The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:33 AM
Grenada, volcanic in orgin, is referred to as the “Isle of
Spice.” The most southerly of the Windward Islands, it is situated
between 12°N and 61°W, 90 miles north of Trinidad and southwest of
Barbados. It is roughly oval shaped, 21 miles long, and about 12
miles wide. The three-island nation includes Carriacou, largest
island in the Grenadine chain, and neighboring Petit (pronounced
“Petty”) Martinique. Grenada comprises 133 square miles of rugged,
mountainous terrain, with lush tropical rain forest and little
lowland. Its central mountains rise about 2,000 feet above sea
level. More spices per square mile are grown here than in any other
place in the world. The clear, clean air is sometimes fragrant with
Carriacou has an area of 13 square miles and has similar
geographical characteristics but lower elevations (nearly 1,000
feet). Petit Martinique, with a population of 700, has no tourist
facilities but is famous for boat building.
Grenada’s climate is sunny and tropical, averaging 80°F, with dry
and rainy seasons. The dry season, January through May, is more
comfortable; with cooling trade winds and occasional showers. The
rainy season, June through December, has a more humid climate and
moderate-to-heavy rainfall, which varies considerably each year.
Temperatures drop in the evening, making it pleasantly cool. Sunrise
is at 6:30 am and dusk varies between 6 and 6:30 pm, according to
the time of year.
The wet season is characterized by heavy rains, high wind, and
hurricanes, but. the last hurricane to actually hit Grenada was
Hurricane Janet in 1955.
Mildew can be a problem during the rainy season. To prevent rust,
wipe furniture and appliances weekly. Avoid filling closets too full
to keep mildew to a minimum and to discourage cockroaches, who like
undisturbed, dark places. Other pests are mosquitoes, flies, moths,
ants, termites, rats, and mice.
Screens will help protect your home from such pests. Frequent
kitchen cleaning discourages roaches and small sugar ants. Wipe up
spilled drinks immediately, and seal all garbage bags tightly.
Chinese coils, sold in supermarkets, repel mosquitoes, and their
scent is not unpleasant. Sandflies are sometimes a nuisance on the
beach in the wet season. Keep insect repellant handy. With these few
precautions, pests can be controlled.
Population Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:34 AM
When Christopher Columbus discovered Grenada in 1498, it was
inhabited by the fierce Carib Indians. After fighting off settlers
who arrived from London more than 100 years later, the French
eventually eliminated the Caribs in 1691. The last remaining natives
hurled themselves off high cliffs rather than surrender to the
French at the famous Caribs Leap. A series of bloody wars between
Britain and France followed. The British took final control of the
island in 1783 under the Treaty of Paris.
The French and British brought Africans to Grenada to work their
plantations, so the population is largely of African descent, with
some people of mixed blood, a few East Indian families, and a few
Caucasians. Current statistics estimate a population of near
100,000, with emigration. in recent years largely offsetting a high
birth rate. Most of the population is located in St. George’s and
four or five other coastal towns.
The Creole culture of Grenadians derives from their African,
French, and English heritage. English is the spoken language. Some
customs, such as Carnival, date from the days of French rule. Racial
tension is almost nonexistent. Grenadians for the most part are
courteous and exhibit good-humored tolerance of foreign visitors and
their ways; with a few inevitable exceptions, a smile usually begets
Public Institutions Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:35 AM
Grenada is governed under the parliamentary system inherited from
the British that was suspended in 1979 by the Marxist People’s
Revolutionary Government (PRG) and then restored after the October
1983 “Rescue Mission” by the U.S. and Eastern Caribbean countries.
The New National Party (NNP), which won 14 out of 15 seats in free
and fair elections in 1984, continues in power, but with a reduced
majority as the result of the defection of two of its members in
1986 and three more in 1987 (including two cabinet ministers), all
of whom formed a new political party, the National Democratic
Congress (NDC). The prognosis is for continued political stability
within the give-and-take of a lively democratic environment. The
constitution requires new elections before March 1990. In 1985,
Parliament restored the 1974 Independence Constitution. Political
and civil rights are fully guaranteed by the government. The
spectrum of political parties ranges from the moderate NNP and the
NDC, to the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) of former Prime
Minister Sir Eric Gary and Marxist Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement
(MBPM), and the Grenada Peoples Movement (GPM).
