Jamaica: It’s History & Parishes

Jamaica: It’s History & Parishes
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Jamaica is part of the Greater Antilles, located in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, directly south of Cuba (it's the island in ORANGE on this map). Jamaica is about 90-minutes by air from Miami.

Jamaica is the largest English-speaking nation in the Caribbean and the 3rd largest island overall, spanning 4,320 sq.mi. (a bit smaller than Connecticut).

Columbus "discovered" Jamaica for Spain in 1494 (it was already home to Arawak & Taino Indians who called it "Xaymaca"). The island was captured from Spain in 1655 by the British. Today's population of 2.8 million largely descends from freed African slaves who were brought to Jamaica by the Spanish & British. Jamaica eventually became independent in 1962, but remains part of the British Commonwealth.

Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes with diverse terrain, histories & economies. Start here to learn more about Jamaica!

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