thierry Henry, a star of the French National Team and Spanish League club FC Barcelona, often visits, as his father Antoine was originally from the island. William Gallas, whose parentage is Guadeloupean, visits the island when not playing for Arsenal or the French National team. Lilian Thuram, a star football defender for France and FC Barcelona, was born in Guadeloupe. The French national team and Everton F.C. striker, Louis Saha, is also of Guadeloupean descent, as is MK Dons goalkeeper Willy Gueret.

Pascal Chimbonda of Tottenham was also born in Guadeloupe. The region's football team experienced recent success, advancing all the way to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals, where they were defeated just 1-0 by CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico. Many fine track and field athletes, such as Marie-José Perec, Patricia Girard-Léno, and Christine Arron are also Guadeloupe natives. The NBA players Mickaël Piétrus and Mickaël Gelabale were born in this island. Famed Bodybuilder Serge Nubret also hails from Guadeloupe. 

Guadeloupe Economy Pointe des Châteaux in Guadeloupe.
In 2006 the GDP per capita of Guadeloupe at market exchange rates, not at PPP, was €17,338 (US$21,780).
The economy of Guadeloupe depends on tourism, agriculture, light industry and services. But it especially depends on France for large subsidies and imports. {credit}

                                                        A land of Flavors                                         TOP                            

Caribbean island of guadeloupe

On the Guadeloupe islands, the magic of the cultural melting pot and huge variety of spices has let a culinary genie out of the lamp, casting spells over the great Creole restaurants like the "roulottes de bokits". Being island-based brings a natural affinity with fish products, and Guadeloupe is indeed the second biggest consumer of fish in the world (per head of population). Fish bouillon, clam chowder, grilled lobster, and queen conch fricassee are some of the succulent dishes you’ll love tasting.

With more than a third of the land dedicated to farming, this agricultural and rural economy means there is a wide range of young vegetables. Guadeloupeans were ‘green’ before their time with their Creole gardens of fruit orchards and vegetable patches ! The culinary classics are still hearty dishes, eaten by all the family or at great festive meals. 

guadeloupe flowers

And is that why Guadeloupeans are the biggest champagne drinkers in France ? Proof, if it’s needed, of the incredible fusion of cultures - Caribbean, European, Indian and African - enriched by the influences of the Middle East. Gourmets and gourmands alike will be overwhelmed by the fertile land of the Guadeloupe islands and its gastronomic expertise, relishing the delicious smell of a curry, tasting the sweet flesh of Julie mangoes, drinking a freshly squeezed juice made from “péyi” cherries, or savoring the aromas of a vintage rum.

Tourism is a key industry, with 83.3% of tourists visiting from metropolitan France, 10.8% coming from the rest of Europe, 3.4% coming from the United States, 1.5% coming from Canada, 0.4% coming from South America and 0.6% coming from the rest of the world.[10] An increasingly large number of cruise ships visit the islands.

The traditional sugarcane crop is slowly being replaced by other crops, such as bananas (which now supply about 50% of export earnings), eggplant, guinnep, noni, sapotilla, paroka, pikinga, giraumon squash, yam, gourd, plantain, christophine, monbin, prunecafé, cocoa, jackfruit, pomegranate, and many varieties of flowers. Other vegetables and root crops are cultivated for local consumption, although Guadeloupe is still dependent on imported food, mainly from France.

Light industry features sugar and rum, solar energy, and many industrial productions. Most manufactured goods and fuel are imported. Unemployment is especially high among the youth. Hurricanes periodically devastate the economy.

Sporting Activities
Guadeloupe Islands are an exceptional sports ground and without a doubt you'll find the opportunity to play your favorite sports in or to chance to introduce yourself to new sports, often times in Guadeloupe, sport rhymes with discovery.
Les Saintes
10km (6 miles) south of Guadeloupe a chain of little islands floating in the turquoise sea conceal a veritable little paradise on earth, composed of marvelous scenery worthy of the most beautiful postcard. 

 Things to do in Guadeloupe


Mainland Guadeloupe comprises two islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. Their principal city is bustling Pointe-à-Pitre at the centre of the land mass; the islands' sleepy capital, also called Basse-Terre, is on the remote southwestern side.
Guadeloupe's offshore islands to the south and west make worthwhile side excursions. Terre-de-Haut, is a delightful place with a quaint central village and harbour, good beaches and restaurants and some reasonably priced places to stay and received The most visited,. The other populated islands - Terre-de-Bas, Marie-Galante and La Désirade - have very little tourism development and offer visitors a glimpse of a rural French West Indies that has changed little over time. Just a few of the things to do on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe are:



In Saint François there is a magnificent international 18 hole golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones which is very popular with enthusiasts. Enjoy!
For beginners as well as for certified divers, diving spots are abundant. Clear waters, a multitude of fish, some wreckages, enough to enchant all enthusiasts. But Guadeloupe waters are also suitable for ordinary diving with a mask, a tuba and flippers.
In the exceptional and luxurious context of the National Park’s tropical forest or on the seashore, Guadeloupe is filled with opportunities for family strolls or more adventurous hiking. There’s a magical and luxurious universe open and available to one and all to fill in the exciting sensations of new world adventurers and discoveries.
Water Skiing
People mainly ski on the Caribbean coast where the waters are calmer but it is also popular in the lagoons. You can inquire about water skiing in the clubs of big hotels along the coast or at the Baie-Mahaultclub , the largest on the island, for discovering or perfecting under the supervision of qualified guides
Entry Requirements
A passport, the exceptions being citizens of Australia, South Africa, Bolivia, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Turkey, when a visa is required.

Any non-EU citizen staying longer than three months will need an extended visa. Citizens of the US and Canada staying less than three months will not need a passport, although some form of identification is required. 

 Getting Married In Guadeloupe

Getting Married In Guadeloupe

The Island of Guadeloupe is the centre of the Caribbean's Creole culture, with a boosting of spirited blend French and African influences. The island is well known for its sugar and rum as for its beaches and resorts, the archipelago offers an interesting mix of modern cities, rural hamlets, rainforests and secluded beaches, a perfect place to say I do..

Legal requirements for getting married in Guadeloupe
Your wedding on Guadeloupe is sure to be lovely, the strict requirements call for more advanced planning than is necessary on other Caribbean islands.
While there is no fee for a marriage license, allow yourself one month to obtain it.

A blood test is required as are both parties’ original birth certificates. Certificates of good conduct and certificates of single status are also required by both parties.
Residency cards must be presented, as well as medical certificates, including a blood test, issued within three months of the wedding. Furthermore, all documents must be accompanied by a French translation. 

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