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CAPITAL: St. George's

FLAG: The national flag consists of a red border surrounding a rectangle divided into two gold and two green triangles. There are seven yellow starsthree on the upper and three on the lower red border, and one large star at the apex of the four trianglesrepresenting the six parishes and the island of Carriacou. A yellow nutmeg is represented on the hoist triangle.

ANTHEM: National anthem beginning "Hail Grenada, land of ours, we pledge ourselves to thee."

MONETARY UNIT: The East Caribbean dollar (ec$) is a paper currency of 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents, and 1 dollar, and notes of 5, 10, 20, and 100 East Caribbean dollars. ec$1 = us$0.37037 (or us$1 = ec$2.7; as of 2004).

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is in use.

HOLIDAYS: New Year, 12 January; Independence Day, 7 February; Labor Day, 1 May; Thanksgiving, 25 October; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Emancipation Day, 1st Monday in August.

TIME: 8 am = noon GMT.


Located about 160 km (100 mi) n of Trinidad and 109 km (68 mi) ssw of St. Vincent, Grenada, which includes the inhabited islands of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique, has an area of 340 sq km (131 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Grenada is slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC. Grenada island extends 34 km (21 mi) nesw and 19 km (12 mi) senw, and has a coastline of 121 km (75 mi).

Grenada's capital city, Saint George's, is located on the island's southwestern coast.


Volcanic in origin, Grenada is very hilly, with the highest peak, Mt. St. Catherine, in the Central Highlands, rising to 840 m (2,756 ft). The coastline is indented with many beaches and small bays. Several short streams cross the terrain. Lake Grand Etang is formed in the crater of a volcano at 530 m (1,740 ft) above sea level.


The tropical climate is tempered by almost constant sea breezes; the prevailing wind is from the northeast. Temperatures range from 2430°c (7587°f). Annual rainfall varies from about 150 cm (60 in) in the northern and southern coastal belts to as much as 380 cm (150 in) in the Central Highlands. There is a wet season from June to December, but rain falls periodically throughout the year. Hurricanes are a natural hazard, particularly between June and November.


The Central Highlands support a wide variety of forest trees and many types of tropical flowers and shrubs grow throughout the island. Characteristic wildlife includes the hummingbird, egret, dove, and wild pigeon; also to be found are armadillo, agouti, and monkeys.


As a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) formed in 1981, Grenada shares the advantages and disadvantages of island nations in the area. Water supply is limited and, in some areas, polluted by agricultural chemicals and sewage. Forests are threatened by the expansion of farming activities and the use of wood for fuel. The nation's coasts are affected by industrial pollution which threatens the nation's tourist trade. Environmental responsibilities are vested in the Ministry of Health and Housing.

According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), threatened species included 1 type of mammal, 2 species of birds, 4 types of reptiles, 1 species of amphibian, 12 species of fish, and 3 species of plants. Endangered species included the Grenada hookbilled kite, tundra peregrine falcon, the green sea and hawksbill turtles, the spectacled caiman, and the Orinoco crocodile.


The population of Grenada in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 101,000, which placed it at number 179 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 8% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 35% of the population under 15 years of age. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 200510 was expected to be 1.2%, a rate the government viewed as too high. The projected population for the year 2025 was 96,000. The population density was 297 per sq km (769 per sq mi).

In 2005, the UN estimated that 39% of the population lived in urban areas, principally St. George's, where the annual population growth rate was 1.34%. St. George's, which is the capital, had a population of 33,000 in that year.


Grenadians have always emigrated, mainly to the United Kingdom and Canada. Emigration increased after the 1979 coup. As of 2004, Grenada hosted no refugees or asylum seekers. However, the country's lack of a national refugee law is a cause for concern as Grenada is likely to see an increase in the number of asylum seekers due to escalating extra-regional migration and migrant trafficking through the Caribbean. The total number of migrants in Grenada in 2000 was 8,000. However, after the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001, Grenada and St. Vincent terminated their programs to sell passports to nonnationals. In 2005, the net migration rate was -13.25 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the immigration level as satisfactory, but the emigration level as too high.


About 82% of the population are black, primarily the descendants of former African slaves. Those of mixed African and European origin account for about 13% of the population. Europeans and Asian Indians account for about 5%. A small number are Arawak/Carib Amerindians.


English is the official and common language. A French-African patois also is spoken.


According to 2004 reports, about 64% of the population were Roman Catholic. Other main groups included Anglicans (22%), Methodists (3%), and Seventh-Day Adventists (3%). Other Protestant denominations included Presbyterians, Church of God, Baptists, and Pentecostals. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and the Mennonites have small congregations. Minority religions are Islam and Baha'i. There were about 5,000 Rastafarians.

The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. Religious groups are required to register with the government. The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Relations, established in 2004, meets monthly to provide an open forum for leaders of all faiths. The Conference of Churches Grenada also serves as a forum for mutual understanding between religious organizations. The Christian Forum for Social Action is a group that addresses issues such as HIV/AIDS and drug use.


In 2002, Grenada's road system of 1,040 km (646 mi) included 638 km (396 mi) of paved roads. The country's major port is St. George's. A new international airport, Point Salines, built largely with Cuban assistance, and scheduled for completion in 1984, was repeatedly cited by the United States as posing a possible military threat to the Caribbean region. After the US-led invasion in 1983, the airport was completed with funding mainly from the United States. Airline flights began in October 1984, and in 2001, the airport served 322,000 arriving and departing passengers. In 2004 there were three airports, all of which had paved runways. The smaller airports are at Pearls and on Carriacou.


Grenada was inhabited by Arawak Indians when first discovered on 15 August 1498 by Christopher Columbus, who named it Concepción. By the 18th century, the island was known as Grenada. The origin of that name is unknown, possibly a corruption of the Spanish city of Granada. A secure harbor (at St. George's) attracted traders and some French settlers during the 16th century. After a few failed French private ventures in 1650 and 1657, the French government annexed Grenada in 1674. The island remained under French control until 1762, when Admiral George Rodney captured it for Great Britain. The French regained Grenada in 1779, but the Versailles treaty of 1783 returned Grenada to Britain.

Sugar was Grenada's main product until the 19th century. At that time, the development of spices, especially nutmeg, coupled with the emancipation of slaves in 1834, led to a new economic base for the island. The economy flourished during the second half of the 19th century, and the cultivation of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon, earned Grenada the name Isle of Spice. Grenada's colonial status ended in 1958 when it joined the ill-fated Federation of the West Indies. In 1962, the federation dissolved, and in 1967, Grenada became an associated state of the United Kingdom.

On 28 February 1972, general elections resulted in the victory of Eric Matthew Gairy, who ran under the banner of the pro-independence Grenada United Labour Party (GULP). A constitutional conference was held in London during May 1973, and independence was set for the following February. Independence came on 7 February 1974, in spite of widespread strikes and demonstrations protesting Gairy's secret police force, actions that were supported by trade unions in neighboring Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Prime Minister Gairy ruled for five years.

On 13 March 1979, the opposition party, the New Jewel Movement, seized power, and Maurice Bishop became prime minister of the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG). Bishop suspended the constitution, jailed opposition leaders, and shut down independent newspapers. The PRG was drawn toward Cuba and its allies in the Caribbean region, as relations with the United States and some of Grenada's more conservative Caribbean neighbors deteriorated.

On 19 October 1983, in the course of a power struggle within the PRG, Bishop and several followers were shot to death, and a hard-line Marxist military council, headed by Gen. Hudson Austin, took over. Six days later, 6,000 US troops, accompanied by token forces from seven other Caribbean nations, invaded the island, ostensibly to protect the lives of American students there. Nearly all of the 700 Cubans then in Grenada were captured and expelled. In spite of the UN General Assembly's condemnation of the invasion, Gen. Austin was placed in detention, and the governor-general, Sir Paul Scoon, formed an interim government to prepare for elections. US combat troops were withdrawn in December 1983, but 300 support troops and 430 members of Caribbean forces remained on the island until September 1985.

Elections were held in December 1984, and Herbert Blaize and his New National Party (NNP) won 59% of the popular vote and 14 of the 15 House of Representatives seats. Prime Minister Blaize died in December 1989, and Ben Jones formed a government until the elections of 1990. Those elections elevated the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to majority status and Nicholas Brathwaite became prime minister. By 1993, ten years after the US invasion, tourist arrivals in Grenada had more than tripled, and the Point Salines airport, begun by the ousted Cubans and completed in 1984, was a modern facility servicing international flights.

In his 1994 budget, Brathwaite reintroduced the personal income tax, which had been abolished in 1986. Controversy over the tax helped carry the NNP to victory in the June 1995 election, and Keith Mitchell, who had promised to rescind the tax once again, became the new prime minister.

In November 1998, Mitchell's government lost its parliamentary majority when two members crossed over to the opposition, forcing early elections. In spite of allegations of government corruption, Mitchell's NNP swept the polling, winning all 15 seats in the House of Representatives in the January 1999 electionsthe fourth peaceful electoral contest since the 1983 US intervention. Mitchell received credit for bolstering the country's economy and increasing foreign investment. In August 1998, Fidel Castro arrived in Grenada for his first state visit since 1983. Mitchell's government has pursued economic cooperation with Cuba, and Mitchell had visited Cuba the previous year. During the Castro visit, an economic agreement was signed by the two countries. In spite of steady economic growth and low inflation, the IMF issued a warning in 1999 about the state of Grenada's public finances, especially the nation's growing budget deficit, which was partially caused by tax cuts.

In the election of January 1999, the NNP once again won with an overwhelming 62.4% of the vote. Mitchell remained as prime minister and the NNP won all 15 seats in the parliament. In November 2003, the NNP narrowly edged out the National Democratic Congress (NDC), taking 8 seats in the House of Representatives to the NDC's 7. Mitchell remained prime minister.

In 2002, the country engaged in a major organic banana project in an effort to promote the industry; 150 acres were set aside for organic farming.

Hurricane Ivan devastated the island of Grenada in September 2004. Prime Minister Mitchell declared a national emergency; 90% of the country's buildings were damaged and the nutmeg crop was devastated. It was Grenada's worst hurricane in living memory. In July 2005, as Grenada was still recovering from Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Emily destroyed crops and damaged homes across the island.

Grenada has taken serious steps to tackle the problem of money laundering, after reviewing its offshore banking sector. In 2001 Grenada was blacklisted by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force for not doing enough to prevent money laundering, but in 2002 the group removed Grenada from its blacklist. In 2003, the US Treasury Department's financial crimes agency withdrew an advisory on Grenada as the country made efforts to clean up offshore banking.


The independence constitution, effective in 1974 but suspended after the 1979 coup, was reinstated after the US invasion. It provides for a governor-general appointed by the British crown and for a parliamentary government comprising independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Under this constitution, the bicameral legislature consists of a Senate of 13 members, 10 of whom are appointed by the government and 3 by the leader of the opposition, and a 15-seat House of Representatives, members of which are popularly elected for five-year terms. The governor-general appoints as prime minister the majority leader of the House. The cabinet, which comprises the prime minister, four senior ministers, and four ministers of state, is the executive arm of the government and is responsible for making policy. In 1996, a portfolio for women's affairs was created.


The New National Party (NNP), formed from a coalition of moderate parties and headed by Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, has been the majority party since the 1995 elections when it won 8 out of 15 seats in the House. In early elections called in January 1999, the party won 62% of the vote and all 15 House seats. The National Democratic Congress (NDC), a moderate party, took 5 of 15 seats in the House of Representatives in the 1995 elections but won no seats in 1999 (although garnering 25% of the vote).

The Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) was under the leadership of Sir Eric Gairy, who founded it in 1950, until Gairy's death in 1997. Right wing and populist in its approach, the group won no seats, but 12% of the vote, in the 1999 elections. The moderate National Party (NP), organized in 1989 by former Prime Minister Ben Jones, did not sponsor any candidates in 1999. On the left, the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM) never won legislative representation, and it no longer exists as a party. Another party in existence as of 2005 was the People's Labor Movement (PLM), which is a combination of members of the original NDC and members of the MBPM.

Following the November 2003 elections, the NNP won 8 seats to the NDC's 7 seats.


For administrative purposes, the main island is divided into six parishes and one dependency.


Until it joined the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Grenada Supreme Court, in St. George's, consisted of a High Court of Justice and a two-tier Court of Appeals. The Court of Magisterial Appeals heard appeals from magistrates' courts, which exercised summary jurisdiction; the Itinerant Court of Appeal heard appeals from the High Court.

On joining the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in 1991, Grenada became subject to the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Under the OECS system, until 2003 appeals were taken from this court to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council in the United Kingdom. Grenada was among the eight nations (Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago) whose leaders met in Kingston on 9 June 2003 to ratify a treaty to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to hear cases formerly taken to the Privy Council. The CCJ was officially inaugurated in April 2005, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. As of 2005, however, the court's jurisdiction was limited to the CARICOM states of Barbados and Guyana. The CCJ heard its first case in August 2005.

The judiciary is independent. There are no military or political courts. The law provides for the right to a fair public trial, to a presumption of innocence, to remain silent, and to seek the advice of an attorney.


The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), numbering 650 members, provides internal defense in Grenada. A special service unit of 80 and a 30-member coast guard is included in this security force. The US Army and Coast Guard provide training and support to Grenada.


Grenada became a member of the United Nations on 17 September 1974; it participates in the ECLAC and several UN specialized agencies, such as FAO, IFC, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, and the World Bank. Grenada is also a member of the ACP Group, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Caribbean Development Bank, G-77, the Latin American Economic System (LAES), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), OECS, the OAS, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and CARICOM.

Grenada is part of the Nonaligned Movement and the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). The nation is part of the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS). In environmental cooperation, Grenada is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.


Grenada's economy is highly dependent on international trade and finance for its development. The economy is essentially agricultural and is centered on the traditional production of spices and tropical plants. Agriculture accounts for about 7.7% of GDP and 80% of exports and employs 24% of the labor force. Tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner (especially since the construction of the international airport in 1985) followed by agricultural exports. Manufacturing remains relatively undeveloped, but is growing due to a favorable private investment climate. The economy achieved an impressive average annual growth rate of 5.5% in 198691 but has slowed since 1992. In the late 1990s the offshore financial industry, begun to help develop Grenada's economy, grew by approximately 6.5% in 2001 despite the worldwide slowdown in tourism, while inflation remained under control at 2.8%.

The economy of Grenada, based primarily on services (tourism and education) and agricultural production (nutmeg and cocoa), was brought to a near standstill by Hurricane Ivan on 7 September 2004. Thirty-seven people were killed by the hurricane, and approximately 8,00010,000 left homeless. Hurricane Ivan damaged or destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island, including some tourist facilities. Overall damage totaled as much as 2.5 times annual GDP. Reconstruction has proceeded quickly, but much work remains.

Despite initial high unemployment in the tourist and other sectors, urban Grenadines have benefited from post-hurricane job opportunities in the surging construction sector. Agricultural workers have not fared as well. Hurricane Ivan destroyed or significantly damaged a large percentage of Grenada's tree crops, and Hurricane Emily (14 July 2005) further damaged the sector. Thus, reconstruction from the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 and Hurricane Emily in July 2005 is a major political issue for the present government.


The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Grenada's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $440.0 million. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $5,000. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 2.5%. The average inflation rate in 2002 was 2.8%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 7.7% of GDP, industry 23.9%, and services 68.4%.

It was estimated that in 2000 about 32% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.


In the latest years for which data was available, Grenada's labor force was estimated at 42,300 in 1996, and was distributed in 1999 as follows: agriculture 24%; industry 14%; and services 62%. In 2000 unemployment was estimated at 12.5%.

