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Guadeloupe Information - Page 2
Guadeloupe belongs to a group of islands known as the Leeward Islands which are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain.

Early inhabitants of Guadeloupe were Arawak and Carib people from South America; they called Guadeloupe "Karukera" which means "Island of Beautiful Waters".

Christopher Columbus visited the islands in 1493 and named Guadeloupe "Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extremadura" after the statue of the Virgin Mary in a Spanish monastery.

Guadeloupe was colonized by the French in the seventeenth century.

Apart from short periods of British rule, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - and a brief period of Swedish control - Guadeloupe has remained a French possession.

After three hundred years of French rule, Guadeloupe became an Overseas Department of France. The further status of Region was granted in the 1980s.

Guadeloupe benefits from subsidies from France. The largest percentage of the Territory's Gross Domestic Product is derived from its services sector.

Sugarcane has been cultivated in Guadeloupe for centuries. However, production is in decline and is being replaced by produce such as bananas.

Industries include cement, construction, sugar processing, and rum production.

The tourist industry in Guadeloupe is a valuable source of foreign exchange. (2007)

Music on the islands is influenced by French, African and Caribbean styles. Carnival is an opportunity for Guadeloupians to celebrate music and dance.

In the world of literature, Alexis Saint-Leger (1887-1975), born in Guadeloupe, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his poetry in 1960.

Team games played in Guadeloupe include football and volleyball.

Popular water sports are snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and deep sea fishing.

Religious holidays including Saints' Days are celebrated. Bastille Day is on 14 July (1789).

News from Guadeloupe is available from Newslink.

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