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Teaching Your Kids about Antigua

Geography/Land

Antigua is a limestone and coral island, somewhat scrubby with rolling hills, especially on the southern reaches. The highest point is Boggy Peak (1,330 feet).The capital city is St. John's, home of most of the tourist shopping and the cruise port. The south shore of the island is favored by yachties, who call into Nelson's Dockyard at English Harbour.

Barbuda lies 27 miles northeast of Antigua and covers 62 square miles. It's best known for its pink sand beaches. Redonda, an uninhabited island that forms the third piece of this nation, lies 20 miles to the west.

Climate

Antigua's temperatures range from an average of 76 degrees Fahrenheit in January and February to 83 degrees in August and September. Rainfall averages 40 inches annually.

Flora & Fauna

The national flower of Antigua and Barbuda is the Dagger Log (Agave karatto). A member of the lily family, this tall plant with dagger-like leaves can reach about 20 feet. It only blooms once in its lifetime and after the bloom the entire plant dies. The Dagger Log has been used for many purposes through the years, from fiber for robes to medicine for tuberculosis.

The national fruit is the Antigua Black Pineapple (Ananas comosus). The Arawak Indians first brought this fruit to the islands from South America.

Government

Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy modeled after the British Parliamentary System. The head of the government is the Prime Minister. A bicameral legislature includes a lower House of Representatives with 17 elected members and an upper Senate with 17 appointed members. Elections are held at periods of no more than five years.

Economy

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is heavily dependent upon tourism but also includes some small industries and agriculture.

History

People/Culture

Most of the population of 67,000 is of African descent with the remainder of British, Lebanese, Syrian, and Portuguese origin.

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