The U.S., U.K., and Venezuela maintain resident diplomatic
missions. Grenada is a member of the United Nations, Organization of
American States, OECS, and CARICOM.
Since the 1983 fall of the PRG, Grenada has enjoyed a healthy
increase in economic growth and decline in inflation. Although much
progress has been made, significant problems, including high
unemployment, remain. The government continues to follow a policy of
providing greater freedom to pursue economic goals by eliminating or
reducing controls on wages, prices and foreign exchange, and
encouraging private investment.
Social, philanthropic, financial, and commercial organizations
include the Red Cross, Rotary, Lions Club, St. John’s Ambulance
Brigade, and the GSPCA, which are run in a manner similar to their
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:36 AM
Grenada’s education system, as in other former British West
Indian colonies, is modeled on the British system. Students take the
General Certificate of Education (GCE) (“O” Level) at age 16.
Cambridge University, England, prepares and grades both the GCE “O”
level and Advanced level (“A” level) syllabuses. “A” levels,
normally taken at age 18, are required for entrance into British
In 1972 the Commonwealth Caribbean member states formed the
Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), and gradually a new syllabus
has been developed with more accent on regional matters. Some
students still take the GCE exam in certain subjects, as Grenada is
still changing over to the CXC. The University of the West Indies (UWI),
which maintains campuses in several Commonwealth member islands, is
responsible for preparing and grading CXC exams.
The Grenada National College at Tanteen offers technical,
vocational, and educational training similar to a community college
in the U.S.
Most Grenadians interested in higher education enroll in British
or a Canadian universities, but some 1 first-year evening classes
(Challenge Examinations) and diploma/certificate courses are being
conducted at the UWI extramural department, Marryshow House, St. 1
George’s. Following the dramatic decline in UWI’s student body after
the 1979 takeover, the university is now working to restore a
regular curriculum and more courses will be developed over the next
several years. Its reference library is available to students
following Challenge I Examinations at the UWI Centre and the tutors
for these courses. Its resources are also available to librarians
and academics working in Grenada, as well as researchers from
outside the state.
Grenada’s lively folk culture, based on its African heritage, is
superimposed with French and English elements. Modern dance troupes
still perform the old slave dances with names like “bele,” “shamba,”
and “pique.” At Carnival time such traditional characters as the
“stickman,” “horsehead,” “wild Indian,” and “jab-jab” are recreated.
At a newly built small theater adjacent to UWI, concerts, dance
shows, and operettas are performed. Children of all ages from all
over the country regularly stage their own concerts and Christmas
Several Grenadian artists, notably Elinus Cato and Canute Caliste,
have received overseas recognition for their original paintings in
the primitive style. Grenadian sculptor and painter Fitzroy Harack
teaches ceramics at the Jamaica School of Art.
Grenada has produced several outstanding writers, including folk
poet Paul Keens-Douglas and journalist T. A. Marryshow. An
English-born priest, Rev. Raymond P. Devas, O.P., has written a
comprehensive history of the island as well as books on birds and
wildlife. Wilfred and Eula Redhead have published plays and
children’s stories rich in Grenadian folklore. Francis Uriah Peters
writes and produces plays on topics of local interest.
Island music also reflects the peoples’ African ancestry. The
calypso beat is strong here as in Trinidad, and Grenadians have even
made the claim that old-time calypso, or “kaiso,” originated in
Grenada and was taken to Trinidad by a large group of Grenadian
slaves. The steelband is popular. On a typical Grenadian evening,
you can hear the “pan beat” echoing softly against the hills, as
“pan men” practice their skills.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:38 AM
The investment climate has undergone a positive transformation in
Grenada since military intervention by U.S. and Caribbean forces in
late 1983. Effective U.S. assistance, successful 1984 elections, and
Grenadian Government policy supportive of private sector-led growth
have resulted in restored confidence and renewed economic growth.
Grenada’s economy has been growing by more than 5% annually since
the intervention, attaining a GDP in 1988 of about $130 million. Per
capita GDP is about $1,380. Tax reform, a reduction in government
controls over the economy, and a favorable investment climate are
recognized as keys to sustained growth.