Approximately 25% of the labor force is unionized. There are several major trade unions in the country, including civil service unions. All major unions belong to one major federation, the Grenada Trade Unions Council (GTUC). The GTUC is somewhat connected to the government organizationally and receives subsidies from the government for its operating budget. Workers are free to strike and employees who claim to have been dismissed for union activism may seek redress through formal governmental procedures. Workers engage in collective bargaining.

In 2002, there were no minimum wage laws in effect. In general, wages do not provide a decent living for a family. The minimum working age is 18. This minimum age is respected and enforced in the formal economy, but enforcement is somewhat lax in the informal economy and agriculture. The constitution sets the maximum workweek at 40 hours. Health and safety standards are not regularly enforced.


Numerous spices, fruits, and vegetables are grown in Grenada. The principal crops for export are nutmeg and mace, bananas, cocoa beans, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Production in 2004 included bananas, 4,000 tons; cocoa, 1,000 tons; and avocados, 1,500 tons. Banana production decreased in the 1980s due to the appearance of Moko disease. There are small scattered plots of cotton, cloves, limes, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coffee. Both cotton and lime oil are produced on Carriacou. Food crops consist of yams, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and beans. Grenada is especially known for its nutmeg production, earning it the nickname "Spice Island." In 1991, Grenada and Indonesia (the world's largest nutmeg producer) signed a cartel agreement which aims to constrict production, thereby driving up world prices for the spice. Nutmeg production in 2004 totaled 2,747 tons. In 2003, exports of agricultural products amounted to us$12.9 million.


There is very little dairy farming in Grenada. Most livestock is raised by individuals for their own use. In 2005 there were an estimated 4,450 head of cattle, 20,400 sheep and goats, and 660 donkeys. Some 268,000 poultry were raised to supply local needs.


Fishing is mostly coastal. The 2003 catch was 2,544 tons, predominantly tuna and scad.


There are approximately 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) of forest, about 75% of which is government owned. Since 1957, some 320 hectares (800 acres) of forest, primarily of Honduras mahogany, blue mahoe, and teak, have been introduced. The Forestry Development Corp. was established in 1979 to develop forest resources and woodworking industries. Imports of forestry products totaled $5.2 million in 2004.


There were no reported mining operations in Grenada except for limestone, sand and gravel, and open-face red gravel deposits for the local construction industry.


Grenada has no known reserves of oil, natural gas, or coal, and is thus dependent upon imports to supply its fossil fuel needs. In 2002, imports and consumption of refined petroleum oil products each totaled 1,740 barrels per day. There were no imports of natural gas or coal in 2002.

The government and the Commonwealth Development Corp. jointly operate a private company, Grenada Electricity Services, Ltd., for the supply and distribution of electricity throughout the island. In 2002, total electric generating plants capacity was placed at 0.042 million kW, with output that year at 0.149 billion kWh, all of which came from fossil fuels. Consumption of electricity that same year came to 0.139 billion kWh.


Industry is small scale, mainly producing consumer products for local use. Local firms produce food and beer, oils, soap (from copra), furniture, mattresses, clothing, and a number of other items. In 1996, Grenada expanded its production of flour, animal feed, chemicals, paints, and tobacco. Construction, textile production, and light assembly operations are other industrial sectors.

In 2003, industry accounted for 23.6% of GDP, while services accounted for 66.7% of GDP and agriculture for 9.7%.

Grenada's nutmeg industry, a major income earner for the country, was devastated in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan. The Commonwealth action plan has covered replanting, processing and development of nutmeg-based products, market and export promotion activities, and institutional changes; aid has focused on reviving the country's affected industry.


St. George's University School of Medicine was founded in 1976. A school of agriculture is located in Mirabeau. The Grenada National Museum, at St. George's, maintains exhibits on technology and native fauna and flora.


There are meat, fish, fruit, and vegetable markets, in addition to other types of small retail shops, all over the island. St. George's is the import and merchandising center. A widespread network of cooperatives exists for the local distribution and sale of agricultural products. The nation relies heavily on imports for food and manufactured goods.

Firms in textile and garments industries, which have one of the lowest capital intensities among all types of companies, are large employers and foreign exchange earners due to their export-orientation. By contrast, firms in the ICT-enabled services bring in much more capital on average, but do not provide as much employment and are much more geared towards serving the domestic market.


The Grenadian economy is highly import dependent, with imports accounting for 49% of GDP. The United States is the main source of imports (44%), followed by countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (20%). Virtually all exports are agricultural products, while the large flow of imports include motor vehicles and other consumer goods, fuels, and fertilizer. The spice trade supports Grenada with the largest percentage of commodity exports, including nutmeg, mace, and cardamom (47%). Other important exports include cocoa (4%), paper (11%), fish (10%), and flour (10%). Grenada's main exports go to Saint Lucia 12.7%, United States 12.2%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.7%, Netherlands 7.9%, Saint Kitts and Nevis 7.8%, Dominica 7.8%, Germany 7.1% and France 4.6%.

Grenada is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues a common currency for all members of the ECCU. The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries.

Grenada is also a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Most goods can be imported into

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 38.0 253.2 -215.2
United States 11.0 106.9 -95.9
Netherlands 3.8 4.6 -0.8
Sweden 3.5 5.2 -1.7
Saint Lucia 2.9 2.0 0.9
Germany 2.4 8.0 -5.6
Belgium 2.0 0.4 1.6
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1.9 1.9
Trinidad and Tobago 1.6 46.6 -45.0
Barbados 1.5 5.2 -3.7
Antigua and Barbuda 1.1 1.1
() data not available or not significant.

Grenada under open general license, but some goods require specific licenses. Goods that are produced in the Eastern Caribbean receive additional protection; in May 1991, the CARICOM common external tariff (CET) was implemented. The CET aims to facilitate economic growth through intra-regional trade by offering duty-free trade among CARICOM members and duties on goods imported from outside CARICOM.


The adverse trade balance is generally offset by a flow of remittances from migrant groups abroad and by tourism. To illustrate, in 2005, Grenada received $108.2 million in transfers (including remittances) compared to the $30.4 million it exported (while it imported $276 million worth of goods).

The US Department of State reported that in 2004 the total external debt outstanding was of $415 million. The trade deficit grows yearly. In 2002, based on these figures, the debt to GDP ratio stood at 103% of GDP in 2002, climbing dramatically from the 2001 debt to GDP ratio of 67%. The 2002 ratios are very high both in relation to Grenada's economic history and in comparison to the debt-to-GDP ratios in other countries.


Local financial institutions include the National Commercial Bank of Grenada, the Grenada Bank of Commerce, the Grenada Development Bank, and the Grenada Cooperative Bank. Foreign banks include Barclays Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia. In 1992, Republic Bank Limited of Trinidad and Tobago bought 51% of the National Commercial Bank. There is no stock exchange.

Grenada is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and a member of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which is headquartered in St. Christopher and Nevis. Grenada's finances are bound by the ECCB's general guidelines on money supply and bank regulation and the currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar at a constant exchange rate of ec$2.70:$1. The country is considered a tax haven for many US companies. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $78.9 million. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $430.6 million.


There are a number of international firms (mainly UK, US, and Canadian) and some local interests doing business in Grenada. A full range of life and nonlife insurance is available. There were at least nine insurance companies operating in Grenada in 2000.


Main sources of revenue are export and import duties, income tax, estate duties, and various internal rates, licenses, and taxes. The 1986 Fiscal Reform Program replaced a number of taxes, including a personal income tax, with a VAT of 20% on certain consumer goods. In 1999, the government decided to double its expenditures on infrastructure projects, including airport expansion, the creation of a new port, and road construction.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 1997 Grenada's central government took in revenues of approximately $85.8 million and had expenditures of $102.1 million. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$16.3 million. Total external debt was $196 million.


Corporate taxes are levied on net profits at a rate of 30% on the first us$50,000 and 40% on the remainder. A debt service levy is payable on salaries over us$12,000 per year at a rate of 10%. VAT ranges from 5% on most services to 15% on locally manufactured products.


All imports are subject to a general or preferential tariff, as well as a fixed package tax. Although Grenada is a member of the CARICOM community, it does not apply the group's common external tariff (CET). A 5% customs fee based on the value of cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) is applied to most goods. Import restrictions cover 45 product categories, including certain consumer goods, vehicles, and foods. Import licenses are required for 16 product categories that include appliances, foods, and beverages. A 20% consumption tax is levied on new cars. Capital equipment is exempt from tariffs.


Since independence, the government has sought to attract foreign investment for industrial development, especially the processing of local agricultural commodities for export. Grenada offers incentives competitive with other Caribbean nations and gives high priority to foreign investment that is either 100% foreign owned or joint venture with nationals.

There are no free trade zones in the country, but generous investment incentive packages are available, including a tax holiday of up to 15 years. There has been a considerable amount of foreign investment in the country's hotel sector. Most foreign investment during the 1990s came in the form of infrastructure construction projects related to the tourism industry.

In September 2001, Grenada was placed on the list of noncooperative countries in preventing money laundering by the OECD's Financial Action Task Force (FATF). After strengthening its antimoney laundering legislation and closing a number of banks, Grenada was removed from the list in February 2003.

In the period 19802000, FDI inflows as a percentage of GDP more than doubled, and registered an 11% annualized growth rate between 1997 and 1999. Since then, however, there has been virtually no growth in FDI inflows into Grenada. In 1998, the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into Grenada rose to $48.7 million, up from $33.5 million in 1996. Yearly FDI inflows stayed within this range from 1998 to 2001. FDI inflow in 2001 was $34.2 million. As a result of the global economic downturn, the worldwide FDI flows halved between 200002. The most significant uncontrollable challenge relates to its small market size, with a population in the vicinity of 100,000, Grenada is unlikely to attract any foreign investment that is oriented to its domestic market.


Increasing indebtedness threatens Grenada's macro-stability; foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have stagnated in the last couple of years, and it continues to be constrained by the host issues related to the small size of its economy.

Import substitution was the focal point of the agricultural development plan. The PRG was committed to nationalizing agriculture and turned the large estates that had belonged to former Prime Minister Gairy into cooperative farms. Following the 1984 election, the Blaize government reversed the trend toward state control and embarked on an economic policy that encouraged private sector participation and modified the fiscal system to encourage economic growth. The establishment of the Industrial Development Corporation, and of the National Economic Council early in 1985, were essential components of the new policy, as was the privatization of 18 state enterprises. The tax structure was modified in 1986 to offer incentives to the private sector.

Tourism, the main foreign exchange earner, was adversely affected by the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Large expenditures for infrastructure and tourism projects, and the global economic downturn in 2001, led to a decline in GDP by 3% in 2001. The government tried to expand its cargo ports to handle the growing volume of cargo, but in 2002 tropical storm Lili damaged crops and infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $4 million in emergency assistance to Grenada.

The country took an even more serious blow in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan swept through, killing dozens of people, damaging 90% of the island's buildings, and devastating the nutmeg crop. After the extent of destruction by Hurricane Ivan was assessed in 2004, the UK Secretariat put together a three-year assistance package valued at ec$5 million (almost $2 million) from 2004 to 2007, aimed at helping Grenada rebuild its shattered economy. The package included technical support for rehabilitating infrastructure, principally in planning for and implementing the reconstruction of schools, public and historic buildings, and roads. Assistance was also provided to strengthen institutional support for the Ministry of Works, Communications, and Transport and capacity-building for national and external debt management. The development of a national export strategy to promote economic diversification and an emergency post-disaster scholarship and skills development program were also part of the assistance program.

The United States has been the leading donor since the hurricane, with an emergency program of about $45 million aimed at repairing and rebuilding schools, health clinics, community centers, and housing; training several thousand Grenadines in construction and other fields; providing grants to private businesses to speed their recovery; and providing a variety of aid to help Grenada diversify its agriculture and tourism sectors. Other practical help has been the launching of a Trade Reference Center in 2005; the Center is sponsored by the Canada International Development Agency and has technical assistance from the OAS. This center is aimed at providing simple and friendly user access to regional and country specific information related to trade and trade negotiations.

Government policy has aimed toward sustained development of agriculture and tourism as the prime sectors of the economy, with respect to both employment and foreign exchange earnings. The last decade has been a period of considerable development in Grenada. While the expansion of the tourist industry has proceeded rapidly, the island nation has taken great care to protect their magnificent natural environment. National Parks have been developed, and the protection of both the rain forest and the coral reefs continues to be a high priority. In 2003 a major organic banana project launched an effort to boost the industry; 150 acres were set aside for organic cultivation. Due to the hurricane devastation however, further assessment of the economy will be needed in the years to come.


A Social Insurance System provides old age, disability, survivor, health, and maternity benefits to all workers aged 16 to 59, including public employees. It is financed by wage contributions of 5% from employers and 4% from workers. The retirement age is 60 for both men and women, and pensions equal 30% of average earnings. Maternity benefits are payable for 12 weeks. Survivor pensions total 75% of the pension of the insured. A funeral grant is also provided. Workers' medical benefits are comprehensive, and include travel overseas if necessary.

Women often earn less than men, especially in lower paying jobs, although there is no official discrimination. Sexual harassment in the workplace is common. Domestic violence is addressed with laws carrying penalties including jail time, community service, fines, and restraining orders for perpetrators. Child abuse is also prevalent. Most cases of abuse, domestic violence, and rape go unreported.

Human rights organizations operate freely in Grenada. Flogging is a legal form of punishment, although it is rarely used in practice.


Grenada is divided into seven medical districts, each headed by a medical officer. Grenada General Hospital in St. George's and two other general hospitals (one on Carriacou and one in St. Andrews) have a combined total of 340 beds. Other hospital facilities include an 80-bed mental hospital (rebuilt after being severely damaged in the 1983 invasion) and a nursing home with 120 beds. There are 36 health centers, which provide primary care. In 2004, it was estimated that Grenada had 50 physicians, 368 nurses, and 20 midwives per 100,000 people.

As of 2005, the infant mortality rate was 14.62 per 1,000 live births, and life expectancy averaged 64.53 years. The total fertility rate was an estimated 2.5 children per woman during her childbearing years. Respective 2002 estimates for overall birth and death rates were 23 and 7.6 per 1,000 people. Approximately 92% of the country's children were immunized against measles. Malaria has virtually been eradicated and a program to eradicate yellow fever mosquito is making progress.

In 1996, there were 76 new cases of AIDS reported.


The housing situation in Grenada has been diffi cult to track for the past few years due to a cycle of losses, reconstructions, and new losses caused by severe hurricanes to the region. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused some type of damage to about 90% of the housing stock. Ten months later in 2005, Hurricane Emily, though less severe, caused damage to about 2,641 homes. A variety of international groups have offered assistance to the country in rebuilding and maintaining housing and infrastructure.

In the early 1980s, the latest point for which statistical information was available, some 90% of all dwellings were detached houses. Nearly 75% of all housing units were owner occupied, 14% were rented, and 9% were occupied rent free. The most common construction material for homes was wood (70%), followed by concrete (12%), and wood and brick combined (7%).

The Grenada Housing Authority is a government agency empowered to acquire land and construct low-income housing projects. All main population centers have generally been supplied with sewerage and piped-water facilities.


Grenada's educational system is modeled largely on the British educational system. Education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. Primary education lasts for seven years and secondary education for five years. In 2001, about 68% of children between the ages of three and four were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 2001 was estimated at about 84% of age-eligible students; 89% for boys and 80% for girls. In 2003, secondary school enrollment was about 99% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 80% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 19:1 in 2003; the ratio for secondary school was about 20:1.

Postsecondary institutions include T.A. Marryshow Community College, Grenada National College, Technical and Vocational Institute, the Teacher Training College, and the Institute for Further Education. St. George's University Medical School, a private US institution founded in 1977, provides medical training for students from other countries, the majority from the United States. The adult literacy rate has been estimated at about 98%.

