The country of Jamaica has an ideal location. Located just south of Cuba, it is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea with 10,990 km. sq. Although the capital is Kingston, there are many other important centers of trade and business. The official language is English and the major religion is Protestantism. Transportation in Jamaica connects the entire country and movement thought out the island is very easy. There is a coastal highway traveling the whole coast. Air Jamaica and cruise ships make traveling to and from the island very easy. But despite all of the joys, there are very serious human-environmental interactions present. Mining on the island causes serve pollution and soil erosion. Most of the natural rainforest is destroyed. But the many beautiful beaches seem to make all of the worries disappear. .
I. History .
The history of Jamaica starts at about 1000 AD when a Tiano tribe called the Arawaks crossed the Caribbean Sea in canoes to settle on the island. The Arawaks lived in simple villages, relying on fishing and hunting for substance. They lived there peacefully for 500 years until Columbus landed at Discovery Bay in 1494. The contact with the Spanish was very traumatic to the Arawaks. Within 70 to 100 years of first contact, the entire Arawaks population was eliminated, leaving only a few artifacts behind. With the natural inhabitants gone, the Spanish had unlimited control over the island. Since the island had no rich abundant gold sources, it meant little to the Spanish Crown. Instead, Jamaica was used as a base in which to launch attacks on the rest of the Americas. The population of Jamaica, even its capital Santiago de la Vega (now Spanish Town) never grew very large and was easy to capture. The British, after failed to capture Hispaniola, needed a solid base in the Caribbean. So in 1655, Admirals Penn and Venables attacked the sparsely defended island of Jamaica.