- from Caribbean
The Caribbean islands were first settled by indigenous (in-DIJ-i-nus) people from South America. (Indigenous means “native.”) They moved in over many thousands of years, in three waves.
First came the Ciboney. They were probably hunter-gatherers who lived in small groups. Then came the Arawak. They pushed the Ciboney north and west, to western Cuba and southwestern Hispaniola. These were the main groups in the Greater Antilles in 1492. But the third wave, the Carib, was coming fast. The Carib moved north from the Lesser Antilles into Arawak lands. As this was happening, along came Christopher Columbus. He was an Italian navigator working for the Spanish crown. He thought he had come to Asia and began looking for riches to take to Spain. For the next 500 years, thousands more European colonists and adventurers came to the islands. They used the Caribbean any way they could to get rich.