Known to its one-time Carib indian population as “karukera”, or “island of beautiful waters”, the French territory of Guadeloupe is a centre of Caribbean Creole culture.
French, African and Caribbean influences infuse its music, dance, food and widely-spoken patois.
Guadeloupe’s economy is kept afloat by public salaries and credits from Paris. Agriculture revolves around sugar cane and bananas.
Tourism is important. Visitors, most of them from France, are drawn to Guadeloupe’s resorts, beaches, waterfalls and forests and the territory is a port of call for cruise ships.
Guadeloupe (Antillean Creole: Gwadloup) is a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres.
It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department.
Besides Guadeloupe island, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are included in Guadeloupe.
During his second trip to America, in November 1493, Christopher Columbus became the first European to land on Guadeloupe, while seeking fresh water. He called it Santa María de Guadalupe de Extremadura, after the image of the Virgin Mary venerated at the Spanish monastery of Villuercas, in Guadalupe, Extremadura.
Guadeloupe has no flag with official status other than the French national flag.
A locally used unofficial flag, based on the coat of arms of Guadeloupe’s capital Basse-Terre has a black or red field with a yellow sun and a green sugar cane, and a blue stripe with yellow fleurs-de-lis on the top.
The national anthem of Guadeloupe is La Marseillaise.
Coat of Arms