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Caribbean

(1,395 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] For historical reasons, the Caribbean is described as the region that encompasses the archipelago of the greater and lesser Antilles, Belize and the Guyanas. It comprises a surface area of 599, 276 km2. The population numbers 33,791,000. The majority of the population is black or mulatto, stemming from African slaves who mixed with European conquerors. After the arrival of the Spaniards in 1492, “the great death” affected the original inhabitants of the islands, who fell victim to violence or infectious diseases. The most important groups among the original population were the Caribs, the Arawaks, the Tainos and the Ciboney. Since there was neither gold nor silver on the Caribbean islands, their contribution to the wealth of Spain and the rest of western Europe consisted of sugar cane, grown with a cheap labor force. African slaves were originally imported by way of Spain and Portugal, but subsequently directly from Africa, to satisfy the growing demand. Between the beginning of the 16th century and the abolition of slavery at the end of the 19th century, more than 9 million African slaves were forced to populate the New World. The institution of slavery had a huge impact …

Belize,

(389 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] a state located in Central America and covering 22.965 km2; culturally, it belongs to the Caribbean. British colonial rule of Belize – then called British Honduras – dates back to the mid-17th century and lasted until 1981, when Belize gained its political independence. Belize has a population of 200,000 (1991), comprising many different ethnical groups. Most Belizeans are of mixed ancestry: Mestizos (44%) are of Spanish and Maya descent, Creoles (30%) are descendents of the slaves, brought from Africa and the West Indies, and of British settlers and later of immigrants from Africa and people of African origin. In addition, there are Maya (11%), Garifuna (7%) – a mixture of Amerindian Caribs and Africans –, whites (4%), East Indians (2%), Chinese, and recently many refugees from the wars in Central America. Some Maya have continuously lived in certain parts of Belize since ancient times. The Mopan Maya have preserved several religious traditions. The Yucatec Maya, refugees who immigrated from Yucatan at the time of the Caste War (1846–1848), have been Hispanicized. The Kekchi Maya are refugees from the Vera Paz area of Guatemala. They have kept their own religious rituals and have integrated them into Catholic rites. The first Garifuna came to Belize in 1802. They too held on to their own culture and religious traditions, based on African traditions, and are usually also practising Catholics. The Anglicans (12% of the population) started their mission in 1776 (Anglican Church), the Baptists (III) in 1822 (1%), and the Methodists (III) came in 1824 (6%). With the arrival of the Jesuits in 1851 to evangelize the refugees of Yucatan, the Catholic Church developed rapidly (62%). Another established Church is the Presbyterian. These historically anchored Churches exert a strong influence on the educational system. Recently, the Advent and especially the Pentecostal Churches (Pentecost) have attracted large crowds. The Mennonites, who came to Belize after 1958 and have hardly had any effect beyond their congregations, are also an important religious factor. On the one hand, the process of Creolization of society continues and thus the Africanization of Christianity remains a challenge. On the other hand, there are other cultural movements, so that Belize will …

Esquipulas

(91 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] is a small town in the south-east of Guatemala, close to the borders of Honduras and El Salvador, at a height of 920 m. It is the largest pilgrimage center of Central America (Pilgrimage/Places of pilgrimage: III, 2.b). In the beautiful colonial church that was built in 1737, one can find the famous Black Christ. This image, considered an inheritance of the Spanish conquerors, is dated to 1594. Thousands of Catholics visit this “Cristo Negro de Esquipulas,” especially on Jan 15 and during Holy Week.…

Cuba

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] is the largest, most westerly and most thickly populated island in the Caribbean. Cuba's location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean gives the island strategic advantages. The republic encompasses 114,524 km…

Jamaica

(505 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] is the third largest of the Greater Antilles situated in the Caribbean with an area of 10,991 km2. Jamaica's population in 2000 was approx. 2.6 million, of whom 90% were of African origin and 7.3% Creoles; 5.5% belong to the Anglican Church, 55.8% belongs to other Protestant churches (see below), approx. 8% are Catholic, 5% Rastafari, 5% Hindu, and 2% of Chinese religion. In 1494 C. Columbus discovered the i…

Caribbean Conference of Churches

(164 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] (CCC) was founded in 1973 by 18 churches in Kingston, Jamaica. The CCC became the first ecumenical institution in the world, with the Roman Catholic Church as one of its founding members. The other Churches are: the Anglican Church, Baptists, Methodists, O…

Martí, José

(159 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] (Jan 28, 1853, Havana – May 19, 1898, Boca de Dos Ríos), poet, philosopher, and freedom fighter. His works of prose and lyric poetry focused particularly on the theme of freedom ( Versos Libres, 1913). A global appreciation of Martí's work proves difficul…

Creoles,

(108 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] term for the descendants of European migrants who settled in Latin America during the colonial period, or for the descendants of African slaves in the Caribbean. White Creoles played a crucial role in the independence movements that led to the establishment of the Latin American states. In addition, they formed the first indigenous clergy of the Catholic Chu…

Guyanas

(627 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] The Guyana coast, which today includes the countries of Guyana, Surinam, and French Guyana (as well as portions of Brazil and Venezuela), had been the object of many colonization attempts during the 16th and 17th centuries by Dutch, English, and French settlers. Many settlements not only failed because of the the opposition of the indigenous population, the Caribs and the Arawaks who named the region Guiana

Sandoval, Alonso

(98 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Armando
[German Version] (Dec 7, 1576, Seville – Dec 25, 1651, Cartagena, Columbia) was educated in Lima, Peru, where he became a Jesuit. After 1605 he dedicated his life to the service of the African slaves in Cartagena, Colombia. An observer of the African cultural background of the slaves, he developed a pastoral method for integrating slaves in the Catholic Church. He inspired other Jesuits, including the famous P. Claver, to work for the good of black people. Armando Lampe Bibliography Works include: De instauranda Aethiopum salute. El mundo de la esclavitud negra en América, 1627, 1956.