As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 5.1% of GDP, or 12.9% of total government expenditures.


The Grenada Public Library system encompasses about 11 community branches. The main branch (also known as the Sheila Buckmire Memorial Library) serves as the national library and the national archives center; it is also the site of the administrative offices of the Department of Library Services, Ministry of Education. The St. George's University Medical School maintains a collection of 13,000 volumes. There is also a mobile library that visits the island's schools. The Grenada National Museum, founded in 1976, is located in St. George's and focuses on the history and archeology of the island.


A local automatic telephone system covers the island, with connections to Carriacou. In 2002, there were 33,500 mainline telephones and 7,600 mobile phones in use throughout the country.

Radio and television services are provided primarily by Radio Grenada and Grenada television. In 2004, there were seven radio stations and one television station. The Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) operates the primary stations. GBN is a privately owned organization, but the government holds minority shares in the group. In 1997, there were 817 radios and 306 television sets in use per 1,000 population. In 2002, there were 15,000 Internet subscribers.

As of 2005, there were at least five weekly newspapers and several other newspapers published on an irregular schedule. The most popular weeklies are The Grenada Informer (1995 circulation, 5,000), The Grenadian Voice (3,500), and The Grenada Guardian (published by the United Labour Party).

The constitution provides for free speech and press, and the government is said to uphold these rights.


The Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce is in St. George's. The Grenada Employers' Federation assists in strengthening relations between business owners and employee unions. Other labor unions and organizations exist, such as the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association and the Grenada Union of Teachers.

National youth organizations include the National Student Council of Grenada, The Scout Association of Grenada, and the Girl Guides Association. YMCA and YWCA organizations are also active. There are several sports associations promoting amateur competition in various pastimes. Volunteer service organizations, such as the Lions Clubs International and the Rotary Club, are also present. There are national chapters of the Red Cross Society and Amnesty International.


Tourism, although modest in relation to that of other Caribbean islands, was a major enterprise for Grenada before the 1979 coup and 1983 invasion. Since 1984, it has recovered rapidly, and the government is emphasizing development of the tourist infrastructure. There has also been substantial foreign investment in the hotel sector. Since 1989, American Airlines nonstop service to Grenada has boosted tourism significantly. In 2003, tourist arrivals numbered 142,355, a 7% increase from 2002. There were 1,758 hotel rooms with 3,844 beds that same year. The average length of stay was seven nights.

Tourism in Grenada offers the visitor a wide array of white sand beaches and excellent sailing. Two yacht harbors provide port and customs facilities. A valid passport is required for entry into Grenada, except for citizens of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, who only need two documents proving citizenship. Visas are not required by visitors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the British Commonwealth, Caribbean countries (except Cuba), most European countries, South Korea, and Japan. Evidence of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from an infected country.

In 2005, the US Department of State estimated the daily cost of staying in Grenada at $261 from April through December. The rest of the year was estimated at $300 per day.


Theophilus Albert Marryshow (18891958) is known throughout the British Caribbean as "the Father of Federation." Eric Matthew Gairy (19221997), a labor leader, became the first prime minister of independent Grenada in 1974. Maurice Bishop (194483) ousted Gairy in 1979 and held power as prime minister until his assassination. After the US-led invasion, the task of choosing an interim government fell to the governor-general, Sir Paul Scoon (b.1935). Herbert A. Blaize (191989) was elected prime minister in 1984; he was Grenada's first chief minister (1957) and its first premier (1967). Keith Mitchell (b.1946) won election as prime minister in 1994, and was reelected in 1999 and 2003.


Carriacou (34 sq km/13 sq mi), Petit Martinique, and several other islands of the Grenadines group are dependencies of Grenada.


Brathwaite, Roger. Grenada Spice Paradise. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 2001.

Brown, Cindy Kilgorie. Adventure Guide to St Vincent, Grenada and the Grenadines. Edison, N.J.: Hunter, 2003.

Calvert, Peter. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Latin America. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2004.

Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.

Meeks, Brian. Caribbean Revolutions and Revolutionary Theory: An Assessment of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Grenada. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1993.

Schoenhals, Kai P. Grenada. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio, 1990.

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Major City:
St. George's

Other Cities:
Gouyave, Grenville, Hillsborough, Windward


This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report for Grenada. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at for the most recent information available on travel to this country.


Volcanic in origin, the small island nation of GRENADA (pronounced "Gre-NAY-da") lies at the southernmost point of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean. Its recent leap to instant recognition was prompted by a U.S.-led invasion against Marxist control in October 1983, and now, with a newly elected government in place, it is endeavoring to revitalize its economy and its reputation as a charming, picturesque tourist haven. Grenada is the only significant spice-producing area in the Western Hemisphere and, as such, is popularly referred to as the "Isle of Spice."


St. George's

St. George's, the capital, lies at the southwestern end of the island. Its picture-postcard, almost landlocked harbor is considered one of the Caribbean's most beautiful. The town has a distinctly Mediterranean flavor, with its sun-washed buildings, some of them from the 18th century, and its steep, narrow streets. Towering behind the small city are lush green mountains, studded with fine residences and simple homes.

The hub of St. George's, where many important businesses are situated, is the waterfront, known as the Carenage. Brightly painted, wooden, inter-island trading vessels and larger freighters tie up alongside the harbor walls, and trucks can be seen loading or off-loading cargoes. Yachtsmen moor in the inner harbor and motor over in their tenders to shop at the waterfront stores. Fishing vessels unload their catches, which are sold in the nearby market square. One pier, 800 feet long, is capable of berthing cruise liners and other large ships.

Fort George, surrounded by steep walls, is in a prominent position at the entrance to the harbor. A curious feature is the Sendall Tunnelin 1890, it was cut through St. George's Point to connect the Outer Harbor (also known as the Esplanade) with the Carenage. At the southern edge of town is a botanical garden.

Farther south is the residential area of L'Anse aux Épines, which has both large homes and simple, compact bungalows. Southeast of St. George's, the beautiful housing development of Westerhall Point overlooks the water.

The area population of St. George's is approximately 35,000.


Education in Grenada follows the British system; children enter primary school at the age of five, and take the Eleven-Plus examination in sixth grade (age 11 or 12). Those who are successful then enroll in the government-run secondary schools, and take the "O" level exam at 16. Few students remain at school the extra two years to sit their "A" levels. The latter examination, required for entrance to British universities, is prepared and graded in England by Cambridge University.

Grenada's education, from an American point of view, is basic. The International School of Grenada opened in 1984. It is a coeducational institution that covers pre-school through grade seven. A U.S. curriculum is followed using U.S. textbooks and assistance from the Broward County/Miami Department of Education. Enrollment is about 40 with six full-time and four part-time staff. There is no permanent facility; the school's four classrooms, small library, playing field, and administrative office are housed within St. George's University School of Medicine. Tuition is $1,300 annually. School is in session from the last week in August until the first week in June. Instruction is in English. Academic areas include language arts, math, social studies, science, French, art, music, computers, and physical education. There are no provisions for remedial programs or for students with severe physical, emotional, or learning disabilities.

Westmorland Primary is a good private primary school that is part of the Westmorland School, which is known to have the island's highest standard of education. However, the primary level has few vacancies and securing a place may be difficult. The school, covering nursery, kindergarten, and the early grades has an average class size of 24. It has a few trained Montessori teachers. The school year is divided into three terms and runs from early September to mid-July. There is another primary school, in the heart of St. George's, with a fairly solid reputation for teaching, but the physical plant is somewhat run-down, and has no telephone.

The vacancy situation at Westmorland Secondary is little better, with the lowest grade completely full and few places available in the more senior classes. Westmorland is a cooperative school owned by the parents of students and run by a board of management elected annually. First consideration is given to Grenadian children and, since the school has a capacity for only 320 students, it simply does not have enough latitude to accommodate many foreigners. Westmorland prepares students to the "O" level.

The school year at Westmorland is divided into three terms, extending from early September to mid-July. Vacations are held at Christmas and Easter, and on the long summer holiday.

Government-run secondary schools do not meet U.S. standards. American children enrolled in these schools might feel isolated and uncomfortable because of differences in culture, social background, or future expectations between themselves and the main student body. Parents of older children would, in most cases, have no option but to send them to the U.S. for secondary school.

No special facilities exist for children with learning disabilities or any other specific requirements.


Pleasant drives amid breathtaking scenery of volcanic origin are among the most popular recreational attractions in Grenada. There are opportunities to see the beautiful Grand Étang (Great Pool) Lake in the rain forest; to drive through the resort developments at Fort Jeudy, Westerhall Point, L' Anse aux Épines, and Levera Beach; and to visit the spice-processing factories at Gouyave or Grenville.

The old French and British bastions, Fort Frederick and Fort George, are points of historical significance in town. Other attractions include Grencraft, (the Grenada handicraft center), the National Museum, Spice Island Perfume Factory, the botanical gardens, the Anglican church, the old Georgian buildings on Le Carénage (the Carenage), and the Yellow Poui art gallery.

Neighboring Trinidad and Barbados afford a change from the quiet, small-island atmosphere of Grenada, and offer good shopping facilities. Trinidad, 90 miles to the south (flying time, 35 minutes), is renowned for its colorful pre-Lenten carnival; the island has a Hilton Hotel and a Holiday Inn, as well as various smaller hotels. Port-of-Spain, its capital city, has several large shopping malls.

Barbados, 120 miles from Grenada, is an attractive, bustling island with good hotels and restaurants and a lively nightlife. In the off-season, shopping is particularly good. Duty-free shops stock a wider range of items than can be found on Grenada; the many fashionable boutiques sell colorful sundresses, sarongs, and beachwear suited to the Caribbean climate. Flying time from St. George's to Barbados is 45 minutes.

Farther north are Martinique and Guadeloupe, with their French ambience and delicious cuisine. An interesting spot in Martinique is the St. Pierre Museum, an eerie monument to the 30,000 who died when Mount Pelée erupted in 1902. In Guadeloupe, a day trip to a living volcano, La Soufrière, can be arranged.

Venezuela's sophisticated capital, Caracas, with its eternal spring climate, is another spot for enjoying the bright lights. It has all the usual big-city amenities, but is expensive. Confirmed hotel reservations are essential.

The two most popular spectator sports in Grenada are cricket and soccer; the former is played on Saturdays and Sundays from November to May, the latter from June to November.

Several participant sports are available. The Richmond Hill Tennis Club, although privately operated, welcomes visitors as temporary members; public courts are at Tanteen and Grand Anse. Many hotels also have their own courts.

Grenada Golf and Country Club at Woodlands, with a nine-hole course, is in a beautiful setting overlooking the sea. It is a 15-minute drive from St. George's. The club sponsors tournaments throughout the year, often involving teams from other islands. Social events include games evenings, dances, and film shows. Membership rates here are reasonable.

Sailing is popular in Grenada, and the island is headquarters for some of the finest yachts to be found in Caribbean waters. Berthing is either in the harbor or at a marina in suburban L'Anse aux Épines. The Grenada Yacht Club has more than 200 members, both Grenadian and foreign, and warmly welcomes newcomers. It sponsors various offshore races, including the annual Easter Regatta, and encourages visiting yachters from other Caribbean territories. The club, which has a sailing section, also serves as a social center, holding dinners, cocktail hours, and barbecues all year. Mail and telephone facilities are maintained for offshore visitors.

The crystal-clear waters around Grenada make the island a yachting paradise, and cruising up the Grenadines, which extend from Grenada to St. Vincent, is especially rewarding. Sailing enthusiasts find a good selection of large, well-equipped yachts available with crew, and at reasonable rates, for daily or weekly charter. Carriacou Island sponsors an annual regatta the first week in August; races are held for work boats of all sizes, as well as for yachts. The many foreign vessels participating in this regatta make it one of the year's most important regional social events.

A combination of clear water, reefs, coral gardens, and tropical fish make scuba diving, spearfishing, and snorkeling excellent around Grenada.

From November to March, the waters offer good deep-sea fishing and boats for this purpose can be chartered by the day, week, or month. Small, open boats take parties out for a morning, or a day, to fish for snapper or grouper. It is advisable to ensure the availability of life jackets, especially for children, and to provide personal protection from the hot rays of the sun.

The Grenadian three-day fishing tournament, held the last weekend in January, attracts many large fishing cruisers, mainly from Trinidad. It is a popular sporting event and social get-together for the two neighboring islands.

Grenada has several attractive white sand beaches; the largest is Grand Anse, just south of St. George's, dotted with a number of hotels and guest cottages. There are no lifeguards, but the beach is relatively safe for bathing. Grand Anse Bay is popular for wind surfing. The many beautiful, quiet coves are good for picnicking and can be explored by car, although roads may be in poor condition.

Grenada has no public swimming pools or clubs with pool facilities. Some hotels will allow non-guests to use their pools, especially during the slow season.

Although few official sports clubs exist, some groups organize for informal activities such as bird-watching, hiking, or wind surfing. Small runs around the island are held every other Saturday, followed by an informal social gathering.


St. George's does not have a broad offering of formal entertainment. Apart from several popular discos, nightlife is non-existent. There is one poorly ventilated movie theater in St. George's which shows predominantly Kung Fu and "B" movies. Several video clubs exist which rent both current and classic movies.

Most of the restaurants feature local cuisine, and vary in quality. One of these, with a cheery, English-pub atmosphere, has become a favorite gathering spot for Grenadians, tourists, visiting yachters, and U.S. students from the American offshore medical school at the southern point of the island. Some of the hotels have weekly barbecue parties featuring steel-band music for dancing. One of the yacht marinas operates an outdoor snack bar which many find ideal for enjoying a late-evening rum punch and mingling with people from visiting yachts. The marina's Thursday night barbecue is often attended by Americans, mostly employees of the U.S. Embassy in St. George's.

In recent years, Grenada has celebrated its annual Carnival, the national festival, in mid-August. It is an exciting event, but considerably smaller than the huge pre-Lenten pageant held in neighboring Trinidad. Steel bands and calypso performersboth Grenadians and residents of other Caribbean territoriesvie for prizes as they parade in colorful costumes on the streets of St. George's.

Amateur radio enthusiasts enjoy Grenada because of its friendly ham-radio community; the terrain provides excellent antenna setting. Permission to operate is granted upon presentation of a valid Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license; third-party traffic is allowed. An adequate transformer is needed for 110-volt equipment.

It should be noted that Grenada, because of its size, has limited entertainment facilities and few cultural or educational opportunities. Grenadians are friendly and hospitable, but the educated professional community is small in number. Social contact is, therefore, circumscribed, and loneliness can become a problem for single people or for young children. Those who have been assigned to the island on official or business tours of any length, advise newcomers to bring with them a good supply of games, books, records, and hobby equipment.

There is no U.S.-sponsored women's club, but American women are welcome to join the few local organizations. Volunteer workers are needed by the Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance Brigade, the Salvation Army, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Children can join Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, and Cub and Brownie troops, but teenagers find that there are few organized activities for them.


GOUYAVE (also known as Charlotte Town), with an estimated population of 2,900, and GRENVILLE , with a population of about 2,100, are on opposite sides of the main island of Grenada. Both of these small towns have spice factories.

The only other population center of any size in Grenada is too small to be called a city but, as the capital of the dependent island of Carriacou, HILLSBOROUGH draws yachtsmen and tourists to its modest accommodations. Market day, on Monday, brings the town to life. Many tourists also come here for leisurely walks through the hills or visits to the museum and the new Sea Life Centre. During Carriacou Regatta weekend, people come from all over the Grenadines to participate in the festivities. A highlight of the celebration is the big-drum dancing, an African tradition, in the market square.

