The Bahamas is like the Hawaii of the Atlantic except that it has more of a pirate history and lots black of people. The Bahamas is probably the richest country in the Caribbean. However, before we go into more details about the Bahamas first let’s dissect the flag of Bahamas.
The flag of the Bahamas has a black triangle on the hoist side, aquamarine blue and yellow bands. The yellow represents the golden sand on the beaches and natural resources, the blue represents the sea surrounding the country and the black represents the strength vigor and the force of the Bahamians people. The direction of the triangle evokes the enterprising and determined nature for cultivation of the land.
As mentioned before, the Bahamas is the richest country in the Caribbean and part of the reason for that is because of its strategic location in conjunction to the US. The Bahamas is located in the Atlantic Ocean just above Cuba and southeast of the US state of Florida. The Bahamas is comprised of 29 official islands, 661 islets and Cays and 2387 rocks most of which are uninhabited. One can kind of classify these islands into 16 different regions. The island clusters are Bimini, Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands, New Providence, the Abacos Islands, Eleuthera, Andros, the Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Ragged island, Inagua, the Acklins and Crooked Islands and Mayaguana.
The Bahamas are kind of like the link between the Atlantic and the Caribbean. This is the reason why the Bahamas is the most popular tourist destination for people on the east coast of the United States. It’s easily accessible, it’s beautiful and the exchange rate is typically favorable. New Providence island is the most heavily populated of all the islands and contains about 250,000 people or about 80 percent of the entire population of the Bahamas. Also, it is home to the capital and largest city Nassau.
Many of the major island chains in the Bahamas are very unique and distinguishable from the other both culturally, physically and historically. When it comes to landscape the Bahamas have a lot of strange and exclusive regions that it’s kind of hard to cover them all. Most of the islands are generally low-lying and flat, the highest point is only a small 207-foot-tall hill called Mount Alvernia on Cat Island. Everywhere else pretty much remains a few meters above sea level. The only issue with the region is that the island chain is regularly subjected to hurricanes pretty much every year and with the limited space that they have they don’t really have anywhere to evacuate.
However, because of these frequent hurricanes, the people build their houses on sturdy foundations that can withstand cataclysmic forces. As mentioned before the Bahamas is made up of many different islands and islets and Cays that are all different from each other. The Harbor Bay on Eleuthera Island for example is one of the only few rare places in the world that has pink sand on its beaches caused by seashells from the seas crushed by the waves and mixed in with the sand.
Andros Island is the largest of all the islands and is known for being the mangrove swampy island with the country’s largest nature preserves. The further west you go on the island the land just kind of sinks into a flat low marshy terrain that eventually melts into the ocean with Sandy splashy islets and ponds. If there are any islands competing with New Providence and Nassau for popularity it would have to be the twins, “Grand Bahama and the Abacos Island”. Strategically located in the north with some of the finest natural bays and harbors these two islands are really investing in giving Nassau a run for its money. Grand Bahama is strange and that it’s already in the process of a mass construction project for a widely dispersed new residential area including a complex water cul-de-sac region along the newly constructed canal and numerous interior roadways that intertwine in a maze of patterns all over the area. The only issue is that these areas aren’t really inhabited yet but they hope that they will be soon.
The Abaco Island is known for being the sailing capital of the world with its amazing wind currents. The Exumas island chain has more sandbars that you can imagine in fact some of them are so shallow that you can kind of technically walk from one island to the other without the need of a boat also this is the only spot where you can witness the swimming pigs that typically go up two boats docking expecting to be fed.
Inagua island is known as the flamingo island and it’s a bird watchers paradise. Mayaguana is home to the only native mammal species of the Bahamas the Bahamian Hutia, a plump rabbit sized rodent that was thought to be extinct in the 1960s but was rediscovered and has since been repopulating.
The Bahamas is the land of historical pirate activity. Back in the 17th and 18th century the Bahamas was a hotspot for pirates and technically since Johnny Depp does have a home in the Bahamas you could kind of say that Jack Sparrow actually does live in the Caribbean. There is a lot of rich people in the Bahamas. The Bahamas actually has a pretty comfortably sized population of about 380,000 people or a little more than the population of Iceland. It’s a pretty mixed population with the majority of people about 83% identify as black or Afro Bahamian whereas about 15% identify as white a portion of these people may also have partial black ancestry and the rest of the 2% coming from a wide range of nationalities such as Asians and Latinos.
