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Presentation of Guadeloupe

Flag of Guadeloupe
Coat of arms of Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe's location on the world map

Guadeloupe (/ɡwɑːdəˈlp/; French pronunciation: ​[ɡwadəlup]; Guadeloupean Creole: Gwadloup, pronounced: [ɡwadlup]) is a Caribbean island located among the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles arc, a natural volcanic boundary between the northeastern Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean. A result of its colonial history, Guadeloupe is currently under French sovereignty and bears the status of overseas region of France. As such, the island is an integral part of the French Republic, the European Union and the Eurozone. No need to say that the official language is French, even though Guadeloupean Creole remains the mother tongue of most people.


With a land area of 1,628 square kilometers (629 sq. mi) and a population of over 400,000, Guadeloupe is actually an archipelago comprising two main islands: Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre (French for "Big-Land" and "Low-Land". – Ironically, Basse-Terre is bigger than Grande-Terre ; and Grande-Terre is lower than Basse-Terre), separated only by a narrow sea-channel called Rivière Salée (Salty River) ; and the smaller adjacent islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes group (literally: "Islands of the Saints").

Also called Karukéra (The island of beautiful waters) by its first inhabitants the Arawak people ; or more recently referred to as le Papillon d'émeraude (the Emerald Butterfly), because of the shape of its two main islands ; Guadeloupe got its actual name in 1493 from Christopher Columbus, who named the island after the Virgin Mary venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, in Extremadura.

With an economy mostly based on tourism and agriculture, Guadeloupe has gained from an history rich of cultural instreamings from the rest of the world, matching its today population, counting of descendants from Africa, Europe and Asia.

Selected panorama

A small city across a gray waterway under lowering gray clouds. A road leads to the city across a causeway. Mountains with snow and a low treeline form the backdrop. A few boats are in the water.
Panorama of Pointe de la Grande Vigie (near the village of Anse-Bertrand), the northern most point of the island of Grande-Terre, in Guadeloupe-2007.

Selected article

Satellite view of Marie-Galante (NASA).
Marie-Galante is an island of the Caribbean Sea located South of Guadeloupe and North of Dominica. Marie-Galante is a dependency of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas department of France.

With a land area of about 158 km² (61 sq. miles), a population count of 12,009 inhabitants on 2006 census (down from 1961 census figure: 16,341 inhabitants), and a population density of 76 inh. per km² (2006 figure), the island comprises three communes: Grand-Bourg, Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante, and Saint-Louis, which together are forming an intercommunal entity : the Community of Communes of Marie-Galante (French: Communauté de communes de Marie-Galante). Created in 1994, this entity is the oldest intercommunal structure in overseas regions of France. Marie-Galante is more commonly known as "La grande galette" (The Big Cookie) due to its round shape and almost flat surface (its highest peak, the Morne Constant Hill, rises up to 670 ft). Once counting over 106 sugar mills, it is also called the "Island of a hundred windmills", or the "Grande dependence", being the biggest dependency of Guadeloupe. Marie-Galante is undulating substrate calcareous, fanned by the trade winds and subject to cyclones and earthquakes.

Selected picture

Sainte-Anne's beach (Guadeloupe)
Credit: KoS
Sainte-Anne's beach.

In the news

Selected biography

Thierry Henry : First day on Camp Nou (introduction), on july, 2007.
Thierry Henry (born August 17, 1977) is a French footballer who plays as a striker for New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer. Henry was born in Les Ulis (a suburb of Paris, France) of Antillean heritage : his father, Antoine, being from Guadeloupe (precisely: La Désirade island), and his mother, Maryse, from Martinique.

It was at Arsenal F.C. that Henry made his name as a world-class footballer. Despite initially struggling in the Premier League, he emerged as Arsenal's top goal-scorer for almost every season of his tenure there. Under long-time mentor and coach Arsène Wenger, Henry became a prolific striker and Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions. The Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners; he was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times. Henry spent his final two seasons with Arsenal as club captain, leading them to the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In June 2007, after eight years with Arsenal, he transferred to Barcelona for a fee of €24 million. His first honours with the Catalan club came in 2009 when they won the La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble. He went on to achieve an unprecedented sextuple by also winning the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. In total, Henry has been named in the UEFA Team of the Year five times. In 2010, he joined the New York Red Bulls of the Major League Soccer, and won the Eastern Conference title with them in 2010. He returned to Arsenal on loan for two months in 2012.
Henry enjoyed similar success with the French national team, having won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2000 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. In October 2007, he surpassed Michel Platini's record to become France's top goal-scorer of all time. Henry retired from international football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Off the pitch, Henry is an active spokesperson against racism in football.

Did you know...

...that Hurricane Hugo was the strongest storm to impact Guadeloupe since Hurricane Cleo in 1964, and the worst storm since Hurricane Inez in 1966? In addition, it was the longest-lived North Atlantic tropical cyclone of all times, along with the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.
Other "Did you know" facts...

Selected quote

José Mourinho at Chelsea - 2007 (©Mark Freeman)
"As you know Gallas had an unbelievable holiday. I hope he enjoyed it very much in Guadeloupe, which I think is a fantastic place to be on holiday, so he wanted to stay there for a long time."

(On William Gallas missing the first team's trip to the United States because he was on holiday.)

José Mourinho, Chelsea Football Club manager (2004-2007)


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