- from Caribbean
What do you think of when you hear the word Caribbean? Do you imagine a tropical vacation paradise? Many people go to the islands in the Caribbean Sea to play. But those islands are also home to about 40 million people.
A few trace their roots to the first settlers – Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib – who sailed there from South America. Some are descendants of settlers from European countries. Others have East Indian ancestors. Still others have roots in the Africans who were brought to the islands as enslaved people. And, of course, many islanders come from a mix of these.
In 1492, the first Europeans to see the islands arrived. They came on three ships commanded by Christopher Columbus. He thought he had come to the East Indies, a part of Asia. Years later, it was clear that Columbus was wrong. The area he had claimed was a part of the world Europeans did not know about back then. The islands were named the West Indies instead.