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Encyclopedia > West Indies
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Central America and the Caribbean
(see also more detailed pdf-version of the map (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/reference_maps/pdf/central_america.pdf))

The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. These islands curve southward from the bottom tip of Florida to the Northwest of Venezuela in South America. There are at least 7000 islands, islets, reefs and cayes in the region. They are organized into twenty-five territories including sovereign states, overseas departments and dependencies.


The name "West Indies" originates from Christopher Columbus' idea that he had landed in India when he had in fact reached the Americas. The Caribbean consists of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and is part of North America.


At one time there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of the English-speaking Caribbean islands of the region.


The Caribbean area is also famous for its sea pirates. See the article piracy in the Caribbean.

Contents

Historical groupings

Main article: History_of_the_Caribbean


Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:

The British West Indies, were formerly united by the United_Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the B.W.I. still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indies cricket team, includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.


In addition, these countries share the University_of_the_West_Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories.


Present-day territories of the Caribbean

The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, were former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM. The Turneffe islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea.


Indigenous Tribes

See also


Regions of the World

Antarctica | East Asia | Central Asia | Southeast Asia | South Asia | North Asia | Middle East | Levant | Arabia | North Africa | Central Africa | Great Lakes | Congo | Guinea | Sahel | Sudan | West Africa | East Africa | Southern Africa | Great Plains | Central America | Caribbean | Andean States | Eastern South America | Northern South America | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | Northern Europe | Scandinavia | Southern Europe | Central Europe | Balkans | Australasia | Micronesia | Melanesia | Polynesia
(For more, visit subcontinent and subregion)


  Results from FactBites:
 
West Indies Cricket Team Profile, West Indies Cricket Team, West Indies, Performances of West Indies Cricket Team, ... (563 words)
The West Indies cricket team is popularly known as The Windies and is the national cricket team of the country.
The West Indies Cricket team gained immense popularity in the 1960s and with some immensely talented players in the side, the team kept on emerging victories on occasions after occasions.
West Indies have always boated of having some of the greatest cricketers in the world.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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