The nation’s citizens are primarily of African, East-Indian and European descent, with the largest proportion of the population, approximately 75%, of African descent. About 50% of Grenada’s population is below the age of 30. Grenada is an English-speaking nation with a few people mainly the older generation speaking French patois.
With less than 110,000 inhabitants and only 133 square miles of land, the tri island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique appears almost invisible on the world map. Despite its size, the island is widely known for its abundance of spices, unspoilt beauty and friendly people. It has often been questioned though, how an island so tiny, can possess a people with such great character and huge hearts. In 1961, when the Italian cruise liner, the Bianca C caught fire and sank, hundreds of Grenadians rushed to the aid of those onboard, feeding, sheltering and clothing them as needed.
Today, a statue known as the ‘Christ of the Deep’ still stands on the Carenage in the town of St. George’s as an expression of gratitude for the great acts of kindness to the people of Grenada. This was not the first time Grenadians created a buzz because of humility and acts of kindness. In 2005, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC; a Grenadian British Army Soldier was awarded the highest military decoration otherwise known as the Victoria Cross for saving the lives of members of his unit on two occasions. To date, he is the youngest recipient and first man to be awarded the Victoria Cross since 1982. Kirani James became Grenada’s first Olympic Gold Champion at the London Olympics in 2012. His humble persona and dedication to making his countrymen and women proud awarded him the title of Sports Tourism Ambassador for Grenada.
Life on the islands is easy to adapt to and offers a unique blend of business and pleasure enhanced by a pleasant tropical climate and paradise surroundings. The residents are famous for their friendly and hospitable nature.
Due to the warm climate, people usually wear light casual clothing and a protective sun hat during the day. The evenings can be much cooler and may sometimes require a light cover-up, depending on the season. Swimwear is not permitted on main roads and in bars, restaurants and shops. Also, to differentiate between military personnel and civilians, law in Grenada prohibits civilians from wearing camouflage prints.
Grenada’s main airport, Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) which is managed by the Grenada Airport Authority has excellent connections with North America and Europe via direct flights and other Caribbean islands. MBIA is located just south of St. George’s and close to the island’s hotel and tourism belt. The airport is capable of handling large commercial jets for both day and night landings.
A smaller airport is located in the sister isle of Carriacou and is utilized for inter-island services.
The Grenada Ports Authority (GPA) is responsible for both administration and operation of seaports located within Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. The chief port at St. George’s is the main responsibility of the Grenada Ports Authority. The authority also has jurisdiction over Grenville, Prickly Bay and St. David’s Harbour all located on mainland Grenada and the ports of Hillsborough and Tyrell Bay on Carriacou.
Served by a number of reefer vessels, container ships and break-bulk cargo boats operating liner services, link Grenada to major US Ports, European destinations and many Caribbean islands.
The new Cruise Ship Terminal which was opened in 2005 is located on the western shoreline of the city of St. George’s and is the biggest generator of income to date. In addition, Grenada provides anchorage and facilities for yachts which are offered at Port Louis (at the Lagoon), Secret Harbour, south of St. George’s, Grenada Marine, a private operation in St. David and Prickly Bay on the south east coast.
Grenada has a comprehensive road network that allows any part of the island to be reached within two hours from St. George’s. Public transportation is available from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. Taxi services, vehicle rental agencies, airport ground handlers and Aviation Services of Grenada Ltd are also available.
Food also plays an important role in Grenadian culture where "oildown" is the national dish. This involves a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. A mixture of salted pigtail, pigs feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, provision: Breadfruit, green banana, yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are sometimes used to retain the steam and for extra flavour. Indian influence is also seen with dhal puri, rotis, Indian sweets, and curries in the cuisine.
Health Care / Welfare
1,275 inhabitants per physician, 410 per nurse and 300 per hospital bed. There are four Government owned hospitals: General Hospital (St. George's), Princess Alice Hospital (St. Andrew's) and Princess Royal Hospital (Carriacou), providing between them 340 beds (2000), as well as the Mt. Gay Hospital (St. George's) for the mentally ill. There are also a number of private clinics.