WINDWARD , on Carriacou's east coast, is known for the building of wooden boats; many of its villagers are of mixed Scottish descent. Tyrell Bay, on the west coast, is also a boat-building center and a yacht anchorage.


Geography and Climate

Grenada, the southernmost of the Windward Islands, is situated in the eastern Caribbean, 90 miles north of Trinidad and 12 degrees north of the equator. The three-island nation includes Carriacou, the largest island in the Grenadine chain, and Petit Martinique. Grenada itself, roughly oval in shape, is 12 miles wide and 21 miles long. It comprises 133 square miles of rugged mountainous terrain, with lush tropical rain forests and little lowland. Its central mountains rise about 2,000 feet above sea level. The clear, clean air is fragrant with the aroma of the spices grown on the islands.

Carriacou has an area of 13 square miles, and its geographical characteristics are similar to Grenada's except for its lower elevations (approximately 1,000 feet above sea level). Petit Martinique, with a population of only 700, has no tourist facilities, but is famous for boat building.

Grenada's climate is sunny and tropical, averaging 80°F, with dry and rainy seasons. The dry interval, January through May, is more comfortable, with cooling trade winds, but also occasional showers. The rainy season, June through December, brings moderate to heavy rainfall which fluctuates considerably from year to year. Temperatures drop in the evening, making it pleasantly cool. Sunrise is at 6:30 a.m., and dusk varies between 6 and 6:30 p.m., according to the time of year.

Heavy rainstorms and high winds occur in the wet season, but violent hurricanes are rare.

Mildew can be a problem during the rainy months. Commercial desiccants are a help, but it is also advisable to avoid filling closets too fullthis precaution keeps mildew to a minimum and discourages cockroaches, who like undisturbed, dark places. Other pests are mosquitoes, flies, moths, ants, termites, rats, and mice. Most of these can be controlled by taking particular care in household cleaning, and by proper disposal of garbage. Chinese coils, sold in supermarkets, repel mosquitoes; the scent of the coils is not unpleasant. Screens are strongly recommended. Because sand-flies are sometimes a nuisance on the beach, insect repellent should be kept available. Rust is another problem in the wet season, and furniture and appliances must be wiped dry often.


Grenada was first sighted in 1498 by Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the New World. The island was inhabited by fierce aboriginal Carib Indians, who successfully discouraged attempts at settlement until French colonialists from Martinique purchased it from them in 1650 for "two bottles of brandy and a few trinkets." The Caribs eventually were eliminated, with the last remaining natives hurling themselves off the cliffs on the north part of the island rather than surrender. The spot where they died, Caribs Leap, is now a famous tourist attraction in the town of Sauteurs.

A series of bloody conflicts between Britain and France followed, with the British finally taking control of the island in 1783 under the Treaty of Versailles.

The French and British brought Africans to Grenada to work their plantations so the population is predominantly of African descent, over 90%, with mixed, East Indian, and Caucasian persons making up the rest of the population. The 1998 estimate put the population at over 96,000. In recent years, the rate of emigration has exceeded the birth rate, leading to a population decline. Most of the population is located in St. George's and four or five other coastal towns.

Christianity is the major religion; 53% of the people are Roman Catholic, 14%% are Anglican.

The Creole culture of Grenadians derives from their African, French, and English heritage. English is the spoken language, but often a French patois is heard. Some customs, such as the pre-Lenten carnival, date from the days of French rule. Racial tension is almost nonexistent. Grenadians are courteous and exhibit good-natured tolerance of foreign visitors and their ways; invariably, a smile begets a smile.


Grenada became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth in February 1974. In a coup on March 13, 1979, the New Jewel Movement took control, setting up the People's Revolutionary Government under the leadership of Maurice Bishop. Disagreements within the party led to violence and the assassination of Mr. Bishop less than five years later (October 1983), prompting intervention by U.S. and Caribbean forces. This military action, which routed a Marxist government, has been called a welcome liberation by some, but an invasion by others. In December 1986, Benard Coard, Grenada's former prime minister, and 13 others were convicted of killing Maurice Bishop.

The constitution was restored after the events of October 1983, and the governor-general, Sir Paul Scoon, named an interim advisory council. In 1990, Nicholas Brathwaite was elected Prime Minister. Keith Claudius Mitchell followed as prime minister in 1995 and 1999.

Grenada is governed under a parliamentary system based on the British model; it has a governor general, a prime minister and a cabinet, and a bicameral Parliament with an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate.

Citizens enjoy a wide range of civil and political rights guaranteed by the constitution. Grenada's constitution provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully. Citizens exercise this right through periodic, free, and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage.

Grenada's political parties range from the moderate TNP, NNP, and NDC to the left-of-center Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM--organized by the pro-Bishop survivors of the October 1983 anti-Bishop coup) and the populist GULP of former Prime Minister Gairy.

Security in Grenada is maintained by the 650 members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), which included an 80-member paramilitary special services unit (SSU) and a 30-member coast guard. The U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard provide periodic training and material support for the SSU and the coast guard.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela maintain resident diplomatic missions in the capital. In 2000, Grenada has an estimated population of 98,000. Grenada is a member of the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM).

Grenada's flag consists of a red border with yellow and green triangles that form a central rectangle. There is a red circle in the center with a yellow star; there are three stars at the top and bottom of the red border, and a nutmeg to the left of center.

Arts, Science, Education

In 1972, the Commonwealth Caribbean member states formed the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and, gradually, a new syllabus with more emphasis on regional matters has been developed. Some students still sit the British exam in certain subjects while Grenada converts to the new system. The University of the West Indies (UWI), which maintains campuses in several Commonwealth member islands, is responsible for the preparation and grading of the CXC tests.

The Grenada National College at Tanteen, St. George's, conducts courses in carpentry and joinery, refrigeration, electrical installation and maintenance, plumbing, auto mechanics, and machine shop engineering. Its commercial division teaches stenography and office skills.

A craft center, also at Tanteen, offers instruction in woodworking, shell and bamboo craft, tie-dying, ceramics, and pottery. It also sponsors a summer extension program for cottage-industry instructors who teach handicrafts in villages throughout the island.

Most Grenadians interested in higher education enroll in British or Canadian universities, but some first-year evening classes are being conducted by UWI's extension department at Marryshow House, St. George's. UWI is working to restore a full curriculum for its student body, which dramatically declined after the 1979 political coup, and more courses will be developed during the next few years. The university's reference library is open to its students and faculty, as well as to librarians and academics working in Grenada.

Grenada's lively folk culture, based on its African heritage, is superimposed with French and English elements. Modern dance troupes still perform the old slave dancesbele, shamba, and piqué. At festival time, such traditional characters as the "stickman," " horsehead," and "jab-jab" are recreated. At a newly built small theater adjacent to UWI, concerts, dance shows, and operettas are performed. Children from all over the country stage regular concerts and Christmas pageants.

Several Grenadian artists, notably Elinus Cato and Canute Caliste, have received overseas recognition for their primitive paintings. Grenadian sculptor and painter Fitzroy Harack teaches ceramics at the Jamaica School of Art.

The country has produced a number of outstanding writers, including folk poet Paul Keens-Douglas and journalist T.A. Marryshow. An English-born priest, Rev. Raymond P. Devas, O.P., has written a comprehensive history of the island, as well as books on birds and wildlife. Wilfred and Eula Redhead have published plays and children's stories, rich in Grenadian folklore.

Island music also reflects the people's African ancestry. The calypso beat is strong here, as in Trinidad, and Grenadians have even made the claim that old-time calypso, or kaiso, originated on this island and was taken to Trinidad by a group of Grenadian slaves. The steel band is popular; on a typical evening, the "pan beat" can be heard echoing softly against the hills, as "pan men" practice their skills.

Commerce and Industry

Grenada's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 was estimated at about $394 million, with a per capita figure of about $4,400.

The economy of Grenada is based upon agricultural production (nutmeg, mace, cocoa, and bananas) and tourism. Agriculture accounts for over half of merchandise exports, and a large portion of the population is employed directly or indirectly in agriculture. Recently the performance of the agricultural sector has not been good. Grenada's banana exports declined markedly in volume and quality in 1996, and it is a question to what extent the country will remain a banana exporter. Tourism remains the key earner of foreign exchange.

Grenada is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues a common currency for all members of the ECCU. The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries.

Grenada also is a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Most goods can be imported into Grenada under open general license but some goods require specific licenses. Goods that are produced in the Eastern Caribbean receive additional protection; in May 1991, the CARICOM common external tariff (CET) was implemented. The CET aims to facilitate economic growth through intra-regional trade by offering duty-free trade among CARICOM members and duties on goods imported from outside CARICOM.


An international airport opened in October 1984 at Point Salines, on the southwest tip of the island. The old Pearls Airport was unable to accommodate commercial jets or night landings. Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) runs daily round-trip flights to Carriacou and, from there, a boat can be taken to Petit Martinique. Carriacou has one or two clean, but somewhat rustic hotels; a third has recently been taken over by new management and is located out of town. Since they are all small and have limited occupancy, reservations should be made in advance. Boats leave for Carriacou twice a week from the Carenage in St. George's, or private accommodations are available from Grenada Yacht Services and Spice Island Charters.

Private cars and taxis are the principal means of transportation used by U.S. citizens on extended stays in Grenada. Some comfortable, newer minibuses travel certain routes around St. George's and to the airport but, for the most part, public transportation is inadequate. Taxis assemble for hire at designated places on the harbor front, at the airport, and at major hotels. Fares are higher than those in the U.S., but should be negotiated in advance, since cabs have no meters. Unmarked taxis can be identified by the letter "H" (for hire) in front of the license number.

Grenada's major roads have improved greatly since 1984, although some are still being rebuilt. Secondary roads are often in poor condition and badly maintained. Potholes are numerous; roads are narrow and often steep. A four-wheel-drive car is not essential, but useful if plans are to explore the island. The Japanese-made, Land Rover-type vehicles sold locally are well suited to the rugged driving conditions, but their small, under-padded rear seats make traveling in the back somewhat uncomfortable. Since they have no trunks, roof racks are necessary. Several lines of smaller Japanese jeeps, as well as some British models (all right-hand drive), are also sold in Grenada, but no American cars are available.

No import restrictions apply. If a new car is shipped to the island, it should be a right-hand-drive vehicle, preferably of a make and model sold in Grenada, as local mechanics work better with familiar cars, and parts are more readily available. Manual transmissions are more easily and cheaply serviced. As a rule, auto agencies satisfactorily service the cars they sell, as well as imported cars.

Before importing a used car, it is advisable to have it thoroughly overhauled, particularly the clutch and brakes, which wear out quickly in the mountainous terrain. Tires may have to be replaced sooner than expected. Spare parts for American-made cars, such as windshield wiper blades and arms, oil, air and oil filters, fan belts, contact points, and turn-signal flash units, should be kept on hand.

Air conditioning will make driving more comfortable, although repair delays are possible because of a lack of spare parts. Specially ordered air conditioners for cars bought in Grenada cost $1,000 or more.

Traffic moves on the left and no speed limits are posted. A Grenadian drivers license is required to drive in Grenada and can be obtained upon presentation of a valid U.S. drivers license and a completed application form.

Several rental firms offer mostly Japanese models, Volkswagens, or minimokes (modified dune buggies) at rates similar to those in the U.S. Some people rent minibuses by the day, week, or month at negotiable prices. As Grenada has no school bus system, parents sometimes jointly hire taxis or minibuses.


The government-owned Grenada Telephone Company operates a recently modernized, fully automatic dial system throughout the island. International telephone service is available 24 hours a day. Calls between Grenada and the U.S. are usually satisfactory.

Cable and Wireless, Ltd., provides international telex service Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays to 1 p.m., and Sundays and public holidays from 10 a.m. to noon.

International airmail is received and dispatched Tuesday through Saturday by the Grenada General Post Office. Transit time for letters from the U.S. varies from six days to three weeks; letters from Grenada arrive in the U.S. in 7-14 days. Surface mail is erratic, and takes at least a month for delivery.

Radio Grenada operates an AM station providing music, local news, some Voice of America (VOA) programs, and a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) international roundup. AM broadcasts in English can usually be heard from Trinidad, Barbados, Montserrat, and The Netherlands Antilles. Spanish-language programs from Venezuela are also available. Although VOA and Armed Forces Radio can be received on shortwave, the quality of reception is often poor; equipment which can be connected to outside antennas is advised. Radio Antilles in Montserrat broadcasts VOA news and other programs in the evenings on medium-wave.

Grenada-based Discovery TV transmits one channel in color, 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Local Grenadian news and cultural programming is interspersed with American series reruns, cartoons, films and some NBA games. CNN midday news is broadcast in the evenings. Those who live on the south side of the island can usually pick up TV from Trinidad.

There are several weekly newspapers which largely confine themselves to events on Grenada and other Caribbean islands. International news takes a back seat to inter-island gossip. The weeklies are The Grenadian Voice, The Informer, The Grenadian Guardian, The Grenadian Tribune, and The Indies Times. The last three are affiliated with political parties. The current Latin American editions of Time and Newsweek are sold in book shops and supermarkets, and certain other popular U.S. magazines (Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Harper's ) are also available, although at least a month old. Women's magazines, such as Vogue, are often stolen from the international mail.

Three small, but well-stocked, book shops sell a good range of paperback novels, as well as reference books and hardcover publications.

The Grenada Public Library on the Carenage in St. George's has a good selection of books and periodicals, many donated by the U.S., U.K., and Canadian governments. Reference materials are non-circulating and are restricted to Caribbean history, culture, and politics. Library lending cards are issued upon receipt of a refundable deposit and two recommendations from Grenadian residents. A small, but well-kept, reference library at the University of the West Indies, Marryshow House, is open to research scholars. The collection contains many hard-to-find works by Caribbean writers.


The General Hospital in St. George's is old and inadequately equipped, and the nursing care does not meet U.S. standards. Resident Americans in Grenada are advised to use the facility only for emergencies. However, the hospital does maintain an eye clinic which is currently updating its diagnostic services and equipment. Trained ophthalmologists from the International Eye Foundation run a clinic at the General Hospital which is open daily. For ordinary needs, St. George's has an up-to-date firm of opticians who perform eye examinations.

Two district hospitals are in operationone in St. Andrew's Parish, the other on Carriacou. Health clinics, some of them with maternity facilities, are located throughout the island. The Simon Bolivar Clinic, a small, well-equipped dispensary is operated by the St. George's University School of Medicine on its Grand Anse campus.

Grenada has a few qualified specialists who were trained in England or the U.S.; their practices are in surgery, internal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, and pediatrics. Preventive dental care should be arranged before moving to Grenada, however, several U.S. dentists are available locally by appointment a month in advance. Because there are no local orthodontists, those needing this particular type of care have to go to Trinidad or Barbados.

Local pharmacies carry adequate supplies.

Community sanitation includes sewage treatment and garbage collection (not up to U.S. standards). Water is treated at the source, but the distribution system and fluctuating pressure result in an unsafe yield. All drinking water must be boiled. Frozen foods are often suspect because of spoilage during> Grenada's frequent electrical outages.

Infectious hepatitis, dengue fever, gastroenteritis, and intestinal parasites are common. The tropical weather and high humidity are conducive to skin and fungal infections. Rabies is prevalent in animals.

Although none of the following inoculations are required for entry to Grenada, all are advised for anyone planning an extended stay: typhoid, polio, tetanus, gamma globulin for infectious hepatitis, and yellow fever. Children should be given measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) shots, and everyone over the age of one should have pre-exposure rabies immunization. Children over 18 months should receive a Hemophilus influenza b (Hib) vaccination before going to Grenada, as outbreaks of meningitis occur on the island and the vaccine is not available locally.

