Grenada in the Past and in the Present

The three islands that make up Grenada are known for their culture and more

Photo credit: © Lidian Neeleman |

There have been many important moments throughout the history of Grenada, from territorial battles to the importation of African slaves to the beginning of the nutmeg trade. The histories of the three islands have intermingled to create an interesting story.


Oval shaped and mountainous from its volcanic origins, Grenada is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, just north of Venezuela.  The islands encompass a total area of 120 square miles.


It took several tries before a name stuck to the island that Christopher Columbus named Concepcion. The fight for Grenada's beautiful lands was even more volatile. From the Caribs to the French and the British, several groups have fervently claimed Grenada as their own. Once the British settled Grenada, they began to import slaves from Africa. As a result, African cultures blended with British and French cultures to create an interesting mix.


While sugarcane was grown on Grenada, it didn't do as well as nutmeg did. This agricultural phenomenon led Grenada down a different path than many other Caribbean nations who are known for their sugarcane exports.  Along with nutmeg, the export of other spices, fruits, and vegetables, has allowed Grenada to remain one of the few Caribbean countries whose economy still relies heavily on agriculture.

Tourism has picked up in recent years, but Grenada has only just begun to develop this industry. In fact, one of the most important draws to this trio of islands is its relatively untouched nature. Not over-touristed like some islands, they claim to offer a truly Caribbean experience.  Grenada attracts approximately 56 to 57 thousand tourists during the on-season, which is a significantly lower number than the Bahamas or Jamaica, who will see over one million vacationers during tourist season.  Because of this, Grenada cannot depend upon tourism for a large part of their Gross Domestic Product.  In recent years, however, cruise lines have been docking on Grenada more and more, allowing day-trippers to experience the natural beauty that the islands promote.  Those in the tourism industry hope that this will bring guests back for a more extended stay on their next vacation.

Just as three main cultures (African, British, and French) have influenced the island, three economic supports (nutmeg, cocoa, and tourism) are important to Grenada. Throughout history, the beautiful sights of these Eastern Caribbean islands have claimed the hearts of many. Grenada continues to enchant visitors today.


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