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Brief History of Guadeloupe:
Christopher Columbus landed on Guadeloupe during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. Columbus also found the pineapple when he was on Guadeloupe.
In 1635 France took control of the island and in 1674 it became a French colony. Soon, the island became a profitable supplier of sugarcane. Over the next few hundred years, the island would change hand many times between Britain and France.
In 2007, the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy broke away from Guadeloupe and became separate French territories. Guadeloupe is still a part of France today and, as a results, is considered a member of the European Union.
The Geography of Guadeloupe
Total Size: 1,780 square km
Size Comparison: 10 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 16 15 N, 61 35 W
World Region or Continent: Central America
General Terrain: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Soufriere 1,484 m
Climate: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity
The People of Guadeloupe
Type of Government: NA
Languages Spoken: French (official) 99%, Creole patois
Independence: none (overseas department of France)
National Holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 4%, Protestant 1%
National Anthem or Song:
Economy of Guadeloupe
Major Industries: construction, cement, rum, sugar, tourism
Agricultural Products: bananas, sugarcane, tropical fruits and vegetables; cattle, pigs, goats
Natural Resources: cultivable land, beaches and climate that foster tourism
Major Exports: bananas, sugar, rum, melons, spring water
Major Imports: foodstuffs, fuels, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods, construction materials
Currency: euro (EUR)
National GDP: $3,513,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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