Agriculture is the single most important sector of the Grenadian
economy, accounting for a third of the work force, about a fifth of
the GDP, and about 90% of merchandise exports. Principal export
crops are cocoa, nutmeg, mace, bananas and other fruits, and
vegetables. Tourist spending is estimated to account for nearly half
of Grenada’s foreign exchange earnings. Growth in the tourist
industry, after slowing a bit in 1987, has resumed its healthy
Construction activity, another important part of the growing
economy in Grenada, has been growing at an annual rate of about 15%
since 1985 — thanks to sustained investment in residential housing,
hotels, and factories. Through assistance from the U.S. and other
international donors, telephone service, electricity, and roads have
improved dramatically. New foreign investment in manufacturing has
in creased the relative importance of that sector. Flour, beverages,
and textiles make up the bulk of locally produced manufactured
goods. Food, manufactured goods, machinery, and transport equipment
account for about three-fourths of Grenada’s imports.
The Point Saline International Airport was opened in 1984 at an
estimated cost of $90 million, with a surface runway of 9,000 feet.
Port facilities were also expanded in 1985 to provide berths for
cruise ships, and additional storage area was provided for
containing and cargo-handling equipment. The USAID Mission to
Grenada has played a major role in Grenada’s development, providing
about $110 million in economic assistance since 1983.
Despite the foregoing progress, unemployment is about 25%. Trade
unions, most of which came under direct government controls after
the New Jewel Movement takeover in 1979, are struggling to rebuild a
democratically oriented leadership. About 25% of the workforce —
including those in the agricultural, banking, and public sectors —
is unionized. Labor management relations are good.
Grenada’s medium of exchange is the East Caribbean dollar, which
is pegged to the U.S. dollar and currently is exchanged at the rate
Automobiles Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:39 AM
Grenada’s major road network has improved greatly since 1984,
although rebuilding of some major roads remains incomplete.
Secondary roads in Grenada are often in poor condition and not well
maintained. Potholes are numerous; moreover, roads are narrow and
steep. Traffic moves on the left and no speed limits are posted.
Public transportation is inadequate for the needs of Mission
personnel. Bring a small, right-hand-drive car. Manual transmissions
are more easily and cheaply serviced. Some English and Japanese cars
are sold locally but no American makes are available. Prices for
Japanese cars are lower, so if you are considering purchasing a new
car, wait and buy one in Grenada. Fewer options are available than
for the same cars manufactured elsewhere. Specially ordered car
air-conditioners cost US$1,000 and more.
Japanese-made land rover-type Jeeps, as well as several popular
lines of smaller Japanese jeeps, are sold here. These jeeps,
although well-suited to rugged driving conditions, have a small
underpadded rear seat that makes traveling in the back
uncomfortable. Since they do not have trunks, roofracks are
No import restrictions apply currently. If you plan to ship a new
car, buy a right-hand-drive vehicle, preferably of a make and model
sold in Grenada. Local mechanics work better with familiar models,
and parts are more readily available. Four-wheel-drive is not
essential, but is useful if you plan to explore the island. Most
Mission personnel consider air-conditioning indispensable, but you
might experience repair delays because of a lack of spare parts.
Before importing a used car, have it thoroughly overhauled,
particularly the brakes and the clutch, which wear out more quickly
on mountainous terrain. Bring spare parts, including a complete set
of fan belts and hoses, two sets of spark plugs and contact points
(rotor and condenser if applicable), one set of spark-plug wires,
one extra distributor cap, windshield wiper blades and arms, oil
filters, air filters, and turn-signal flash units for any U.S. made
car. Tires may need to be replaced sooner than expected, so ship an
extra set. Tires available on the local market are of an inferior
quality to those sold in the U.S.
Auto agents satisfactorily service the cars they sell, as well as
imported cars. But they do not carry the same stocks of spare parts
as in the U.S., and sometimes delays are encountered in waiting for
spare parts ordered from abroad.
Ninety-three octane gasoline currently sells for EC$5.30 per
imperial gallon, before diplomatic discount, or EC$3.41(US$1.26)
Grenadian drivers licenses are required to drive a motor vehicle
in Grenada. Drivers licenses can be obtained upon presentation of a
valid U.S. drivers license (which is returned) and a completed
application form. Arrangements for procurement of a Grenadian
drivers license can be made at the Embassy.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:40 AM
Private cars and taxis are the main sources of local
transportation used by U.S. employees. Some comfortable, newer
minibuses travel certain routes around St. George’s and various
parishes of the island. Fares are reasonable but vans are often
overcrowded, driven at reckless speeds in rhythm to the latest in
reggae music. Taxis assemble for hire at designated places along the
harbor front, the airport, and major hotels. Fares are higher than
U.S. taxi prices for the same distance. Negotiate the fare before
setting out; cabs have no meters. Taxis are usually private cars and
may not carry signs but can be identified by the letter “H” for
“hire” in front of their license number. Buses and minibuses
assemble in the center of town, St. George’s, and do not leave at
scheduled times but only when they reach full-to-overflowing
Several car rental firms offer mostly small Japanese models or
minimokes (a modified dunebuggy), at similar to U.S. rates. Avis car
rental has automatic and manual cars for hire. For a small- or
medium-sized car, prices are EC$112 (US$41.66) per day, with a
variable discount given. Mileage is unlimited and weekly rates are
given with charges for 6 days and the seventh day is free. Obtain
collision damage insurance, which is available for a nominal cost.
