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Learn more about Carriacou, Grenada, including the current
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Tourist Information
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Specific information about
Carriacou, Grenada is as follows:

  • Government is democratic socialism based upon the British system with a parliament and prime minister. The parliament consists of two houses that are made up by representatives and senators. Elections must be held at least once each five years, but can be called whenever deemed necessary.
  • Carriacou has a population of about 6,000. The entire country of Grenada is about 89,000.
  •  Industry
    • Chiefly tourism
    • Spice production
    • Bananas and other fruits
    • Consumer services
  • Abortion is allowed or prohibited in Grenada based upon the following conditions according to a document available through the United Nations' website at www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/grenada.doc (As of September 25, 2004):

    • To save the life of the woman, Yes

    • To preserve physical health, Yes

    • To preserve mental health, Yes

    • Rape or incest, No

    • Foetal impairment, No

    • Economic or social reasons, No

    • Available on request, No

  • Volcanoes
    • Kick 'Em Jenny is an active and growing submarine volcano that located about 5 miles off the northern end of the mainland and about 10 miles south of the southern tip of Carriacou. Its cone rises some 4,300 above the sea floor and its summit is about 500 feet below the surface. There have been reports of it blowing its top a few times and even ejecting eruption columns through the surface and into the air. But such episodes have been rare and infrequent. The US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory  offers more information about Kick-'Em-Jenny and other West Indian volcanoes.
  •  Hurricanes
    • The Caribbean islands, including the possessions of the country of Grenada, are all situated directly in the path of 'hurricane alley.' The last hurricane to hit Carriacou was Janet in 1955. Many lost their lives, more were injured, and much property was destroyed. Some of the personal accounts related to me are heartbreaking. But more recently, the rough seas generated by hurricane Lenny late in 1999 caused some shore side damage and destruction in Hillsborough and Harvey Vale. The island has mostly recovered but some construction on roads and buildings still continue. Peak hurricane season is the month of September.
    • UPDATE: The mainland of Grenada was recently devastated when the eye of Hurricane Ivan (Category 3) passed right through the island nation on September 7, 2004. Grenada's smaller island states of Carriacou and Petit Martinique also suffered much damage from damaging hurricane force winds and heavy rain. Click here to go to the section of LCM that provides more information and photos. Eleven months later, in July of 2005, Carriacou suffered a direct hit by Hurricane Emily (Category 1). There was much more damage to Carriacou this time, but the island recovered more quickly than with Ivan.
  • Earthquakes
    • Being from West Virginia originally, my family and I are very sensitive to any shaking of the ground. The 'Mountain State' is situated in the Appalachian Mountains, which are some of the oldest and most stable mountains in the world. Since arriving on Carriacou in 1991 we have had two seismic experiences that were rather unnerving. One shook us out of our sleep and made the bed feel as though someone was violently trying to shake us out of it (~1992 or 1993). Another one (~1997) shook the house bad enough late one night to make us grab the kids and run outside. No damage or injuries were incurred, and a Californian would probably have just laughed or shrugged it off, but it we shook inside a lot longer than the house did in both instances.
    • Update November 29, 2007. Carriacou was shook by an earthquake at 3:00 PM. The shaking lasted about one minute and was quite unnerving. Older people who have lived here all their lives told me that this was the strongest they have ever experienced. The epicenter of the quake was about 170 miles north of Carriacou between Dominica and St. Marten. The quake was a magnitude 7.4, but it had a depth of about 98 miles. Click here to read more about it.
  • Seasons  
    • Rainy season coincides with the hurricane season. Runs from the beginning of June through November. This season is also mosquito season!
    • Dry season runs from December through May
  • Temperature range (In a word it is usually very comfortable)
    • Summer ranges from mid 80s to low 90s
    • Winter ranges from middle 70s to low 80s
    • Warmest months are usually parts of April and August when the angle of the earth's rotation causes the sun to pass almost directly over head
    • Coolest and most comfortable is late November through January
  • Economics (Values given in US$ unless otherwise noted)
    • Currency Exchange Rate of one US dollar to 2.67 Eastern Caribbean Currency (EC) dollars
    • Groceries and other consumables (see chart below for examples)
    • Gasoline cost $8.20 (EC$) or $3.03 (US$) 
    • Utilities
      • As if September of 2007, 726 kilowatts of electricity cost approximately 245.00 (US$) (including all fees)
      • September 2000, 777 kilowatts of electricity cost approximately $185.00 (US$)
      • Basic telephone service cost $36.00 (US$)
      • Cellular service cost prepaid is 10 cents (US$) M2M using the same carrier. It is .30 (US$) M2M to other carriers. It is 15 cents (US$) M2Fixed, and 38 cent long distance to the United States. There are special offered from time to time that can cut costs in half or more. All prices are approximate.
      • Unlimited DSL Internet service is offered through Cable & Wireless Grenada. It cost is ~$30.00/month. This is for 1 Mbps down and 256Kbps up. This includes 30 megs for mailbox. Other packages are available, and more information is provided at Cable & Wireless' website located at http://www.candw.gd/
      • Long distance calls to the US during off peak hours is $1.00 per minute
      • Basic TV cable is $23.00 per month
      • Liquid propane fuel (LPG) for cooking cost $72.00 for a 100 pound tank that will last three to five months, depending on your use.
  • Infrastructure
    • As of January 2008, more roads have been paved or repaved and traveling throughout the island is much better and enjoyable than ever. There are also more new taxis and buses available for travel everywhere, and some are even air-conditioned.
    • Telephone system is usually reliable and current touch-tone technology and is available in all current inhabited areas. Local 'caller id,' 'call forwarding,' and 'call conferencing' is available. Most Caribbean Islands are connected by a transoceanic photo optic cable through the Cable and Wireless Telephone System. Carriacou; however, is connected to the mainland via a microwave link. This link has been upgraded and telephone and internet service is very good.
    • High speed DSL internet service is available through Cable & Wireless, Grenada. Cell Phone service is available well through out the island through Cable and Wireless, Grenada and Digicel Grenada Limited. Both services use GSM cell technology and operate on 850 MHz and 900 MHz respectively. Both also offer limited cell phone based web access.
    • The island's power is supplied by Grenlec. It is diesel generated and is reliable and stable at most times. The total power output is currently over 4 megawatts. The system utilizes 3 phase high tension (11.5 kV as I recall) power lines that are routed throughout all the inhabited areas. Each dwelling is supplied with stepped-down single phase 230 volts of alternating current (AC). The frequency is 50 Hz (cycles per second) as opposed to the US standard of 60 Hz. Most appliances made in the US, or made to work in the US will work here, but timers that use frequency sensitive motors or digitally controlled appliances that use the line frequency as their time base standard runs slower or will not keep proper time.
    • The town of Hillsborough has 'bore hole' or pipe water that is feed by a large well through pumps. The rest of the island depends mostly upon cisterns that are built next to or under each dwelling. The cisterns are feed by the guttering and down spouting that catch rain off the roofs during the rainy season. Those who live in some smaller dwellings that do not have cisterns depend upon government catchment tanks or cisterns that are located in most villages.
    • It is also rumored that a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise is going to be built and open for business in Hillsborough soon! This will be Carriacou first American fast food restaurant. I am looking forward to its opening.  

