Barbados Overview

Animals and Plants

What is growing in Barbados?

In the past, the whole island was covered with tropical rainforest. But most of it was cut down because they wanted to gain land for sugar cane plantations. Now there is only a remnant of this rainforest in the northeast of the island. There are also several species of palm trees on the island.

The national flower of the island is the red flowering peacock bush. We call it the “pride of Barbados”. It tolerates drought well.

What animals live in Barbados?

Barbados is an island with few species. There are only a few other mammals besides eight bat species. The European hare was introduced along with the mongoose. A monkey is also at home, although it is actually from West Africa. The western green monkey was once brought here as a pet by settlers. There are also lizards, frogs and snakes.

The bird world is more diverse. Among them there are also many migratory birds that winter in Barbados. Only here does the Barbadian bullfinch live. Typical birds are also the mourning rackel, the black cowbird, the black face and the gray tyrant. Several species of hummingbirds flutter around. You can see these birds in the slideshow below!

Flying fish and sea turtles

On the other hand, the underwater world is rich. Two species of sea turtles come to Barbados’ beaches to bury their eggs in the sand: the hawksbill sea turtle and the leatherback turtle. Dolphins, barracudas, parrotfish and flying fish swim in the sea. They can actually fly! With their wing-like fins, they can take off and then glide over the water before diving again. After all, they can sail up to 400 meters in this way.


From the sugar industry to tourism

When the British in the 17th century to Barbados came, they cut down the rainforest and laid plantations of sugar cane at. The sugar produced from it was shipped to England. When sugar prices fell in the 20th century, the country had to adapt.

Tourism and financial services, i.e. the money economy, have been the most important areas in the economy since the 1970s. But there is also industry. For example, medicines, electrical appliances and watches are manufactured, food is processed and drinks are produced. Sugar cane is still grown, along with cotton and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams and beans.

Barbados’ economy is stable as it rests on multiple pillars. Nevertheless, unemployment is quite high at 11.5 percent.

Typical Barbados

British Heritage – Cricket and More

The influence of England on Barbados is great – because the island belonged to Great Britain for more than three centuries. The cars drive on the left, the residents speak English and there are many houses, for example in the Victorian style, which is a style within architecture that was developed in the time of King Victoria and is still called that today. They also love to play cricket here, a sport that comes from England and is also popular there. Bridgetown even has a cricket ground. Horse racing and polo are also popular in Barbados.

The land of the flying fish

Barbados is also called the land of the flying fish. These fish are found around Barbados. They have wing-like fins that they can use to glide over the water. Flying fish are not only popular food fish in Barbados, but can also be seen in many ways, for example on coins, on handicrafts or in logos.

Calypso and Soca

Calypso and Soca are two typical music styles in Barbados. Calypso originated among slaves on the island of Trinidad in the early 20th century and then spread to other Caribbean islands. The slaves were not allowed to talk to each other and then used the calypso chant to communicate and communicate something. Maybe you know the Banana Boat song? It is arguably the most famous calypso song.

The Barbados Black Belly Sheep

The Barbados Black Belly Sheep was brought to Barbados from West Africa in the 17th century. From here it was brought to other Caribbean islands, but it was named after Barbados, where it first arrived. These sheep are well adapted to heat. They are mainly kept as animals for slaughter because they do not provide wool.

Crop over

Crop Over is the name of a harvest festival in Barbados. Originally it was celebrated with singing and dancing on the sugar cane plantations. Today it has become the biggest festival in Barbados and is celebrated like Carnival with colorful parades. The best calypso band wins a prize. It starts in June and ends in early August.

Children and School

The school system in Barbados is based on the British school system, because the island belonged to Great Britain for a long time. Like in England, all children wear a school uniform. They start school at the age of five and school is compulsory up to the age of 16.

Primary school lasts six years, then it goes to secondary school. The Abitur is called CAPE here, which is the abbreviation for Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations.

The school year is divided into three parts (not two semesters like ours). It starts in September and ends in June.

Barbados Schools

Eating in Barbados

Fish – also flying

You eat a lot of fish in Barbados. It’s no wonder, because you can catch it around the island. Flying fish are a special delicacy. They live here too. They are so named because they can actually fly over the water for a while. One particularly likes to eat flying fish with Cou-Cou. This is the national dish of Barbados. It is a porridge made from cornmeal and okra pods.┬áTo get more information on Barbados and Central America, check getzipcodes.

Ingredients of the Barbadian cuisine

Otherwise everything that grows here is eaten. These include breadfruit, papaya, mango, coconut, and cassava. One likes to make a casserole out of sweet potatoes. You can find a recipe for this sweet potato pie in our tip !

In addition to fish, you also like meat, for example lamb or suckling pig. Meat also tastes good in a stew, for example in a pepper pot. Many dishes are seasoned with a special blend of onions, garlic, chillies and thyme. Rice and peas and macaroni casseroles are popular side dishes.

Conkies and Jug-Jug

Two typical dishes in Barbados are conkies and jug-jug. Conkies are similar to the tamales that are eaten in Central America. A dough is made from corn flour, coconut, sweet potatoes and pumpkin and then steamed wrapped in a banana leaf. Conkies are mostly eaten in Barbados on Independence Day, November 30th. At Christmas, however, there is jug-jug. It is made from pigeon peas.