Welcome to St. Kitts & Nevis
As my plane approached the two small islands, I could almost feel the sand between my toes. Welcome to St. Kitts & Nevis – two tiny, volcanic islands in Caribbean.
The first people reached these around 3,000 BCE. Historians believe they were hunter-gathers from present-day Florida. Over the next few thousand years, various groups of people from Central and South America settled here. Finally, in 1493, the first Europeans reached St. Kitts & Nevis during an expedition led by Christopher Columbus.
By the early 1600s, the English and French were main settlers of St. Kitts. These two nations fought for control over several islands in the Caribbean, but in 1783 St. Kitts became part of the British Empire.
While under British rule, many large plantations were built on St. Kitts & Nevis. These plantations had vast fields of sugar cane, which became the most important corp on both islands. Sugar cane is a very labor intensive crop. This means a lot of people are needed to work the fields. This is when African slaves were brought to St. Kitts & Nevis.
The number of slaves forced to the Caribbean was so large that today, much of the population is many Caribbean islands is of African descent. St Kitts & Nevis are no different, and as a result, the country’s culture and cuisine has African roots.
St. Kitts and Nevis became independent 1983. Today, the two islands are governed as one nation.