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The Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are located in the Western Caribbean Sea and are made up of the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It is a British overseas territory, a leading offshore financial centre and is considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world.

Geography: The Cayman Islands are actually the peaks of a massive underwater ridge known as the Cayman Trench which is located between the Caribbean south of Cuba and West of Jamaica. The three islands were formed by large coral heads and are mostly flat.

The climate of the Cayman Island is a tropical marine climate. The wet season runs from May to October and consists of a warm, rainy summer and the dry season runs November to April and comprises relatively cool winters.

You can find the endangered Blue Iguana on Grand Cayman, and the agouti and Booby Birds on Cayman Brac.

Government: As the Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory much of their affairs are controlled and maintained by the British parliament. However, a fifteen seat Legislative Assembly, elected by the people every four years, handles domestic affairs. Five of these members are chosen to serve as government ministers in a Cabinet which is headed by a Governor. This Governor is appointed by the British government in order to represent the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Although the Governor has the authority to exercise executive decisions, he or she usually allows the country to be run by the Cabinet.

Foreign Relations: As the Cayman Islands are generally managed by the United Kingdom their foreign relations are usually not the concern of the local government. However, the Government of the Cayman Islands have been known to resolve issues with foreign governments without the help or management from the United Kingdom. Some of the Cayman Islands' most important relationships are with Britain, Jamaica and the United States.

The Cayman Islands are represented by the United Kingom in the United Nations and so are not actual members. The Islands are part of the Central Development Bank, the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, Interpol and an associate member of Caricom and UNESCO.

Did You Know?

Christopher Columbus first set his eyes on the Cayman Islands on 10th May 1503. He called them Las Tortugas after spotting numerous sea turtles. The first recorded visitor to the islands was Sir Francis Drake who named them the Cayman Islands after the term caiman for crocodile (Neo-Taino nations term). were first sighted by European eyes when Christopher Columbus , on 10 May 1503 , encountered them during his disastrous fourth and final voyage to the New World . He named them Las Tortugas after the numerous sea turtles there. The Cayman Islands are widely recognised to be one of the world's leading offshore financial centres.

Cayman Island Quick Facts:
Capital: George Town
Government: British overseas territory
Currency: Caymanian dollar (KYD)
Area: 262 sq km
Population: 45,436 (June 2006 est.)
Language: English
Religion: United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Calling Code: +345
Internet TLD: .ky
Time Zone UTC: -5

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