- from Caribbean
Say the word Caribbean and many people think of a tropical vacation paradise. That’s true, but the islands in the Caribbean Sea are also home to about 40 million people.
A few are the descendants of the first settlers – Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib – who sailed over from South America. Others trace their heritage to European colonists of different nationalities. Some are of East Indian ancestry, and still others are descended from Africans brought to the islands as enslaved people. And, of course, many islanders have mixed heritages.
The first Europeans to see the islands arrived in 1492 on three ships captained by Christopher Columbus, who believed he was in the East Indies, a part of Asia. Years later, it became clear that Columbus was wrong. He had come upon and claimed a part of the world unknown to Europeans at the time. So, to distinguish them from the East Indies, the islands were called the West Indies.