Clothing and Services

Grenadians dress to suit the climate, but they are modest, and women rarely wear shorts or midriff garments in town. It is important that all clothing, including underwear and socks, be of extremely lightweight material; either cotton or a cotton blend is the most comfortable. With frequent laundering, necessitated by heat and high humidity, garments wear out quickly.

An umbrella is needed for the wet season's heavy, almost-daily rainstorms. Raincoats and heavy foot-wear are impractical in this heat. Beachwear and shorts are acceptable for adults and children in resort hotels and for recreation or relaxation; beach wraps are needed for lunches on hotel patios.

Office attire for men is either a shirt or guayabera and slacks, or a "jac suit," which is a short-sleeved, open-collared jacket worn with matching pants; no shirt or tie is needed for this practical outfit. Few Grenadians wear a regular jacket and tie in the office. The "jac suit" is also favored for social events, although a lightweight jacket and tie are equally appropriate. Jeans, although heavy for the climate, are popular in Grenada.

Working attire for women is usually a modest, short-sleeved dress, or a blouse with skirt or slacks, and sandals. Stockings are not normally worn. Sleeveless dresses are ideal for street wear in the humid months, but are not worn at work. Sundresses and straw hats are sold inexpensively by beach vendors. Stout canvas espadrilles are recommended for walking on beaches or along Grenada's rough roads.

Grenadian women are fashion conscious and like to dress up for parties. Home entertaining is popular in the foreign community and, since the same people travel in that circle, women find that they need substantial party wardrobes. Silk dresses, unless they are washable, are impractical, as St. George's one dry cleaner does only a rudimentary form of dry cleaning. A light stole is useful for cool nights.

Normal U.S. summer wear is suitable for children, with lightweight jackets or cardigans for cool evenings. Every child needs several pairs of sandals. Most Grenadian schools require uniforms (available locally).

Grenada has few high-quality clothing stores. There are a couple of attractive boutiques in St. George's, but stocks are limited and prices are not competitive with those in the U.S. Tourist shopping, however, is interesting, with a wide variety of straw items, spices, and coral handicrafts. Duty-free shopping is also available.

St. George's has several good tailors whose work is not expensive. There are also dressmakers, varying in skill. Shoe repair is fair. Beauty shops, although not elegant, have good reputations. Barbershops are adequate and reasonable in price. Repairs (electrical, auto, etc.) are available, but uneven in quality; progress is often slow and further hampered by periodic power out-ages and unavailability of materials.

The style of cooking in Grenada is Creole, similar to that of neighboring islands, with one or two specialties such as lambie, found in abundance in surrounding waters. On Saturday mornings, this variety of mollusk may be purchased directly from the conch boats at the Carenage. Local cooks have a touch with soups, and some notable ones are callaloo, made from a green bush with added seasonings, and tannia, from a root vegetable. Other island delicacies include crab-backs (seasoned crab meat served hot in the shell); souse, and black pudding.

In general, food prices are higher than in the U.S., but foreigners living here find that the supermarkets are well-stocked and carry a good supply of processed foods from the U.S., Europe, and other Caribbean territories. Small, family-run groceries abound. There is a wide variety of fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, bakery items, and imported candies and cookies. Most meats sold in the markets are local and of indifferent quality. Chicken is imported from the U.S. Powdered and evaporated milk and baby formula are readily available, as well as "flash" sterilized milk which does not need refrigeration. Although fresh milk is occasionally obtainable, it should be avoided, since some cattle are not tuberculin-tested.

French, American, and German wines are widely available, as is excellent rum from Trinidad and Barbados, marketed at reasonable prices. The local lager, Carib, is good; other beers are imported.

Domestic Help

Competent, trained maids and cooks work for moderate wages. An experienced domestic receives a monthly wage plus food, and many are prepared to live in or return in the evening to baby-sit. The employer's contribution to the compulsory national health insurance plan is 4% of the servant's salary. Under current codes, the employee serves a two-to three-month probationary period, is given two weeks' leave after one year of service, three weeks after two years, and a Christmas bonus of one month's pay. In addition, a maid/cook expects onetwo days off each week; arrangements for weekends and holidays are fixed by the employer at the time of hiring.


Passage, Customs & Duties

Direct service to Grenada from North America and other Caribbean islands is provided by British West Indies Airlines (BWIA). Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) serves the country several times daily from Barbados and Trinidad. American, Pan Am, Eastern, and Air Canada provide connecting flights through Barbados.

U.S. citizens may enter Grenada with proof of U.S. citizenship, (a certified birth certificate, a Naturalization/Citizenship Certificate, or a valid or expired passport) and photo identification. U.S. citizen visitors who enter Grenada without one or more of these documents, even if admitted by local immigration officials, may encounter difficulties in boarding flights to return to the U.S. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months. There is an airport departure charge for adults and for children between the ages of five and thirteen years of age. For additional information concerning entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Grenada, 1701 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, telephone (202) 265-2561, e-mail, or the Consulate of Grenada in New York at telephone (212) 599-0301.

Grenada customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Grenada of items such as firearms, antiquities, business equipment, fruits and vegetables, electronics, and archaeological items. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Grenada in Washington, D.C. or the Consulate of Grenada in New York for specific information regarding customs regulations.

Americans living in or visiting Grenada are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Grenada and obtain updated information on travel and security within Grenada. The U.S. Embassy is located on the right hand-side of the main road into Lance aux Epines in the "Green Building," and is approximately 15 minutes from the Point Salines International Airport. Telephone: 1-473-444-1173/4/5/6; fax: 1-473-444-4820; Internet:;


Grenada will permit entry of pets with proper documentation, including health certificates and proof of recent inoculation against rabies. The health certificate, stating that the pet is free from infectious diseases and rabies, must be issued by a licensed veterinarian and stamped with verification of that license. Both Trinidad and Barbados, still used by some as entry points to Grenada, have strict laws governing pet importation (other than from Great Britain or Ireland). A quarantine station and appropriate airport facilities are available in Trinidad.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures

The time in Grenada is Greenwich Mean Time minus four hours.

Local currency is the East Caribbean dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of US$1=EC$2.70. Bills, from $1 to $100, are printed in a series of colors, and coins are minted in six denominations. All currency carries the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II. Only a few hotels and stores accepts U.S. credit cards. Travellers checks are accepted everywhere.

Some effort is being made to introduce the metric system of weights and measures, but Grenadians continue to think in terms of pounds and miles, rather than kilograms and kilometers.

Disaster Preparedness

Grenada has experienced tropical storms during the hurricane season, from June through November. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at


Jan. 1 New Year's Day

Feb. 7 Independence Day

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Mar/Apr. Easter Monday*

May 1 Labor Day

May/June Whitsunday*

May/June Whitmonday*

May/June Corpus Christi*

Aug. Emancipation Day*

Aug.13 Carnival Monday

Aug. 14 Carnival Tuesday

Oct. 25 Thanksgiving Day

Dec. 25 Christmas Day

Dec. 26 Boxing Day



The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country: Brizan, George. Grenada: Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 1498-1979.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1984.

Burrowes, Reynold A. Revolution and Rescue in Grenada: An Account of the U.S.-Caribbean Invasion. Westport, CT: Green-wood Publishing Group, 1988.

Grenada. Edison, NJ: Hunter Publishing, 1990.

Heine, Jorge, ed. A Revolution Aborted: The Lessons of Grenada. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990.

Lewis, Gordon K. Grenada: The Jewel Despoiled. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.

Sanford, Gregory W., and Richard Vigilante. Grenada: The Untold Story. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985.

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Grenada is an island situated between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Its total area is 340 square kilometers (131 square miles), about twice the size of Washington, D.C., and its coastline measures 121 kilometers (75 miles). Grenada has 2 dependencies in the Grenadines island chain: Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Carriacou (pronounced Carr-ycoo) lies 37 kilometers (23 miles) northeast of Grenada and is 33.5 square kilometers (13 square miles) in area, while Petit Martinique lies 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) further north and is only 486 acres in area. The capital of Grenada, St. George's, lies on the island's southwest coast and is the only town of any size.


Grenada's population was estimated at 89,018 in July 2000. This figure marked a drop of 0.36 percent from the previous year and a reduction of more than 2 percent from the estimated 1991 population of 91,000. Grenada's population has been declining for several decades despite positive statistics in terms of child mortality, life expectancy, and death/birth rate ratios. This is largely explained by a high rate of migration, calculated at 16.54 migrants per 1,000 population (2000). Grenadians migrate in large numbers to neighboring islands such as Trinidad & Tobago, where employment opportunities are greater, or more commonly to the United States and Canada. At current rates, Grenada's population will stand at approximately 86,000 in 2010.

Grenada's population is youthful, with 38 percent of Grenadians under the age of 15. A majority of the population lives in rural villages, and the World Bank estimates that only 37 percent are urban dwellers. The island is small enough for people to work or conduct their business in St. George's without living in the capital. About 85 percent of the population is of African decent, with smaller mixed-race and Indian communities. The latter are the descendants of indentured laborers (servants or laborers who pay an employer for transit to the employer's country, and work off their debt, often for many years) brought to the island after the abolition of slavery in 1833. English is the island's official language, though some Grenadians speak a French dialect, and Roman Catholicism, observed by 53 percent of Grenadians, is the dominant religion.


Grenada's economy has shifted significantly since the 1970s, from one almost entirely based on producing agricultural commodities for export to a much more modernized and diversified one. For many years Grenada depended on exporting 3 main cropsbananas, cocoa, and nutmegbut fluctuating world prices, natural disasters, and the threatened removal of preferential trading agreements have forced Grenada's government to seek to broaden the island's economic base. Successive governments since the 1980s have been acutely aware that small-island states such as Grenada are extremely vulnerable to economic factors beyond their control and have hence tried to reduce over-reliance on agricultural exports. Grenada now has a small but growing manufacturing sector, a nascent financial services sector, and an important tourism sector, which is the island's main foreign exchange earner.

Grenada's movement toward economic diversification began during the short-lived People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) of 1979-83, which tried to increase manufacturing for the domestic market and look for new markets for the island's commodities. The U.S. intervention of October 1983, in which American troops invaded the island after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was murdered by rivals within the PRG, brought a brief influx of economic aid. This assistance enabled the island to establish the infrastructure for small-scale manufacturing, mainly aimed at the U.S. market. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, aid and investment slowed, causing the island's economy to stagnate. Tourism grew strongly from the mid-1990s, leading to a boom in construction and other services. Economic growth, consequently, has been strong and sustained in recent years, with GDP growing by 6.8 percent in 1998 and 8.1 percent in 1999. Attracted by tax breaks and other incentives, several U.S. and European multinational companies operate in Grenada, mostly in the light manufacturing and tourism sectors. Local companies are extremely small and limited to import-export activities and retail . There are still several government-controlled statutory boards which represent the interests of small farmers and agricultural exporters.

Since the 1970s, Grenada's economy has passed through 3 distinct phases. Until 1979, it was dominated by the agricultural sector, made up of small farmers, and a small import-export sector, based in St. George's. During the PRG regime, the PRG began experiments in diversification and a mixture of private-sector initiatives and state intervention with an emphasis on cooperatives and central planning. Since 1983, the economy has been strongly oriented toward free-market development, with the privatization of several state-owned concerns and a program of structural adjustment aimed at reducing government spending.

Despite such liberalizing measures, Grenada's economy still faces significant problems. Its imports in 1999 were 5 times the value of its exports, creating a large trade deficit that is only partly offset by tourism receipts and other service income. The reduction in agricultural activity means that increasing amounts of food have to be imported, especially for the growing tourism industry. Government spending also remains high in relation to revenues. A 2000 International Monetary Fund (IMF) report expressed concerns at the high wages paid to civil servants and the large sums spent on modernizing infrastructure. There remains considerable poverty and unemployment in Grenada, with the IMF estimating that 32 percent of the population, mostly rural laborers and the unemployed, live in poverty. The country is highly indebted, with external debt of US$159.3 million in 2000. Debt servicing (money paid above the actual debt, such as interest) cost US$16.9 million in 1998, equal to one-fifth of government's annual revenue.


After 2 decades of political turmoil in the 1970s and 1980s, Grenada has returned to a state of stability and constitutional government. The overthrow of autocratic and populist Prime Minister Eric Gairy in 1979 ushered in 4 years of socialist -oriented government until factional infighting and the murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop triggered the U.S. intervention of 1983. Short-term, unstable political alliances followed until 1995, when the New National Party (NNP) won a narrow majority. Led by Keith Mitchell, the NNP then won an overwhelming victory in January 1999, taking all 15 of the island's parliamentary seats.

As the leader of the majority party, Mitchell, the prime minister, was appointed by the governor general of the island, who was appointed by the Queen of England. The governor general also appoints the cabinet, on the advice of the prime minister. The bicameral (2 legislative chambers) parliament consists of the 15-member National Assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote to 5-year terms, and of the 13-member Senate, 10 of whose members are appointed by the government and 3 of whose members are appointed by the opposition. The country's legal system is based on English common law, and the system is overseen by the West Indies Associate Supreme Court, a representative of which body resides in Grenada.

The NNP is pro-private sector, favoring foreign investment in tourism and manufacturing to stimulate growth. It has also attracted former supporters of Eric Gairy and Maurice Bishop by pledging to combat unemployment and poverty. The other parties were soundly beaten in the 1999 elections and do not differ significantly in their approach to the economy.

Government policy is important in determining economic development, since the state sector remains substantial and potential foreign investors are influenced by such policy. The government has tried to reduce its public-sector financial commitments by reducing the number of civil servants, privatizing some assets, and converting some government agencies, such as the post office, into autonomous commercial enterprises. More controversially, it has begun to introduce performance-related pay schemes within the public sector, despite strong opposition from trade unions. The government has attempted to attract direct foreign investment by offering generous tax incentives and other financial benefits to companies interested in establishing themselves in the manufacturing and tourism sectors.

Taxation tends to be weighted towards indirect sales taxes rather than income tax , which the government has reduced. Government has tried to improve revenue collection through greater efficiency and has increased income from fees levied on offshore companies, particularly those in the new financial services sector. Even so, according to the Caribbean Development Bank, "Notwithstanding improvements in tax administration departments, revenue collection continues to be undermined by widespread exemptions, high levels of tax evasion and extensive non-compliance." In other words, many Grenadians and foreign companies alike do not pay the taxes that they owe to the government. Sales taxes, according to critics, affect the poorest sectors of the Grenadian population disproportionately, but the government believes that high income taxes act as a disincentive to private enterprise.


Grenada is a small island with a limited road infrastructure of 1,127 kilometers (700 miles), of which about one-half are paved. Rural roads are often impassable and have long been criticized by farmers in remote districts as a serious obstacle to transporting goods to collection points. There are no railways. The main port is at St. George's, where there is a cruise ship terminal. The main airport is Point Salines International Airport, near the capital, construction of which began under the PRG with extensive assistance from Cuba. There is a small airport on Carriacou. The Grenadian government is a shareholder in the regional airline, Leeward Islands Air Transportation (LIAT).

The government has invested strongly in tourismand manufacturing-oriented infrastructure in recent years, upgrading main roads, improving port facilities, and modernizing water and sewerage systems. Little of this investment, however, has reached isolated rural districts.

There are no local oil deposits, and fuel is imported, mostly from Venezuela, for power generation. In 1998 Grenada generated 105 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and consumed 98 million kWh. The telecommunications industry is in the process of being liberalized,

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Grenada 27,000 976 AM 2; FM 1; shortwave 0 57,000 2 33,000 14 2,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Jamaica 353,000 (1996) 54,640 (1996) AM 10; FM 13; shortwave 0 1.215 M 7 460,000 21 60,000
St. Lucia 37,000 1,600 AM 2; FM 7; shortwave 0 111,000 3 32,000 15 5,000
aData is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
bData is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
cData is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

having been dominated by Cable & Wireless Grenada (a subsidiary of the large British firm Cable & Wireless PLC) for many years. There is a developed network of main-line telephones, a fiber-optic network, and growing use of mobile telephones. The advent of Call Centres Grenada, an offshore telemarketing operation, in July 2000, was evidence of the island's reliable telecommunications network. Cable & Wireless also provides Internet access.


