Interesting facts about Grenada’s history, people, disaster from hurricanes and more

1. Grenada gained independence on February 7, 1974.

2. Over 90 percent of Grenada’s homes were either damaged or destroyed by hurricane Ivan on September 2004; the incident was a catastrophe for the island nation.

3. Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962.

4. After the French, the British took control of the island. The British realized the potential of the island, and pushed hard to leverage sugar plantations there.

5. Grenada is known as the “Island of Spice” because it produces nutmeg and mace crops, as well as some other spice.

6. There is a “Jumpers Hill” in Grenada. The hill got its name when the Caribs (earliest inhabitants of Grenada) were chased by the French, who were trying to take control of the island. The Caribs reached the top of the hill and had no way to escape. Ultimately, they jumped from the hill and perished.

7. Origin of name: it is probable that the name Grenada comes from the Spanish city of Granada, which means “pomegranate.”

8. The island was named “Concepcion” by Christopher Columbus in 1498.

9. The Grenada dove, which is a critically endangered species, is the national bird of Grenada.

10. The island nation Grenada consists of itself and six other islands.

11. Grenada has been lucky enough to be hit by just three hurricanes in the past 50 years, despite being on the southern edge of the Grenadines, where hurricanes usually pass through.

12. Would you believe that the national meal of the island nation is called “oildown?” The meal is cooked in coconut milk until it is completely absorbed.

13. Exclusivity: Grenada is home of the world’s first underwater sculpture park. The sculptures are developed with concrete and rebar, and are placed naturally without affecting the natural reef and the lives of its inhabitants adversely. Visit the website of the sculpture park here.

The world's first underwater sculpture park
The world’s first underwater sculpture park – Grenada. Image credit – Boris Kasimov

14. The people of Grenada are called Grenadians.

15. People in Grenada are also affected with the Zika virus. A recent case of an affected individual surfaced in Grenada in May 2016.

16. Chocolate fact: dark chocolate helps reduce the risk of diabetes and reduces stress levels.

17. Grenada also boasts the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery in the Caribbean – River Antoine Rum Distillery.

18. Even after Christopher Columbus’ arrival, the island remained uncolonized for more than a century.

19. The first international airport in Grenada was constructed in 1985.

Related: Interesting facts about Barbados

Culture and tradition in Grenada

20. British spelling is taught in Grenadian schools.

21. Kids, take note that Grenada is one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere.

22. A popular breakfast drink on the island is cocoa tea, made from local cocoa and spices.

23. In Grenada, salutations are an important part of daily etiquette.

About Grenada’s economy

24. The United States of America is a major trade partner of Grenada. The majority of Grenada’s goods are imported from the U.S.

25. Due to a limited military budget, Grenadian law enforcement officers are trained in other countries to gain military proficiency.

26. Cuba and the U.K actively participate in providing scholarships and exchange programs for the students of Grenada.

27. Grenada is also home to all three types of cocoa in the world. Grenada’s House of Chocolates is the place where you can taste different types of cocoa. It is located in the capital city – St. George.

28. A ship, while traveling to England from the East Indies, left some nutmeg trees on the island, which marked the beginning of Grenada’s nutmeg industry. Today, the country supplies almost 40% of the world’s annual crop.

29. The small island country also supports its economy by lucrative tuna fish catching, which is done by its people with the help of just 85 boats. They catch tuna fish worth millions of dollars every year. However, the lucrative business is not without issues, as sometimes the boats are also looted by pirates or other unknown people from across the sea.

Did you know?

30. Invasion of Grenada: did you know that in 1983, the U.S. invaded Grenada? Starting with 2000 troops, nearly 6,000 were sent to the island. By the time the invasion ended, 20 U.S. and 60 Cuban and Grenadian troops were killed in the encounter. However, the U.S. claimed victory within weeks. The invasion was codenamed “Operation Urgent Fury,” and was carried out under the presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

31. Interestingly, the date of the invasion is now celebrated as a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day.

32. 411 pairs of shoes were given to the people of Grenada by a U.S. based Grenadian. He took the initiative to help people from his home country and to encourage other people to follow suit. The important move was made by a Mt. Moritz-based hairstylist.

33. Leatherback turtlesthe largest living species of reptile, dating back to the era of dinosaurs – can be seen on the beaches of Grenada. Levera Beach is home to Grenada’s largest Leatherback nesting population. There are only 35,000 female Leatherback turtles left in the world. And they are critically endangered. Only one in 1,000 of their hatchlings can survive to adulthood.

34. Compressed marijuana worth 665,000 USD was seized from a group of five men in April, 2016. All of the men have been sent to jail for different terms. The boat carrying the illicit drug was intercepted when it stopped at St. Vincent.

35. Did you know that Grenada is also the name of a city in Grenada County, Mississippi, in the United States?

36. There is a beach called “Magazine Beach” in Grenada.

37. Grenada is an island nation that is almost half covered with forests, yet it does not have any species of venomous snakes. Yes, that is true!

38. Nutmeg is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices, obtained from different parts of the plant. Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. The trees reach full production twenty years after planting.

39. The island is also one of the world’s largest exporters of these crops. If you look closely at the country’s flag, Nutmeg also appears in a field of green to the left of the flag’s center.

Grenada facts for kids

Map of Grenada
Map of Grenada

40. Mount Saint Catherine (840 m) is the highest point in Grenada.

41. The island country has a coastline of 121 km.

42. There is a lake in Grenada, Grand Etang, which is said to be a bottomless lake because nobody has been able to find its bottom with SONAR. Actually, the lake was formed over a dormant volcano, and it has become a popular tourist attraction.

43. Carnival is the most important holiday of the island nation. It is now celebrated during the second week of August. The country also has some other holidays, as well, including: Boxing Day (December 26), Thanksgiving (October 25) and Fisherman’s Day (June 29), etc.

44. The U.S. does not have an embassy in Grenada.

Quick/fast country facts Grenada

Literacy rate94%
Capital CitySt. George's
12°03′N 61°45′W
Largest CitySt. George's
12°03′N 61°45′W
Total area344 sq km
Population110,694 (July 2015 est.)
Official LanguageEnglish
Languages spokenEnglish (Official) and French patois
Moto"Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People"
BordersIsland nation (no land borders with other countries)
CurrencyEastern Caribbean dollars (XCD)
Life expectancy 74.05 years (2012)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetropical; tempered by northeast trade winds
Terrainvolcanic in origin with central mountains
Natural resourcestimber, tropical fruit, deepwater harbors
Agricultural land32.3%
Birth rate16.03 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate8.08 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Independence7 February 1974 (from the UK)
National symbolGrenada dove, Bougainvillea flower; national colors: red, yellow, green
National anthem"Hail Grenada"
Industriesfood and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction
Exports$43.8 million (2015 est.)
nutmeg, bananas, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace
Imports$310.4 million (2015 est.)
food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals, fuel
GDP - per capita (PPP)$13,100 (2015 est.)
Internet country
Internet users60,000
percent of population: 53.8% (July 2015 est.)
Time Zone(UTC−4)
Calling Code+1473
Drives on theLeft