About the Caribbean Islands
The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that lies Southeast of the Gulf of Mexico. The name refers to the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the surrounding coasts. The Caribbean is made up of more than 700 islands, reefs, and cays, which are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. Many of these territories speak English, French, Spanish, or a local Creole dialect. A common destination for tourists from around the world, the Caribbean has a very tropical climate, and is sought after for its beautiful beaches, mountains, rainforests, culture, cuisine, and diverse wildlife.
There are 30 territories in the Caribbean, each of which has its own unique culture and history. In this section, we will be highlighting only the countries that are home to an accredited medical school.
The Caribbean was first contacted by colonists in the late 15th century, and was under colonial rule until 1804, when Haiti became the first Caribbean country to gain its independence. This happened as a result of a 13-year war that began with a slave uprising, and ended with the defeat of the Spanish, French, and British armies by the Haitian people. Haiti made up a third of the island of Hispaniola, the remaining two-thirds of which became an independent nation, the Dominican Republic, in 1844.
The Central American Nations that form the border of the Caribbean gained their independence from Spain in 1821 as part of the Mexican Empire; Cuba and Puerto Rico followed, becoming independent after the Spanish-American war. Finally, throughout the 20th century, the small island countries of the Caribbean, previously under the control of the British Empire, were granted their independence. Since then, the Caribbean has been developing. By the beginning of the 20th century, the islands of the Caribbean were starting to become more politically stable, slavery had officially ended, and violence was starting to decline. In the late 20th century, tourism was introduced as a major source of revenue for the islands of the Caribbean. Since then, it has become one of the region’s primary industries. The Caribbean is known around the world as a tropical paradise and a cultural hub.