Centuries ago, the Bahamas was kind of like a place of refuge for American loyalists or people who had an allegiance to the British crown. During the American Revolution these people flocked to the Bahamas and brought over slaves and over time a lot more freed slaves came to the Bahamas and that was how the people in Bahamas came to be. Originally, the islands were inhabited by native Lucayans people a branch of the Arawak tribe as documented by Christopher Columbus. Unfortunately, most of these people were taken into slavery or killed off by diseases from European settlers.
Grand Bahama Island is kind of seen as like the Beverly Hills of the Bahamas. Generally, the rich and wealthy people flourish and thrive here with a large portion of their vitals being imported daily. Abaco island is known as the widest of all the islands in which over 50% of the population is white and these people are obsessed with sail boating. Andros Island although the largest of all the islands is kind of seen as like the slums of the Bahamas. With its less developed infrastructure and civil project developments, this island is not as wealthy as the others yet the people here love to party in fact every year, they hold a crab festival.
Acklins and Crooked Islands and Long Island are kind of seen as the retirement islands that have a lot of old people that go to relax and enjoy their old lives. Inagua Islanders have a very distinct African infused culture and the architecture kind of resembles that of Cape Town South Africa. In fact, many of the people living there are modern-day immigrants from Africa. Cat Island is kind of considered like the hippie Island a lot of people here are earth conscious and overtly concerned with the ecosystem that the area provides. Ragged island is kind of known as the quiet island as it is the least inhabited of all the islands with less than a hundred inhabitants. The Mayaguana Island is known as the conk people Island specifically because these people are known for fishing conks. Most people even Bahamians don’t really know too much about this area except the fact that it’s a very tightly knit community of about 300 people that love to fish and farm only one boat stops by once a week to drop off and pick up supplies and people and check up on the people living there.
New Providence is like a mini metropolitan dream with its many endless shops, streets, businesses and resorts such as the world-famous Atlantis Resort located on the aptly named Paradise Island. New Providence is the Granddaddy of the Bahamas because everything starts and ends there.
The Bahamas is so enticing that it has drawn in numerous celebrities like Shakira, Johnny Depp, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Mariah Carey and Sean Connery to purchase private homes in the islands all to themselves.
As a relatively small nation with a relatively small population, the Bahamas doesn’t have that much of a widespread global outreach, however, they do have their friends in peace. First of all the Bahamas is a member of many international organizations such as the UN, CARICOM, The Caribbean Development Bank, Interpol and many others. This puts them in a relatively high standing in terms of international cooperation and diplomacy. Nonetheless, the Bahamas only has six embassies located in Canada, Cuba Haiti, the US with three extra consulate generals in the UK and interestingly enough in China and technically a seventh nonresident Embassy for Japan.
The Bahamas used to hate Cuba over territorial fishing rights however, in 1980 Cuba took it a little too far and a military aircraft sank a Bahamian patrol vessel and the Bahamas demanded an apology and compensation which surprisingly the Cubans did and since then Cuba in the Bahamas have been kind of relatively close.
Interestingly enough, even though they don’t have an embassy in Africa, the Gambia has a Bahamian consulate making Gambia the only African country with an institutionalized consular relation with the Bahamas.
Haiti is kind of like the Mexico of the Bahamas, floods of refugees and immigrants flocked to the Bahamas from Haiti year after year to the point where the government has instituted mass deportations for illegals nonetheless the two countries still have favorable relations and trade agreement.
The two best friends of the Bahamas though would have to be the US and the UK. The Bahamas was a former colony of the UK and was kind of softly and gently let go of back in 1973. Queen Elizabeth is still technically the head of state however in every aspect they are completely seceded and fully operational in an independent manner.
When it comes to the US, we kind of have like two getaways. Hawaii on the west coast and the Bahamas on the East Coast. Over 85% of tourists every year are American which makes up the majority of the Bahamians economy and over 100 US related businesses are found in the Bahamas and the Bahamas are home to over 30,000 Americans. The Bahamas has worked alongside with the US in terms of kind of acting like a filter on cracking down on the transportation of illegal drugs and illegal aliens. The Bahamas is also kind of like the USA’s cool slick deputy sheriff who knows how to shoot a gun without missing his target.
In conclusion the Bahamas is kind of like a little world in its own in which each region kind of offers something virtually unheard of in the other region and if you do some digging you might find some of that pirate treasure who knows.