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The Jamaica Portal

Flag of Jamaica Coat of arms of Jamaica
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Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 240 kilometers (150 mi) in length and as much as 85 kilometers (50 mi) in width situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is 635 kilometers (391 mi) east of the Central American mainland, 150 kilometers (93 mi) south of Cuba, and 180 kilometers (112 mi) west of the island of Hispaniola, on which Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning either the "Land of Springs," or the "Land of Wood and Water." Formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, then the British West Indies Crown colony of Jamaica. It is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada.

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Kingston, Jamaica
The City of Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica. It is located on the southeastern coast of the island country at 17°59′N 76°48′W / 17.983°N 76.800°W / 17.983; -76.800. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. In the Western Hemisphere, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city south of the United States.

The local government bodies of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew were amalgamated by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation Act of 1923, to form the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Greater Kingston or the "Corporate Area" refers to the KSAC, and not just the Parish of Kingston, which consists of only the old downtown and Port Royal.


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Satellite image of Jamaica in November 2001. Cropped image, original taken from NASA's Visible Earth
Credit: NASA

Satellite image of Jamaica in November 2001.

In the news

  • Jamaican Asafa Powell ran the year's fastest 100 meters when he clocked 9.84 seconds at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston, beating American Ryan Bailey (9.93) and Jamaican Nesta Carter (9.98) (JAMAICAN GLEANER)

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Did you know...

  • ...that Alexander Bustamante (pictured), the prominent Jamaican politician, was born William Alexander Clarke but took the name Bustamante to honour an Iberian sea captain who befriended him in his youth?

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