The importance of agriculture to Grenada's GDP has fallen steeply, from more than 26 percent in 1979 to an estimated 9.7 percent in 1996. The World Bank estimates its contribution at 8.1 percent in 1999. The 1995 agricultural census estimated that the area of cultivated land in Grenada had fallen from 61,000 acres in 1961 to 31,000 in 1995. Many young Grenadians are no longer willing to work family smallholdings , and this gradual abandonment of agriculture has been compounded by a crisis in the banana industry. Only nutmeg, one of Grenada's traditional export commodities, has experienced resurgence in recent years, because of rising international prices for the spice. Agriculture still accounted for an estimated 24 percent of the workforce in 1999, and many Grenadians work part-time on smallholdings for family or local consumption. Agricultural exports as a whole were valued at US$21.8 million in 1999.

Agriculture's decline has been balanced by the rising importance of industry, which has grown from 14.2 percent of GDP in 1979 to 22.2 percent in 1999, according to the World Bank. Some of this growth is accounted for by the recent opening of a plant that assembles electronic components for the U.S. market. There are several other such assembly plants, and Grenada has a significant agricultural processing sector, a brewery, rice mill, and cement works. Approximately 14 percent of the workforce was estimated to be employed in industry in 1999, which earned $23.1 million.

Services have also risen as a percentage of GDP, from 59.6 percent in 1979 to 76.5 percent in 1999. The nature of the service sector has changed, with a greater emphasis on tourism and financial services rather than more traditional retail and government-oriented activity. Grenada is now offering itself as a stable base for offshore banking and other financial services, hoping to emulate the success of other Caribbean nations such as Barbados.


Besides food crops grown for local and tourist consumption, Grenada's 3 traditional export crops are bananas, cocoa, and nutmeg. Historically, these have been grown not on large estates, but by small farmers with properties of a few acres. The regularity of income produced by bananas, typically delivered weekly by farmers to visiting banana boats, with the high prices fetched by nutmeg, contributed to modest rural prosperity from the 1950s onwards. But since the 1990s the banana sector, in particular, has been badly affected by problems revolving around access to foreign markets. The 1997 ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the European Union (EU) was unfairly discriminating against Latin American banana producers by giving preferential access to Caribbean producers created a crisis in the industry. This was worsened by complaints from the exporting company, Geest, that Grenadian bananas were unreliable in quantity and quality. The EU continues to offer preferential quotas to Caribbean producers, but Grenada's industry has declined further, despite a banana rehabilitation program initiated by the government and the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company (WIBDECO). After an 18-month suspension, banana exports resumed in November 1998.

Cocoa also suffered in the 1990s with an epidemic of mealy bug infestation, coinciding with the cancellation of a contract with a major chocolate manufacturer. Another victim of natural disasters was Grenada's fishing industry, affected first by a mysterious disease and then by Hurricane Lenny in November 1999. These factors created a sharp decline in the fishing sector, which with Japanese aid, had been expanding in the 1990s, employing an estimated 1,500 people in the coastal towns of Gouyave, Grenville, and St. George's.

Much more positive was expansion and rising prices in the nutmeg sector. Political turmoil in Indonesia, Grenada's main competitor, pushed up nutmeg prices by 72 percent in 1999 and mace (a byproduct of nutmeg) by 37.5 percent.

Some cotton is grown on Carriacou, and limes are cultivated in Grenada and Carriacou, mostly for the local market. Grenada's once important sugar industry is now confined to a small area in the south of the island, where there is a rum distillery. Fruit and vegetables are grown across the island, and what is not consumed locally is usually brought to market at St. George's.


Grenada's industry is small-scale, revolving around several zones near the capital, which cater to foreign companies in search of cheap labor. Since the 1980s, the government has tried to attract such foreign investors, with some success, and Grenada currently produces clothing, electronic components, and other consumer goods for export mainly to the U.S. market. This sector expanded by 10.5 percent in 1999, because of the opening of a new electronics factory. Electronic components accounted for 61.4 percent of Grenada's manufactured exports.

Other industries include brewing (where the Irish company Guinness holds a majority stake), rice milling, and agricultural processing. The recent boom in construction has also brought an increase in associated industries such as cement and furniture.


Tourism is the biggest part of Grenada's economy, bringing in an estimated $66.8 million in receipts in 1999. Much of the island's tourist industry is still in local hands, and there is considerable " trickle down " within the economy, benefiting local farmers, restaurant owners, and taxi drivers in particular. Grenada has expanded its tourism infrastructure, and there are now approximately 2,500 hotel rooms, as well as developed cruise ship and yacht charter facilities. But despite steady growth in recent years, Grenada's tourism sector has encountered serious problems, including a 1999 decision by the Carnival cruise ship company to suspend calls at Grenada in the wake of the government's 1998 imposition of a $3 per capita landing fee.

The quickest growing service sector is offshore financial services, consisting of banking, insurance, and other services for foreign companies and individuals. It has expanded since 1996 and is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in the economy. There are 31 offshore banks and a large number of other financial interests, and despite some local opposition, the government is encouraging gaming as a tourist attraction. However, the financial service sector was damaged by allegations of financial impropriety in 2000 concerning one bank's operations. In March of 2001, the govern-mentannouncing that it was cracking down on bank fraudclosed down 17 offshore banks. Altogether, in 1999, the financial sector generated almost $5 million in revenues for the government.

Another growth sector is telemarketing and data processing, in which Grenada's literate but low-paid work-force can compete for contracts from North America. This sector, buoyed by the recent opening of a large facility on the east coast, created an estimated 1,000 jobs by 2000.

Retailing is not well developed in Grenada, with only a few large stores in St. George's and the nearby tourist areas. Most rural Grenadians depend on a weekly trip to the capital or small village stores for day-to-day essentials.


Until the 1990s, most bananas were shipped to Britain, Grenada's traditional trading partner. Gradually, the island has come to depend increasingly on the United States, both for its manufactured exports and imports. The United States accounted for almost 40 percent of imports (US$78.9 million) and 35 percent of exports (US$64.1 million) in 1998, according to the Caribbean Development Bank. Other important trading partners are the European Union and fellow members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which provided 27 percent of imports and took 20 percent of exports in 1998.

Grenada continues to import much more than it exports, with 1999 exports of $55 million and imports of

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Grenada
Exports Imports
1975 .012 .024
1980 .017 .050
1985 .023 .069
1990 .027 .105
1995 .023 .130
1998 N/A N/A
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

$230 million. Despite the recent upsurge in nutmeg exports, this is a source of concern to the government and international financial institutions alike. Tourism revenue and income from other services partly offset this imbalance, but Grenada is vulnerable to mounting debt and economic factors beyond its control.


High levels of growth (6.8 percent in 1998 and 6.2 percent in 1999) reflect temporary booms in one part of the agricultural sector (nutmeg) as well as construction and services. At the same time, the government has managed to keep inflation under control, with consumer prices rising only 1 percent in 1999. The Eastern Caribbean dollar, a currency shared with the 7 other members of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), is stable, and has been pegged at a fixed exchange rate of EC$2.7/US$1 for many years. This means that Grenada is less vulnerable to fluctuating exchange rates , although transactions with Europe have been affected by the low value of the euro. There are plans for ECCB member countries to participate in a regional stock exchange, further integrating the economies of the small islands. These plans were not yet in effect by 2001.

Exchange rates: Grenada
East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1
Jan 2001 2.7000
2000 2.7000
1999 2.7000
1998 2.7000
1997 2.7000
1996 2.7000
Note: Grenadian currency has been set at a fixed rate since 1976.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].


There are no available statistics regarding the distribution of wealth in Grenada, but it is obvious that there is a gulf between a wealthy minority and a substantial sector of poor Grenadians. According to the World Bank, some 32 percent of Grenadians live in conditions of poverty. Recent government research suggests that most of these households are in rural areas, often in the most inaccessible and sometimes drought-ridden parts of the island. Unemployment or underemployment are the main problems in rural areas, especially for young adults who wish to escape what they see as the drudgery of agricultural labor. Squatting (the illegal occupation of government-owned land) is not uncommon in makeshift communities around St. George's. Some of the worst poverty is to be found on former estates, where barracks-like accommodations are still used by rural laborers. In such communities, housing conditions can be extremely rudimentary, with no sewerage and little access to other services. Clean drinking water is available throughout the island, even if poorer families have to resort to sharing a communal water pipe.

The radical PRG government of 1979-83 introduced measures to improve conditions among the rural poor, including low-cost loans for building materials and a network of village medical clinics. Some of these initiatives have been maintained since, and the current government has invested substantially in health and education. Even so, the cost of school uniforms and textbooks is often prohibitive for some families.

A prosperous middle class exists in St. George's, made up of professionals in the import-export businesses or new sectors such as tourism and data processing. Another comparatively wealthy group is made up of returning migrants, many amassing large savings after decades working in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Private education and health facilities exist for the rich, who are accustomed to sending their children to the United States for their education. The urban elite has tended to look down on the rural majority, especially during the 1950s and 1960s when poor peasants and agricultural laborers formed the bulk of support for the eccentric populist politician, Eric Gairy.

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Grenada N/A 1,709 2,111 2,819 3,347
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Jamaica 1,819 1,458 1,353 1,651 1,559
St. Lucia N/A 2,076 2,150 3,542 3,907
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.
Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Grenada 29 4 10 2 13 20 21
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Jamaica 24 7 3 1 9 8 48
St. Lucia 40 5 11 4 17 11 11
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.


In 1998, the International Labor Organization estimated a workforce of 41,015, with unemployment at 15.2 percent of the economically active population. Conditions and pay, excluding the declining agricultural sector, are better in Grenada than in many other Caribbean countries. This is because of a relatively strong and effective trade union movement, which defends the interests of workers in the public and private sectors. Unions have been particularly active in negotiating conditions for civil servants such as teachers and doctors. In manufacturing, pay rates are much higher than in such competitor countries as Haiti or the Dominican Republic. The Grenada Industrial Development Corporation, for instance, suggests workers in the electronic components plants can earn a weekly salary of between $100 and $250, at least 3 times that in lower-wage countries. Grenada's laws include protection against wrongful dismissal, the right to join unions, and many other basic workers' rights. Attempts by companies to violate such rights have caused strikes in the past.

For small farmers and rural laborers, conditions and pay are poor. Unions representing agricultural workers were powerful in the 1950s and 1960s, but have lost much of their influence. Wages have fallen dramatically in comparison to the manufacturing and services sector. Farming is now the preserve of older Grenadians or carried out on a part-time family basis. There is little or no child labor in Grenada, with the exception of this sort of farm work, while women are well represented in all areas of the economy and professions.


1498. Columbus sights and names Grenada on his third expedition.

1650. First permanent European settlement on island.

1783. British win control over island after colonial competition with France.

1951. First electoral success of populist politician Eric Gairy.

1974. Independence from the U.K.

1979. Gairy overthrown by bloodless coup, followed by formation of People's Revolutionary Government.

1983. U.S. military intervention after murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.

1996. Launch of offshore financial services sector.

1999. New National Party wins second term with 15 out of 15 seats.


Grenada's economy seems likely to move further away from agriculture and toward tourism and manufacturing, especially when the temporary boom in nutmeg exports comes to an end. It is likely that the government will encourage growth in these newer sectors by offering new incentives to foreign companies. The success or failure of the first telemarketing ventures will determine the future of high-tech investment in Grenada and similar Caribbean economies. Grenada will be less affected than other Eastern Caribbean islands by the decline in the banana industry or an eventual collapse, and in this sense its economic future is relatively hopeful.

The main problems for the government will involve narrowing the wide trade deficit and reducing the national debt . There is much work to be done in redistributing wealth away from a small minority toward the many Grenadians who continue to live in poverty. The NNP has the political support to make progress in these areas and has the capability to introduce effective poverty-alleviation programs. Nevertheless, much depends on the health of the U.S. and European economies, which are critical to the continuing growth of Grenada's tourism industry. If there is a slowdown in this sector, government revenue will decline and so will its ability to achieve its social objectives.


Grenada has no territories or colonies.


Belgrafix. "Government Closes 17 Offshore Banks." <>. Accessed June 2001.

Brizan, George. Grenada, Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 1498-1979. London: Zed Books, 1984.

Caribbean Development Bank. Annual Report 1999. Barbados:Caribbean Development Bank, 2000.

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: OECS. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2000.

Ferguson, James. Grenada: Revolution in Reverse. London: LatinAmerica Bureau, 1990.

International Monetary Fund. "Grenada and the IMF." <>. Accessed July 2001.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000. <>. Accessed July 2001.

James Ferguson


St. George's.


Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). One EC dollar equals 100 cents. There are coins of 10, 20, and 50 cents. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars.


Bananas, cocoa, nutmeg and mace, fruit and vegetables, clothing.


Food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals, fuel.


US$360 million (1999 est.).


Exports: US$55 million (1999 est.). Imports: US$230 million (1999 est.).

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Basic Data
Official Country Name: Grenada
Region: Puerto Rico & Lesser Antilles
Population: 89,018
Language(s): English, French patois
Literacy Rate: 98%

History & Background

Grenada, a tiny island in the Caribbean, occupies the southern-most position in the Windward Islands chain. It is 344 square kilometers (about twice the size of Washington, DC) and, in 2000, the population was estimated at approximately 99,700 persons. English is the official language, but a French patois is also spoken.

The first schools in Grenada were split among religious denominations: Anglican schools, Methodist schools, and, the smallest, Roman Catholic schools. In the mid-part of the nineteenth century, education was not a priority in Grenada. In 1845 only 2.3 percent of the island's budget was spent on education. Although the situation improved, it did so slowly; figures from 1852 show that the percentage of the budget spent on education grew to 5 percent.

During the year 1848, education of the working class in Grenada fell drastically due to the limited financial resources of the government and people. The legislators were reluctant to provide funds for education. Some success was achieved in 1868 when the legislature voted its first grant of 50 pounds for schools.

As the turn of the century approached, interest in schools and education continued to grow. In 1882, the Grenadian legislature enacted a new Education Ordinance that:

  1. Made grants-in-aid available to assist schools that reached certain standards in terms of their enrollment and academic results.
  2. Provided for the establishment of schools in areas where no assisted schools existed.
  3. Doubled the education vote between 1881 and 1882.
  4. Allowed funds to be allocated toward the appointment of an Inspector of Schools.
  5. Permitted the Roman Catholics to have a 50 percent representation on the Board of Education.

Education in Grenada changed dramatically in 1889; it was during this year that Governor Sendall declared that the financial allocations to education were inadequate and called for the establishment of governmentowned and operated schools, the first public schools on the island. The colony continued its financial support for denominational schools, which still remain an important part of the educational system.

Constitutional & Legal Foundations

In the 1980s, Grenada's education system was deficient in meeting the basic needs of the country. In 1987 it did not produce workers with vocational and administrative skills required of a developing economy. Areas deficient were: training in electricity, electronics, plumbing, welding, construction, and other technical skills.

The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), which lasted from 1979-1983, made education reform a pillar platform. The leader, Maurice Bishop, initiated and implemented programs to move the curriculum away from the British Model, which was implemented during Grenada's membership to the British Empire from 1784 until its independence in 1974. The goal was to tailor the educational system to meet the needs of the Grenadian society; however, this program was unsuccessful. One problem with the PRG's reform program was that teachers were asked both to instruct students and to attend PRG seminars. The strong political overtones of this attempted reform alienated many teachers and prompted them to drop out of the program. A return to the British school system model was enacted in 1984.

