Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The Eastern Caribbean
The Eastern Caribbean is generally considered to be the islands stretching from Hispaniola (Haiti & the Dominican Republic) down to Trinidad with Aruba, Bonaire, & Curacao thrown in. All told there are something like 26 million people on over 30 major islands.
There are 4 recognized languages--Spanish, some form of French, English, and some form of Dutch. In times past every island was its own little world, so every island has its dialect, but they are all educated in the "proper" language in school.
The Dominican Republic & Puerto Rico are by far the largest "language" block--together they are 52 % of the population of the Eastern Caribbean and both speak Spanish. Next come Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique and the little French islands, with 38 %. English comes in at around 10 %, but is spread over more islands--from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad most of them are English speaking. So even if you don't know a foreign language there are 4 million people who speak English here. If you speak Spanish & English you are equipped to work with over 13 million people.