Since the middle of the 19th century, the economy of Central America has been based on the production and export of coffee and bananas. However, cotton, sugar and beef have also been exported. The industry is limited by the region’s weak mineral and energy resources and the restricted size of its market. However, beverages, tobacco, food products, textiles, clothing, footwear, furniture and leather goods are still produced. Agriculture remains the largest economic sector in the region, except in Panama, where services, especially related to the Panama Canal, represent the largest source of revenue.
From the mid-twentieth century onwards, strong challenges arose. The working classes and unions have united against inequalities in land tenure. In the 1940s, the conservative governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica were eventually removed. In 1954, the United States of America covertly overthrew the Guatemalan reformist government. In the following years, this fact led to the rise of various military regimes in the region. At the end of the 20th century, rapid population growth, poor health and political instability have been the main obstacles to economic and social development.
The Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands, British territory in the Caribbean south of Cuba consisting of three coral islands; a total of 259 km2 with 56,700 residents (2011). The islands’ capital, George Town on the Grand Cayman, is a growing center for offshore companies. Here is approximately 450 banks and several thousand branches of international companies. Together with tourism, these are the backbone of the economy, replacing fishing, turtle farming and the traditional work of the Caymanians as seafarers on ships all over the world. In contrast, industry and agriculture are irrelevant; less than 1% of the area is cultivated and the two smaller islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, are covered by tropical forest. The population is mixed, of European and African origin. GDP per population ($ 47,000; 2010) is the highest in the Caribbean, and the Cayman Islands are a very expensive and exclusive locality with strict immigration laws. Remote locations are thought to be important transhipment points for drug trafficking from South to North America.
Columbus came to the Cayman Islands in 1503; on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac he saw turtles in large numbers, and therefore called the islands Las Tortugas, but a few decades later they got the current name, which was the Caribbean word for the crocodile species kayman. The islands were occasionally a base for pirates, and have since the end of the 1600’s. received English settlers from Jamaica Cayman Islands was administratively part of the colony of Jamaica, and in 1958-62 the islands along with Jamaica were part of the autonomous territory of the West Indies Federation, after which they regained colonial status until the transition to the self-chosen status as territory. The Cayman Islands are officially governed by a British governor, but the people themselves elect a representative assembly that appoints a government. The population remains closely linked to Jamaica, from which part of the population originates. The Cayman Islands were hit in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan, which caused devastating floods and put parts of business at a standstill.
Guadeloupe, archipelago and French overseas department of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean; 1703 km2, 405,700 residents (2013). The two largest islands, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, are separated by a narrow strait, the Rivière Salée; furthermore, here are the smaller islands of Marie-Galante (named after Columbus after his ship Santa Maria La Galante), Désirade and Les Saintes. 250 km to the NW are Saint-Barthélémy and the French part of Saint-Martin, which is also part of the department. The capital of the department is Basse-Terre on the island of the same name, but Pointe-à-Pitre on the Grande-Terre is much larger (17,500 residents (2006)) and the most important trading town.
95% of the population is black and mulatto, and population growth is large. The official language is French, but the local creole patois is widespread. The Roman Catholic Church dominates religious life.
The islands’ traditional main occupation, agriculture with the cultivation of sugar cane in particular, but also tropical fruits and flowers for export, continues to function, but tourism and subsidies from France are of far greater importance to the economy.
Only 18% of the land is cultivated, while 40% is forest. The climate is tropical and humid, and Guadeloupe is occasionally hit by tropical hurricanes, including “Hugo” in 1989, which wreaked havoc. The highest point is the volcano Soufrière (1484 m) on the mountainous Basse-Terre; around the volcano is 300 km 2 of rainforest laid out as a national park.
When the Spaniards arrived in 1493, the islands were inhabited by Caribbean Indians, and the first settlement attempts were unsuccessful. In 1635, France founded a colony on the islands, which in 1674 became part of the French Empire, and since 1946, Guadeloupe has been a French department. A strong independence movement emerged in the 1960’s, and the 1980’s in particular were marked by violent anti-French demonstrations, while the 1990’s have been more peaceful. The unrest later flared up again, most recently in early 2009.
Features a medium-sized, black and white outline map of the European continent, with only the borders and names of countries displayed.
Central America – Outline Map
Check out this black and white map of the countries that make-up Central America, from Brock University Map Library. Ideal for printing.
Central America – Tour and Travel Guide Map
See a topographical map of Central America and the Caribbeans. Click on a specific area to see a larger version.
Central America – Travel.com Map
View this finely detailed map of Central American and the Caribbean. Click on any destination to find maps, atlases and almanacs.
Central America – US Geological Survey
Provides a guide to natural disasters. Use the maps to find out about landslides, precipitation, volcanoes, agriculture and populated areas.
Central America – VirtualTourist.com
High-definition, professional-style clickable map of Central America and the West Indies. Click through for more information.
Website: http://www.virtualtourist.com/Central_America/[email protected]
Central America – World Sites Atlas
Look here for a static, medium-sized and easy-to-read color map of Central America, showing each country and its capital.
Central America – World Travel Guide
Access a map of Central America, color-coded for each country. Click through to find country profile.
Central America – WorldAtlas.com
Explore maps and facts on Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
Central America – WorldAtlas.com
Review a user-friendly, clickable map of Central America, with countries outlined in shapes of green. Click on a country to get details.
Central America and the Caribbean
Basic map shows the major countries of Central America and the Caribbean Sea. Move the mouse over each nation to see the name of its capital.
Central America Map – Infoplease
View a finely detailed, color-coded graphical map of Central America, and easily locate countries, cities and capitals.
Central American – National Geographic Map Machine
Access a clickable and zoomable map of Central America, created by enhanced satellite images and map editing.
MSN Encarta Maps – Central America
Well-rendered graphical relief map of the Central American region, highlighting countries, capitals and land features, from Microsoft.