Educational SystemOverview

Education is free and compulsory from ages 5 to 16. The majority of the population will at least complete a primary education. Grenada has both public schools and parochial schools, although there may be only one choice in rural areas. Classes are taught in English, and high school students also learn French and Spanish. Students in public schools wear uniforms. The educational environment has many of the same restraints common in poor rural areas as schools in other developing countries. Intentions are good, but classrooms are lacking in resources and trained teachers, and students are not given individualized or well-organized instructions.

Technology: In 1986, an American computer company, the Control Data Corporation (CDC), invited the government of Grenada and the Ministry of Education to install and assess the importance computers have on improving test scores and overall school achievement. Grenada, because of its limited educational budget, accepted the offer. The computers were set up in a small, rural Catholic School in Crochu. The school in Crochu was chosen because it is representative of many Caribbean schools, thus making the experiment transferable. Although the Ministry of Education could not offer long-term assistance for the project, it did pay for extra electricity, provided duty-free import status for the equipment, and lent its general support from the beginning. Difficulties in finances and resources occurred; however, the people from this small community worked diligently to maintain the computer facilities. The results were positive. By 1989, the effects of the computerassisted instruction (CAI) resulted in increased performance on the Common Entrance Exam, the exam required to advance to a secondary school. As of 1994, the CAI was still being used in Crochu.

Preprimary & Primary Education

Preprimary & Special Education: In 1992 there were 75 preprimary schools with 3,916 pupils. In 1991 there were 10 schools for special education and 12 day care centers caring for 249 children.

Primary Education: Statistics available in 1987 show there were 68 primary schools with a total enrollment of approximately 22,100 students. The figures changed slightly in 1992, with the number of primary schools decreasing to 57, and the number of pupils increasing to 22,330.

Secondary Education

The majority of students do not continue on to a secondary school program, according to the last available statistics. The secondary school program in 1987 included 20 schools and 6,250 students. In 1992 there were 18 secondary schools with 6,970 pupils.

Higher Education

Students take a middle-level examination, the Common Entrance Exam, at the age of 16 to determine their eligibility for the final 2 years of preparatory work for university entrance. Few complete these two years. Between 1960-1970 the number of Grenadians trained at the university level increased from 193 to 352 people.

In 1987, Grenada had only three institutions beyond the secondary level for technical or academic training of its citizens: the Institute for Further Education, the Teacher Training College, and the Technical and Vocational Institute. Since 1987 the number of schools has increased. Students who want to continue their education beyond high school may go on to college or university; some may also enter apprenticeship programs to learn a trade. The colleges include Mirabeau Agricultural School, Teacher's Training College, Marryshow College, and the Technical and Vocational Institute. There are also three technical centers in the parishes of St. Patrick, St. David, and St. John. The Grenada National College was established in 1988.

Medical Schools: St. George's Medical School, although administered in Grenada, exists to serve foreign medical students, most of whom come from the United States. St. George's University was originally founded as a School of Medicine, but was authorized to grant additional degrees in 1976. The medical training facilities at St. George's University are highly respected throughout the world. More than two-thirds of the students come from foreign countries including Ireland, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Kuwait, and Venezuela. Since 1977, more than 2,600 students at the university have been awarded their M.D. degree and currently practice in more than 22 countries around the world. There is also a branch of the Extra-Mural Department of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in St. George's.

Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Schools in Grenada are funded by the Ministry of Education. Grenada is also part of International Education Policy. In this program, foreign ambassadors visit American schools to promote awareness about the importance of increasing the study of foreign languages and cultures. The ambassadors have the opportunity to foster classroom connections with schools, colleges, and universities, which encourages American students to study overseas. These visits also allow for officials to see the various educational and classroom opportunities available to American students.

Nonformal Education

The Center for Popular Education (CPE) is the main adult education institution. There is a 95 percent literacy rate among the adult population.

Teaching Profession

Restrictions make finding and retaining trained teachers difficult for rural schools. Stipulations created by the Grenadian National Education Policy prevent prospective teachers from entering the teacher college without three years teaching experience and high marks on their O-level exams. Catholic schools require teachers of the Catholic denomination.


Grenada needs to make education a priority. Although there have been improvements in awareness and funding, the educational standards in Grenada are not yet where they should be. More funds need to be directed toward technology (as indicated by the Crochu study) and equipment and materials need to be updated so students are learning information before it is outdated. Students, especially those in rural areas, are getting only a basic education that does not always prepare them for higher institutions.


Bacchus, M.K. "Consensus and Conflict over the Provision of Elementary Education." In Caribbean Freedom, eds. Hilary Beckles and Verene Shepherd, 296-312. Princeton: Markus Weiner Publishers, 1996.

Bosch, Andrea. "Computer-Assisted Instruction in Grenada: High-Tech Success and Sustainability Against the Odds." LearnTech Case Study Series, no. 3. Washington, DC: Educational Development Center, 1994.

"Citizenship and Immigration Canada." Cultural Profiles Project, 15 April 1999. Available from

Haggerty, Richard A., and John F. Hornbeck. "Grenada." In Islands of the Commonwealth Caribbean, eds. Sandra W. Meditz and Dennis M. Hanratty, 349-384. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 1989.

Lankshear, Colin, and Peter L. McLaren, eds. Critical Literacy. New York: State University of New York Press, 1993.

Turner, Barry, ed. The Statesman's Yearbook. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.

U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State. International Education Policy, 9 November 2000. Available from

Carrie E. Nartker

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Official name: Grenada

Area: 340 square kilometers (131 square miles)

Highest point on mainland: Mount Saint Catherine (840 meters/2,756 feet)

Lowest point on land: Sea level

Hemispheres : Northern and Western

Time zone: 8 a.m. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 34 kilometers (21 miles) from northeast to southwest; 19 kilometers (12 miles) from southeast to northwest

Land boundaries: No international boundaries

Coastline: 121 kilometers (75 miles)

Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles)


Located about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Trinidad, Grenada is the most southerly of the Windward Islands. Comprising the main island of Grenada and a number of smaller islands and islets, Grenada has an area of 340 square kilometers (131 square miles), or nearly twice the size of Washington, D.C. Grenada's capital, Saint George's, is located on the southwestern coast of the main island. Grenada is divided into six parishes.


Grenada has no territories or dependencies.


Grenada has a tropical climate moderated by cooling trade winds, with temperatures ranging from 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (87°F) year round. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Annual rainfall is roughly 150 centimeters (60 inches) along the coast, although it can be double that in the central highlands. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day. Hurricanes are a danger between June and November.


The country consists of the island of Grenada, the most southerly of the Windward Islands; the islands of Carriacou, Ronde, and Petit Martinique to the north; and a number of smaller islets of the Grenadines. (The remaining islands of the Grenadines extend north to form part of the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.)


Grenada is in the southeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea.

Seacoast and Undersea Features

Lying beneath the sea off the coasts of both Grenada and Carriacou is some of the Caribbean's most dramatic underwater scenery. Abundant coral reefs fringe the islands.

Islands and Archipelagos

The small islets of the Grenadines that belong to Grenada include Diamond, Green, Sandy, Caille, Les Tantes, Frigate, Large, and Saline Islands.

Coastal Features

The coastline of Grenada is dotted with many small bays and both white-sand and black-sand beaches. The best-known beach and principal tourist area is Grand Anse Bay, near St. George's, a broad beach with white sand. The bay is formed by Point Sa-lines, which juts westward at the southern end of Grenada. Mangrove swamps can be found along the coast.


Lakes have formed in some of the extinct volcanic craters on Grenada. Grand Etang, at the center of the main island, is the largest of the crater lakes. Lake Antoine and Levera Pond are close by.


While many short, fast-running streams cross the terrain of the main island, there are no rivers of note in the country.


There are no deserts in Grenada.


Carriacou, the second-largest island, is hilly.


Volcanic in origin, the terrain of Grenada is very rugged. The mountain mass in the center of the main island consists of a number of ridges fanning out across the island. Mount Saint Catherine, the country's highest point (840 meters/2,756 feet), is located in these central highlands.


The coast at Halifax Bay, a popular diving site, forms a natural wall with sponge-filled caves.


Carriacou's hilly interior rises to a low wooded plateau called Belair Park, 244 meters (800 feet) above sea level.


The wreck of the S.S. Bianca C, the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean, lies near Grenada.


One of Grenada's best-known landmarks is the 104-meter (340-foot) Sendall Tunnel in the city of St. George's, which connects the city's inner harbor (the Carenage) with its Caribbean coast.



Brizan, George. Grenada, Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 14981979. Totowa, NJ: Biblio Distribution Center, 1984.

Philpot, Don. Grenada. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books, 1996.

Thorndike, Tony. Grenada: Politics, Economics, and Society. Boulder, CO: L. Rienner Publishers, 1985.

Web Sites

About Grenada. (accessed June 17, 2003).

Grenada: Official Travel Guide. (accessed June 17, 2003).

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Grenada (grĬnā´də), independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations (2005 est. pop. 89,500), 133 sq mi (344 sq km), in the Windward Islands, West Indies. The state includes the island of Grenada (120 sq mi/311 sq km) and the southern half of the archipelago known as the Grenadines, a group of largely uninhabitable small islands and islets north of Grenada in the Windward Islands. Grenada is a volcanic, mountainous island with crater lakes. Like most Caribbean islands it is subject to hurricanes.

The capital, main port, and commercial center is Saint George's. The inhabitants are of mainly African descent and speak English, the official language, or a French patois. Over 50% of Grenadans are Roman Catholics; the balance is mainly Protestant, with Anglicanism the dominant denomination. Administratively, there are six parishes and one dependency. Grenada's economy is primarily agricultural, and bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruits and vegetables, and mace are exported. Textiles and clothing are manufactured, and tourism is a developing industry. The main trading partners are the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.

Governed under the constitution of 1973, Grenada has a bicameral Parliament with a 15-member elected House of Representatives and a 13-member appointed Senate. The executive branch consists of a cabinet, led by a prime minister, who is the head of goverment. The British monarch, represented by a governor-general, is the head of state. Administratively, the country is divided into six parishes and one dependency (Petite Martinique).


From its sighting by Christopher Columbus in 1498 until French settlement began in 1650, the indigenous Caribs prevented European colonization on Grenada. A point of dispute between England and France, the island became permanently British in 1783. The British colonists imported African slaves and established sugar plantations. In 1967, Grenada became an associated state of Britain with full internal self-government. When complete independence was achieved in Feb., 1974, Grenada became a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

In 1979 a successful, bloodless coup established the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) under Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. This government's Marxist leanings and favorable stance toward Cuba and the Soviet Union strained relations with the United States and other nations in the region. In Oct., 1983, after Bishop and his associates were assassinated by more hard-line radicals within his own movement. The United States, supported by some other Caribbean nations, then invaded and occupied Grenada after Grenada's governor-general, Paul Scoon, requested the intervention. A general election held in Dec., 1984, reestablished democratic government, with Herbert Blaize as prime minister. In the following decade Grenada received aid from Western nations; tourism expanded, but in other respects the economy did not appear to improve. After elections in 1995, Keith Mitchell, leader of the New National party (NNP), became prime minister; the NNP won all the seats in 1999. The party and Mitchell narrowly retained power in the 2003 elections. Grenada was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in Sept., 2004. In the parliamentary elections of 2008, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) defeated the NNP, and NDC leader Tillman Thomas became prime minister. Five years later the NDC was swept from office and Mitchell returned to power as the NNP won all the seats.

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Basic Data

Official Country Name: Grenada
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 89,018
Language(s): English, French patois
Literacy rate: 98%

The island of Grenada, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the smallest independent countries in the western hemisphere. Yet it is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg and was able to garner military support from the United States when a Marxist faction overthrew the government in 1983. The offensive was successful, and free elections were held again the following year. The population of Grenada is nearly 90,000, and the literacy rate is 98 percent. The official language is English, but many speak French Patois. Grenada is a constitutional monarchy headed by the British monarch, who is represented locally by a Governor General. Heading the government is a Prime Minister, who is chosen by the Governor General. The bicameral parliament consists of a 13-member Senate and a 15-member House of Representatives. Grenada is popularly called the "Spice Island" for its most important export. In addition to its substantial nutmeg production, islanders also export mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Tourism also accounts for a significant sector of the economy, followed by tourism-fueled construction.

Freedom of press is guaranteed by law in Grenada, and the country supports three weekly newspapers: Grenada Today, The Informer, and The Grenadian Voice. Each of these newspapers appears in English and publishes on Friday. Grenada Today contributes its content to the Web portal

Grenada hosts three radio stations, one FM and two AM, which serve approximately 57,000 radios. Two television stations broadcast to approximately 33,000 televisions. There are 14 Internet service providers.


" (2002)," Home Page. Available from

"Benn's Media 1999," Vol. 3, 147th Edition, p. 251.

"Country Profile: Grenada," BBC News (2002). Available from

"Grenada," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from

Jenny B. Davis

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Grenada Independent island nation in the se Caribbean Sea, the most southerly of the Windward Islands, c.160km (100mi) n of Venezuela. It consists of Grenada and the smaller islands of the Southern Grenadines dependency; the capital is St George's. The country is volcanic in origin, with a ridge of mountains running ns. It has a tropical climate with occasional hurricanes. First sighted in 1498 by Christopher Columbus, the islands were then inhabited by the Carib. In the mid-17th century, France settled Grenada. It became a permanent British possession in 1783, and a Crown Colony in 1877. It was a member of the West Indian Federation (1958–62). In 1974, it became an independent Commonwealth state. In 1979, the New Jewel movement seized power and in 1983, following a military coup, US forces invaded the island. They were withdrawn in 1985 after the re-establishment of a democratic government. The New National Party, led by Dr Keith Mitchell, won elections in 1995 and 1999. The economy is largely agricultural, based on cocoa, bananas, sugar, spices, and citrus fruits. It depends greatly on tourism. Area: 344sq km (133sq mi). Pop. (2000) 83,000.

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Culture Name



Identification. The Carib Indians violently displaced the Arawak (Taino) tribes around 1000 c.e. and called the island Camerhogne, until they also were driven out. In 1300, Alonso de Hojeda, Amerigo Vespucci, and Juan de la Cosa named the island Mayo while on a mapping mission. Christopher Columbus named the island Concepción when he spotted it in 1498. The name "Granada" was used on maps until the mid-1600s. To the French, the island was known as La Grenade; to the English, Grenada became the permanent title in 1763.

Location and Geography. Grenada is an island of volcanic origin in the Lesser Antilles chain ninety miles north of Venezuela. Grenada measures fourteen miles across and twenty-six miles top to bottom for a total land area of 121 square miles133 square miles when Carriacou and Petit Martinique are included. Dense rain forest, a jagged coastline, picturesque beaches, and brilliant foliage are enhanced by a mild climate. The wet season lasts from July through September, and the dry season lasts from October through June. Rainfall can be quite heavy but generally does not last long. Grenada's southern position protects it from hurricanes. The capital is Saint George's.

Demography. The population of Grenada was 97,008 in the year 2000, with more than 42 percent of the people under age fifteen and 4 percent over age sixty-five. The youth of the population is reflected in the growing popularity of Western culture and the slow disintegration of the traditional culture. Only a few elderly people in the countryside can speak the French-based Creole (in patois, Kweyol ) language. However, literary circles are campaigning to expose schoolchildren to the Creole language. Forty-four percent of the population lives outside the urban areas. Saint George's has a population of 4,439.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language is Standard Englishpatois is very rarely spoken today. Attempts to revive the French-based patois have not been successful.

