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Specific Information About Carriacou, Grenada

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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 110,000.
  •  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 (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.
  • 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.
  • 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 of September 2000, 777 kilowatts of electricity cost approximately $185.00 (US$)
      • Basic telephone service cost $30.00 (US$)
      • Cellular service cost $19.00 (US$) per month per phone, plus $0.19 (US$) per minute. (No on or off peak time discounts)
      • Internet service cost is $30.00/month (includes 1 meg of web space) for 30 hours or $45.00/month for 50 hours (includes 3 megs of web space)
      • 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 $57.00 for a 100 pound tank that will last approximately three months
  • Infrastructure
    • 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 that sometime acts a bottleneck during peak usage times. Often the MW link keeps modems from achieving highest connect speeds available.
    • Cellular service is both analog and digital capable, but most cellular service is limited to areas within a two mile radios of Mount Royal. Most northern and southern ends of island has only patchy cellular coverage, but Hillsborough is mostly covered
    • 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 downspouting 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.  

Sample prices as of September, 2000

(Sales of any type are almost nonexistent on Carriacou)

Motor vehicles

Import Rates

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 % $22,250.00 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 152 % $33,750 to bring into the country
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.   About twice what you would pay for a similar vehicle in the US
Auto parts and supplies

Size, quantity, or rating

Delco Freedom Auto battery 6 year (last about 4 years) $94.00
Blemished tires (new) (lasts about two years) 14" $82.00 each
Engine oil (Shell or Castrol Brand) quart $3.75 each
Armor All Protectant 10 fl oz or 296 ml $6.72
Small cross-sampling of groceries and household items


Frosted Flakes (Universal brand) 26 oz or 740 grams $2.82
Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter 18 oz or 510 grams $4.91
Orville Redenbacher's Original Popcorn 30 oz or 851 grams $2.15
Quaker Instant Oats 14.1 oz or 400 grams $2.02
Flora cooking oil 1 liter $2.98
Nestle Nido powdered milk 900 grams $5.71
Hunt's tomato ketchup 4 lbs or 1.81 kgrams $5.97
Brillo soap pads 10 $2.82
Joy dishwashing liquid 19 fl oz or 561 ml $2.15

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