Some individuals rent minibuses by the day, week, or month at
Grenada has no schoolbus system, so parents might consider
neighborhood carpools or hiring a minibus or taxi jointly.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:41 AM
Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) runs daily round-trip
flights to Carriacou. From there you can take a boat to Petit
Martinique. Carriacou has one or two clean but rustic hotels; a
third hotel has recently been taken over by new management and is
located out of town. Reservations should be made in advance since
all hotels are small and limited occupancy is often the rule rather
than the exception in the off-season. Ferry service is available
between Grenada and Carriacou and fare is EC$30 (US$11.15) for
adults and EC$10 (US$3.71) for children roundtrip.
For flight information, call BWIA (440–3818/19, St. George’s, or
444–4134/35 at the airport), LIAT (440–2796/97, St. George’s, or
4444121/22 at the airport), or a travel service such as M&C
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:42
Grenada’s telephone system has recently been refurbished and
upgraded. All government-leased quarters have telephones installed.
The basic monthly service charge for telephones is EC$38 (US$14.13),
including local calls. For each additional extension an EC$5
(US$1.85) charge is imposed. International direct dialing is
possible with the new system. Prices for calls to the U.S. are
EC$4–$5 (US$1.48$1.85) for each minute. No 3 minute minimum for
direct-dial international calls is imposed. Telephone calls to the
U.K. are EC$5(US$1.85) per minute. Cable and wireless provide
international telex service, Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 7
pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm, and Sundays and public holidays
from 10 am to noon. Telex charges are about EC $7.22 (US$2.68) per
minute to New York. Other charges are dependent upon location.
Wireless Service Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:42 AM The Embassy
issues walkie-talkie radios to each employee as an essential
alternate mode of communication.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:44 AM
International mail is received and dispatched Tuesday through
Saturday by the Grenada General Post Office. Transit time for
letters from the U.S. varies from a minimum of 6 days to 3 weeks.
Letters from Grenada arrive in the U.S. in 7–14 days. Airmail
postage from Grenada to the U.S. is EC75¢(US27¢) per one-half ounce.
Surface mail to and from Grenada is erratic and takes at least a
month to arrive. No surface mail parcel post rate exists. All rates
for packages begin with second-class airmail. A second-class airmail
package per pound weight is EC$9.60 (US$3.57). Rates increase
proportionately to weight increases.
No APO is available in Grenada: Personal mail may be sent via
State Department pouch. Air pouches usually arrive within 1 week,
but may take longer due to LIAT Airline’s limited cargo space. U.S.
domestic rates apply to pouch mail. U.S. postage stamps are not
available for purchase in Grenada. Letter mail only may be sent
through the outgoing air pouch; packages and parcels of any kind
must be sent through international Grenadian mail channels.
Individuals are authorized to receive packages up to 40 pounds in
weight, with combined dimensions of 62 inches (length and girth) or
24” length and 40” girth. Properly identified prescription
medicines, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and prosthetic or orthopedic
devices can be sent by air pouch, regardless of weight. Address
letter mail (air pouch) as follows:
Full name Grenada — Department of State Washington, D.C.
20520–3180 (20521-3180 for magazines, packages)
International mail should be addressed to:
Full name U.S. Embassy P.O. Box 54 St. George’s Grenada West
Radio and TV Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:44 AM
Radio Grenada operates an AM station providing music, local and
inter-Caribbean island news, as well as a BBC international roundup
and some VOA programs. AM broadcasts in English can be heard from
Trinidad, Barbados, Montserrat, and the Netherlands Antilles.
Spanish-language broadcasting can also be received from Venezuela.