Symbolism. The common symbol, which appears on the flag and drives the economy, is nutmeg. As the major export and job provider, nutmeg is an integral part of island life. The flag also displays seven stars in yellow on a red background. Six of the stars are positioned around the flag's border and represent the six parishes named for Saints David, Andrew, Patrick, Mark, John, and Paul. A single star in the center stands for Saint George's Borough, where the capital is located. Nutmeg appears in a field of green to the left of the flag's center. The colors were selected to reflect the natural beauty of the island and the characteristics of its people. Red stands for courage and vitality, yellow represents wisdom and warmth, and green represents agriculture and the island's rich vegetation. These are also the colors of the Rastafarian religion.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. The earliest settlers migrated from the Amazonian basin of South America. This Amerindian descent is still evident in the northern countryside where pottery and other Indian crafts are made with traditional methods. Eighty-two percent of the inhabitants are of African origin, descendants of the African slaves who were brought to work the European-owned plantations. Five percent of the people are descended from Asian Indians also brought to the island as indentured servants. The remaining 13 percent of the people are of mixed ancestry, including European and American immigrants.

Long before Columbus sighted the island, the Amazonian Indians had established a tradition of territorial dispute. Arawak and Carib Indians originally settled the island around 1100 c.e. After the Caribs defeated the Arawaks, they were conquered by the French in 1651. Rather than submit to conquest, men, women, and children leapt to their death off of a precipice now known as Carib's Leap. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ceded Grenada to Great Britain. Sixteen years later the French took the island back by force. In 1783, the Treaty of Versailles awarded Grenada again to the British. After another one hundred years, Grenada became a crown colony in 1877. During three hundred years of alternating occupation, the slave population on the sugar plantations grew and gathered strength.

As early as 1700, slaves and a small number of "Free Coloureds" outnumbered white Europeans almost two to one. In the Fedon Rebellion of 1795, Free Coloureds and slaves gathered in an unusual display of disregard for social segregation. In 1974, Grenada gained independence.

National Identity. Grenadians are protective of a local culture that has resulted from a long history of identity crisis. European customs remain an integral part of daily life. Law enforcement officers hold the title of Her Majesty's Royal Police, British spelling is taught in schools, and the Eastern Caribbean dollar displays the queen of England. Many names of streets, rivers, bays, and villages reflect the years of French occupation, along with styles of architecture and food.

Ethnic Relations. Grenada shares a common Caribbean culture base with many other islands in the Lesser Antilles, including music, literature, greetings and salutations, food, and family structure. Not unlike the United States, ethnic groups remain somewhat segregated on Grenada. East Indian families uphold traditions and community ties, as do the African Caribbean island majority. East Indians are viewed by some to own a disproportionately high number of businesses on the island and pay a disproportionately low wage. Stereotypes are changing, however, as the ethnic groups mix and inter-marry.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

In the larger and older communities, the legacy of French and British occupation is clearly visible. The architectural styles reflect a strong European influence but have been modified by bright colors and decorative accessories such as hollow eggshells placed on the tips of a cactus branch. Windows are the essential element of residential or commercial buildings. Schools often do not have windows but instead have large open frames that can be battened down during storms. Buildings are designed to take advantage of the Caribbean breeze while providing shelter from the intense sunlight.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Staples such as bread, rice and peas, fruits, and vegetables figure prominently in the diet. Cocoa tea made from local cocoa and spices is a popular breakfast drink. Lunch is usually a heavier meal that may include salted cod in a "bake," which is fried bread about the size and shape of a hamburger bun. Fish is plentiful and affordable, as is chicken. Beef is scarce. Pork is reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, while goat and lamb are eaten commonly. Dishes are seasoned heavily with local spices. The national dish, "oil down," is a stew-like concoction made in large quantities with local vegetables such as callalou, dasheen, breadfruit, green fig (banana), and plantain. Pig snout, pig tail, salt mackerel, crab, and "back and neck" of chicken are popular additions. The boullion is a mixture of coconut milk, saffron, water, and seasonings.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Meals are social occasions, and holidays such as Christmas are spent visiting family, friends, and neighbors, with small "meals" eaten at each stop. Beef, spice cakes, and guava cheese are popular fare. Foods such as ham are expensive and often reserved for just the very important holidays, such as Christmas. Boudin, or blood sausage, is also a holiday favorite, along with a sweet ground cornmeal cake, which is cooked in the wrapped leaves of the banana tree and served tied with a string like a little gastronomic gift. A shot of local rum or creamy rum grog is a traditional accompaniment.

Basic Economy. The currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. Approximately 2.68/2.70 Eastern Caribbean dollars are equivalent to one U.S. dollar. Basic foods are readily available, with the possible exception of grains. Other than nutmeg, virtually all other products are imported. Tourism is growing rapidly.

Land Tenure and Property. Because of the presence of unmonitored squatters in rural areas, the government has been hampered in its actions unless a development prospect is likely. Primitive shacks lack electricity and running water. When these communities grow into villages, programs may be implemented to offer the land for sale at a discounted rate.

Commercial Activities. The economy is driven by nutmeg and tourism. Other spices are produced for local consumption and export, including mace, cinnamon, and cloves.

Major Industries. The major industry is the production of textiles, although they are produced in relatively small amounts by industrial standards. Batik, or hand-designed waxed cloth, is a popular industry for tourism, but not widely worn by the local population.

Trade. The majority (32 percent) of goods are exported to other Caribbean island nations. Another 20 percent of exports goes to the United Kingdom. Virtually everything except perishable food is imported, including, but not limited to, electronics, automobiles, appliances, clothing, and non-perishable foods. Imports come mainly (32 percent) from the United States.

Division of Labor. Service industries account for 29 percent of the labor force, followed by agriculture with 17 percent and construction with 17 percent.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Wealthy areas are inhabited by a disproportionate number of resident foreigners. This situation has led the government to impose stricter regulations on foreign investment and the immigrant population.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Class often is measured by the number of modern conveniences one has. In more rural areas, a concrete "wall" house with modern amenities may stand next to a corrugated shack where a family of six uses an outdoor pipe as its only water source. When the children from these houses leave for school in the morning, it is nearly impossible to distinguish their class origins. School children wear mandatory uniforms that are impeccably maintained even by the poorest households.

Political Life

Government. Grenada is a parliamentary democracy headed by the prime minister who heads the ruling party and the government, which is composed of thirteen appointed senators and fifteen elected members of the House of Representatives. As a member of the British Commonwealth, Grenada has a governor general who is appointed by the British monarch.

Leadership and Political Officials. Adults still have sharp recollection of the revolution of 1979 and the violent circumstances that preceded that upheaval. Protests just before the overthrow of the Eric Gairy government began at the grassroots level and enlisted schoolchildren to march in protests and demonstrate through sit-ins.

Because of the small size of the island, it is common for the majority of constituents to know their local government representatives. Politicians are accessible to the public and are expected to uphold their campaign promises. While the major political figures live in secure and luxurious housing, the majority of politicians cannot be distinguished easily from their neighboring farmers or businessmen.

Social Problems and Control. The rate of violent crime on Grenada is low. Common crimes include petty theft, trespassing, and drug infractions. Prison does not confer great social stigmatism, and exconvicts are readily integrated back into their communities unless the crime was violent or sexual.

Military Activity. The military budget is small. Law enforcement officers often are trained in other countries to gain military expertise.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Organizations from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and neighboring Caribbean countries assist with child care, education, teacher training, health, and human rights.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Nongovernmental organizations and other associations provide everything from medical supplies to textbooks. Among the more visible groups are the Rotary Club, Save the Children, Crossroads, Peace Corps, Grenada Education (GRENED), Programme for Adolescent Mothers, and the New Life Organisation.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women are beginning to dominate professions such as banking while maintaining a presence in banana fields and at nutmeg processing stations. Financial necessity forces women to support their families. Women are still expected to perform traditional household duties such as cleaning and laundry. Men hold traditional jobs in construction, mechanics, and shipping in which it is unheard of to hire women.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. While women work in politics and professional trades, men are still socially dominant. Typically, after a husband and wife have finished work, the man unwinds at the local rum shop with his friends while the woman attends to household duties.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Marriage is a strong institution in this predominantly Catholic country. Men are expected to marry and produce children, but having a wife does not preclude having a girlfriend. This practice is beginning to change as women gain greater freedom through education.

Domestic Unit. The family is a powerful unit. Houses of all sizes often contain several generations of at least one family. Children are raised by their parents, grandparents, siblings, and aunts and uncles. If a father figure is present, he most likely is the dominant figure in the household.

Inheritance. Land is the principal unit of inheritance and generally passes along the male line. Since a woman is expected to be cared for by her husband, the man benefits most from an inheritance.

Kin Groups. Communities act as kin groups and are closely knit units. Immediate parents commonly go abroad to earn a better wage, leaving even infant children to be raised by extended family members, and thus, in turn, the community. Members of a community support each other through food exchange and resource pooling.


Infant Care. Infants are carried by family members until they can maneuver on their own. Quiet and obedient infants are the ideal. There is not a high level of stimulation, and behavior is often modified by corporal punishment, even at a very young age.

Child Rearing and Education. A good child does not speak out of turn, always does his or her chores, and earns high marks in school. At home and in the classroom, corporal punishment is common. The school system does not support the growing number of youths in its population. Children completing primary school must pass a common entrance exam to move on. Even then, there are never enough available places for student demand. The number of children forced to drop out of school as a result has sparked the growing popularity of "alternative" or trade/skill schools.

Higher Education. Education beyond primary or secondary levels is a luxury that few people can afford. Scholarships or a sponsoring relative abroad is often the only way to reach the college level. An American medical school offers two scholarships a year to local residents.


Salutations are an important part of daily etiquette even among strangers. Public displays of affection are common among schoolchildren, particularly those of the same sex. It is not uncommon to see girls holding hands on the street and boys walking with their arms draped around each other's shoulders. Public transportation may require passengers to sit practically on top of one another. Preferential treatment is almost always granted to women, particularly the aged and those with small children.


Religious Beliefs. Grenada is predominantly Roman Catholic (53 percent), with Protestants accounting for 33 percent of the population. Among Christians, a substantial number believe to some extent in obeah, or white magic. Newspapers occasionally report a spirit who has been raised and is haunting some section of the island.

Religious Practitioners. Priests and clergy, as well as obeah agents, are respected for their higher calling or ability to cast a spell.

Rituals and Holy Places. Churches are formidable institutions where the majority of religious ceremonies take place.

Death and the Afterlife. A funeral is a social occasion to honor the deceased with a banquet of food and drink. The Day of the Dead is celebrated by the family and friends of the departed. Food, drink, and music may be brought to the graveyard and enjoyed amid the glow of candles throughout the night.

Medicine and Health Care

Local remedies are sought with great frequency, and herbs and medicinal plants are widely accepted as having healing powers. The island's bio-medical facilities are substandard.

Secular Celebrations

Holidays and celebrations reflect the influence of religion, particularly Roman Catholicism. The most important holiday is Carnival, which traditionally is celebrated on the weekend culminating on Ash Wednesday. Carnival is now celebrated during the second week of August to generate tourism from neighboring islands. It also coincides with Rainbow City, a celebration in the parish of Saint Andrew's that commemorates Emancipation Day. Other major holidays and celebrations include New Year's Day on 1 January, Independence Day on 7 February, Labour Day on 1 May, the Grenada Jazz Festival in June, Fisherman's Day on 29 June, the Carriacou Regatta in July and August, Emancipation Days in August, Thanksgiving on 25 October, and Boxing Day on 26 December.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. The arts are supported largely by tourists, expatriates, and islanders.

Literature. Crick-crack stories often include the spider character Anansi and his friends. These stories are similar to fairy tales and have both oral and written traditions. They often are shared in groups, with the storyteller beginning "Crick," and the audience replying "Crack."

Graphic Arts. Paintings include oil, watercolors, and standard other mediums, but what sets Grenadian art apart is the "canvas" used for various paints. Cloth, bamboo, calabash, cutlass, wood, metal, and many other materials can be used by the Grenadian artist as painting surfaces. Ordinary objects beautifully painted with bright Caribbean colors are a common sight. Local art events usually occur in Saint George's because of its accessibility and population of art patrons.

Performance Arts. Drama, dance, and music are popular, and performances sometimes occur during festivals and at small theaters.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

Higher education, particularly in the sciences, is not adequate. Tuition costs and fees prevent the majority of Grenadians from attending the American medical school. Cuba and the United Kingdom provide scholarship and exchange programs.


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Brizan, George. GrenadaIsland of Conflict, 1987.

Ferguson, James. A Traveller's History of the Caribbean, 1999.

Froud, J. A. The English in the West Indies, 1888.

Gates, Brian. African Caribbean Religions, 1980.

Groene, Janet. Caribbean Guide, 2000.

Hamlyn, James. Exploring the Caribbean, 2000.

Henderson, James. The Southeastern CaribbeanWindward Islands, 1994.

Kay, Frances. This Is Grenada, 1996.

Knight, F. W., and C. A. Palmer. The Modern Caribbean, 1989.

Lunatta, Karl. The Caribbean: The Lesser Antilles, 1996.

O'Shaughnessey, Hugh. Grenada, 1984.

Parry, J. H., P. M. Sherlock, and Anthony Maingot. A Short History of the West Indies, 1987.

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Runge, Jonathan. Rum and Reggae, 1995.

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Web Sites

Karen Lynn Pierzinski

Grenadines See Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Grenada, the southernmost of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean, became independent in 1974. It is a constitutional monarchy with the queen as head of state, within the Commonwealth. It was sighted by Columbus in 1498 and colonized by the French. In 1762 it was captured by Rodney and ceded to Britain in 1763. In October 1983, after a military coup, American troops intervened and returned power to the governor-general. Cocoa, bananas, and copra are exported, but tourism is important to the economy.

J. A. Cannon

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GRENADA. A country of the Caribbean, and member of the COMMONWEALTH. Head of state: the British monarch, represented by a governor-general. Languages: English (official), English Creole, French Creole. Columbus visited the island in 1498, in the mid-17c French settlers from Martinique ousted the Carib Indians, and the island was ceded to Britain in 1783. It was administered as part of the Windward Islands in 1833, became a colony in 1877 and independent in 1974. See CARIBBEAN ENGLISH.

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The people of Grenada are called Grenadians. Blacks, together with those of mixed black and white ancestry, make up over 90 percent of the population. The remainder consists of small groups of Asian (largely Indian) and European descent.

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Grenadabedder, cheddar, Edda, Enzedder, header, Kedah, shedder, shredder, spreader, tedder, threader, treader, Vedda •elder, Griselda, welder, Zelda •addenda, agenda, amender, ascender, attender, bender, blender, Brenda, contender, corrigenda, descender, engender, extender, fazenda, fender, gender, Glenda, Gwenda, hacienda, Länder, lender, mender, offender, pudenda, recommender, referenda, render, sender, slender, spender, splendour (US splendor), surrender, suspender, tender, Venda, weekender, Wenda •parascender • bartender •homesteader • newsvendor •spot-welder •abrader, Ada, blockader, crusader, dissuader, evader, fader, grader, Grenada, invader, masquerader, Nader, parader, persuader, raider, Rigveda, Seder, serenader, trader, upgrader, Veda, wader •attainder, remainder •rollerblader •Aïda, bleeder, Breda, breeder, cedar, conceder, corrida, Derrida, Elfreda, Etheldreda, feeder, follow-my-leader, interceder, interpleader, kneader, leader, Leda, Lieder, misleader, pleader, reader, seceder, seeder, speeder, stampeder, succeeder, weeder •fielder, midfielder, wielder, yielder •outfielder • bandleader • ringleader •cheerleader • copyreader •mind-reader • sight-reader •stockbreeder • proofreader •newsreader

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