Sample prices as of January, 2008

(Sales of any type are almost nonexistent on Carriacou)
(All prices in US Dollars and are approximate)

     
Motor vehicles

Import Rates

Import Cost
New Buses (18 Passenger) Toyota or Nissan Purchased in Grenada

none (included in price)

~$30,000 - $40,000
Vehicle less than four years old purchased in the US and shipped to Grenada (vehicle valued at $20,000.00 for example) (current value + shipping cost [~$2,500.00] + insurance) times 50 % $11,250 to bring into the country
Vehicle more than four years old purchased in the US and shipped to Grenada (vehicle valued at $20,000.00 for example) (current value + shipping cost [~$2,500.00] + insurance) times 150 % $33,750 to bring into the country
Personal vehicles purchased in Grenada from dealers seem to cost on the average of about the twice the amount for a comparable vehicle purchased in the US. Most are smaller Japanese imports that are not built to US standards. This means the chassis and suspension generally seem to be made of lighter stock materials.   50% to 100% more that what you would pay for a similar vehicle in the US
     
Auto parts and supplies

Size, quantity, or rating

 
Gasoline Fuel 1 Imperial Gallon $4.92
Diesel Fuel 1 Imperial Gallon $4.92
Delco Freedom Auto battery 6 year (last about 4 years) $130.00
Blemished tires (new) 205/70R14" (lasts about two years) 14" $104.00 each
Engine oil (Shell or Castrol Brand 10w-30) 1 quart $5.57
Armor All Protectant 10 fl oz or 296 ml $8.56
     
Small cross-sampling of groceries and household items

Quantity

Cost
Best Value Honey Oat Rings 14 oz or 397 grams $2.82
Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter 18 oz or 510 grams $4.25
Wish-Bone Creamy Caesar Salad Dres. 8 oz or 237 grams $1.89
Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise 30 oz or 887 grams $7.29
Flora cooking oil 1 liter $3.20
Nestle KLIM powdered milk 900 grams $9.28
Hunt's tomato ketchup 4 lbs or 1810 grams $5.69
Brillo soap pads 10 $3.19
Dawn dishwashing liquid 18 fl oz or 532 ml $2.47

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