VOA and BBC can be heard on shortwave, but quality of reception is
often poor. Bring equipment that can be connected to external
antennas if you plan to receive shortwave broadcasts regularly.
Radio Antilles in Montserrat broadcasts VOA news and other
programs every evening on medium-wave.
Grenada-based Discovery TV operates 7 days a week, transmit: ting
one channel in color. Programming is via satellite beginning at 9 am
until 11:30 pm. Featured programs include old American series
reruns, cartoons, and wildlife/National Geographic programs, as well
as daytime/evening American films. Sports programming has recently
been supplemented with NBA regular season and playoff games to cheer
sports fans on Friday nights and occasionally on weekends. CNN
midday news broadcasts are broadcast in the evening. Local Grenadian
news and cultural programming is interspersed among
American-produced programming. Individuals who live on the south of
the island with high performance antennas can sometimes pick up TV
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
5/13/2004 12:46 AM
Grenada has a few local weekly publications that are confined to
events occurring in Grenada and on other Caribbean islands.
International news is often editorialized and takes a backseat to
interisland gossip. Weekly newspapers are The Grenadian Voice, The
Informer, The Grenadian Guardian (GULP), The Grenada Tribune (NDC),
and The Indies Times (MBPM). The Embassy receives the International
Herald Tribune from London and an occasional U.S.A. Today out of
Miami as well as Barbadian newspapers that are received sporadically
and are many days late. The current Latin American editions of Time
and Newsweek are sold in bookshops and supermarkets; certain popular
U.S. magazines (Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, and New
Woman) are also available but are at least 1-month old and stocks of
these are unreliable.
Women’s magazines, such as Vogue and Bazaar, are often stolen in
international mail so have U.S. subscriptions to magazines and
periodicals sent in the pouch. Lag time, however, is often 1 month
to 6 weeks.
Three well-stocked bookshops, although small, have a wide range
of paperback novels, some reference books, and hardcovers.
An interesting variety of Caribbean history and prose works as
well as West Indian folklore and cookery publications are available.
School textbooks are sold in two bookshops but supplies and editions
are restricted to books following a Caribbean curriculum, and books
regarding U.S. history and government are not available except
through USIS. Booklists for children should be obtained in the U.S.
before arriving in Grenada and books for outside/recommended reading
should be brought from the U.S. Textbooks needed for tutorials or
remedial schoolwork should also be brought from the U.S. Reading
material for intermediate and junior/senior high school students is
The Grenada Public Library on the Carenage in St. George’s has a
good selection of books and periodicals. Most of the British
classics are available and a separate children’s section is
expanding its collection. Reference materials are available but
these are restricted to Caribbean history, culture, and politics,
and all items must be examined on the library premises. Occasionally
the children’s section offers a reading hour and crafts day. Library
lending cards are issued upon receipt of a refundable EC$5 (US$1.85)
fee and two recommendations from Grenadian residents. Most books
available at the library have been donated by the U.S., U.K., and
Canadian Governments. A small but well-kept reference library at the
UWI, Marryshow House, is open to research scholars. This collection
has many hard-to-find historic and cultural works by Caribbean
poets, writers, and historians.
USIS is located in the Embassy compound and in the past year has
greatly reduced its collection of materials. Currently, few
videotapes regarding drug awareness and counseling for students who
are exploring educational opportunities in the U.S. and a few
American movie classics are available. A few USIA publications such
as Topic, Dialogue, Economic Impact, and Problems of Communism are
available. A wireless file can be procured from Barbados 4 days
late. Many previously available materials can be sent from Barbados
upon request. Group presentations and lectures can also be arranged.
A regional newspaper — The E.C. News — is available weekly. The
Weekend Review and the Grenada Tribune are circulated biweekly. A
locally published magazine — The Griot — appears bimonthly. The
Grenada Newsletter and the Bargainer are issued monthly, while The
Greeting, aimed at the hospital industry, is published biannually.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:47 AM
Grenada has a few well-trained and qualified specialists who were
trained in the U.S. or England. Specialists in the areas of
pediatrics; surgery; ear, nose, and throat; cardiology; oncology;
dermatology; neurology; orthopedics; and more advanced internal
medicine are nonexistent in Grenada except for Project Hope
physicians who are available for consultations in medical
emergencies when necessary. The General Hospital is old and
inadequately equipped, with substandard nursing care. Hygiene is a
continuing problem at the hospital. The regional medical officer
does not recommend use of local hospital services for elective
medical conditions. The hospital should only be used for emergency
treatment and stabilization of serious and life-threatening
conditions until a patient can be transported to more adequate
facilities in the U.S.
Local pharmacies carry only basic medical supplies. Bring
children’s vitamin drops and tablets, especially those containing
flouride. Children’s Tylenol and other brands of children’s aspirin
in liquid and tablet form should also be brought, as supplies of
these are intermittent. Prescriptions from the U.S. are accepted at
local pharmacies. Vitamins are more expensive in Grenada.
Dental care should be up to date before coming to post. Several
U.S. dentists are available locally by appointment a month in
advance. Dental services are moderately priced and include the
entire range of dental treatments. Many employees use the services
of a U.S. licensed dentist recently retired from practicing in the
U.S. Grenada has no orthodontists; patients needing orthodontics
must travel to Trinidad or Barbados.
Trained ophthalmologists from the International Eye Foundation
have a clinic at the General Hospital. The clinic is open daily,
with surgery scheduled twice weekly. St George’s has an efficient
and modern firm of opticians who perform eye examinations. Glaucoma
and ether diagnostic tests can be performed at the International Eye
Foundation Clinic. Bring sufficient supplies of contact lens
solutions and cleaners, as these are not available on the island.
St. George’s University School of Medicine has a small,
well-equipped dispensary, called the Simon Bolivar Clinic, on its
Grand Anse Campus. Appointments can be made at this clinic, open
Monday through Friday, at 144–4671.
Community Health Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:47 AM
Community sanitation includes garage collection but is not up to
U.S. standards. Sewage treatment is inadequate. Water is treated at
the source, but the distribution system and fluctuating water
pressure result in unsafe tapwater. All drinking water should be
filtered or boiled.
Infectious hepatitis, dengue fever, gastroenteritis, and
intestinal parasites are common. Tropical weather and high humidity
are conducive to skin and fungal infections that may become a
chronic ailment for infants and children. Frozen foods are often
suspect because frequent power outages result in food spoilage.
Rabies is prevalent in animals on the island.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:48 AM
Although none of the following inoculations are required for
entry into Grenada; have them before coming to post: typhoid, polio,
tetanus, gamma globulin for infectious hepatitis, and yellow fever.
Children should have measles, mumps, rubella, and DPT (diphtheria,
pertussis, and tetanus) shots. Children 18 months and older should
receive a Hib (Haemophilus influensae b) vaccination before coming
to Grenada, as reported outbreaks of meningitis occur on the island
and the vaccine is as yet unavailable. Schedules for DPT
immunization should be communicated to the regional medical officer,
who provides consultations in Grenada quarterly so that vaccines can
be sent from Barbados in a timely fashion. Supplies are frequently
in short supply so inform the administrative officer well in advance
so that polio and DPT vaccinations are made available.
Anyone over age 1 should have pre-exposure rabies immunization.
The Simon Bolivar Clinic at St. George’s University School of
Medicine can also administer inoculations.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 5/13/2004
Currently the American Embassy is unable to provide employment
opportunities for spouses and dependents except for the occasional
ad hoc assignment or temporary fill-in staff assignment. The
International School of Grenada frequently is in need of
qualified/U. S.-certified teachers for preschool, primary, and
intermediate levels. The Grenadian Government employment sector does
not seek expatriates to fill positions. An agreement with the
Grenadian Government allows State Department dependents to work
without a local work permit. Opportunities in the private business
sector have as yet remained unexplored. Foreign and commercial
enterprises are located in Grenada but job positions are limited to
construction and business/managerial areas. Joint ventures in local
handicraft production may be a possibility. Small business schemes
such as an out-of-the-home bakery might be an area to pursue, as
pastries and cakes are not readily available. Certified diving
instructors and/or swimming instructors may be able to form a diving
school with a variety of aquatic instruction and activities.
American Embassy - St. George’s
Post City Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:49 AM
St. George’s is located at the southwestern end of the island.
Its picture-postcard harbor is one of the Caribbean’s most
beautiful. It has a distinctly Mediterranean flavor, with its
mellowed buildings, some of them 18th century, and steep, narrow
streets. Towering behind the small city are lush green mountains,
studded with fine residences and simpler homes.
The hub of St. George’s, where many important businesses are
situated, is the waterfront, known as the Carenage. Brightly painted
wooden inter-island trading vessels and larger freighters dock
alongside the harbor for offloading cargoes. Yachters moor in the
landlocked inner harbor and motor over in their tenders to shop at
waterfront shops. Fishing vessels unload catches of conch and fish,
which are sold in the nearby fish market. One pier can berth cruise
liners and other large ships.
Fort George, with its steep walls, is in a prominent position at
the entrance to the harbor. A curious feature is the narrow Sendall
Tunnel. In 1890 it was cut through St. George’s Point to connect the
Outer Harbor, also known as the Esplanade, with the Carenage. At the
southern edge of town is a botanical garden.
Further south is the residential area of Lance Aux Epines, which
has many large residences as well as small, compact bungalows.
Southeast of St. George’s is Westerhall Point, a beautiful housing
development with attractive homes overlooking the water
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:50 AM
The American Embassy, USIS, and USAID are located on the former
USAID compound known locally as Hotel California near the Point
Saline International Airport. The Peace Corps Office is in downtown
St. George’s on Tyrrel Street. Embassy work hours are 8 am to 4:30
pm, with a 30-minute lunch break.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:50 AM
New personnel are assigned to permanent quarters upon arrival.
Temporary quarters will be provided should permanent quarters not be
immediately available. During the tourist season, mid-December to
mid-April, the better hotels may be fully booked. Therefore, inform
the Embassy as early as possible of your lodging requirement.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:51 AM
The Embassy leases houses for all of its U.S. employees. Housing
is varied, and most personnel currently occupy homes since suitable
apartments are scarce.
All government-leased homes are furnished. Newly arrived
personnel will normally have been assigned quarters in advance of
their arrival by the Housing Board. But should circumstances such
preclude such an assignment, personnel will be assigned to temporary
quarters. The criteria used in assigning an individual to permanent
quarters include representational responsibility, family size and
composition, security considerations, and availability of quarters
when you arrive at post. Hospitality Kits are available for use
prior to arrival of household effects (HHE). These kits include such
essentials as bedding, towels, dishes, flatware, kitchen utensils,
pots and pans, and a kettle for boiling water. Cribs are not
available at this post.
Most houses have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large, open
living and dining space. All residences with adequate electricity
are air-conditioned. Those with limited electrical capacity are
air-conditioned as practical. Window unit air-conditioners are
provided for each occupied bedroom. Most homes have large patios and
gardens, since outdoor entertaining is popular. The average house
has a servants quarters, usually with a private entrance and private
bath, as well as a carport. Some homes also have a storage or
utility area with stone sink.
Furnishings Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:52 AM
All houses have a washer and dryer. The Embassy provides security
alarms and outdoor lighting as well as water-storage tanks where
necessary. Grenada is a limited shipment post, allowing for a
maximum weight of 7,200 pounds. Kitchen equipment includes the
following items in most homes: stove, washer, dryer, cartridge type
water purifier, refrigerator, and chest freezer. Living room
furniture will include a sofa, chairs, coffee table, end tables,
lamps, and rugs if available. Patio furniture is now provided to
homes. Draperies will be provided for all quarters. Since draperies
are made for specific units, they may not be interchanged with other
units. Other furnishings supplied are basic dining room furniture
and bedroom furniture, with a queen-size bed and twin-size beds in
the guest rooms.
Do not ship furniture or major appliances to this post since no
storage facilities are available. Climatic conditions (salt water,
air, and high humidity) affect smaller furnishings, so limit your
small furniture pieces. Bring paintings, ornaments, pillows, and bed
linens. Bring outdoor entertainment items. Include patio lamps,
glass-enclosed candles, hurricane lamps, and electric insect
“zappers” in your shipment. Bring an insect fogger for spraying
patio 1 and yard areas. For decorating trees at Christmas and for
parties, bring 220v outdoor tree lights. Bring a barbecue and
necessary equipment. Include a few packages of fuel starter sticks,
which are available locally but expensive, in your shipment. Local
charcoal is adequate for barbecue needs.
Lawn mowers (powered) should be brought to post.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:53 AM
Electric current is 220–240v, 50 cycle, AC, so bring only
appliances using that voltage. Bring transformers in your HHE as
they are more expensive locally than in the U.S. Plugs and outlets
vary from house to house. You can buy necessary adapters locally.
Grenada suffers from occasional power outages, although provision of
electric power is improving rapidly. Therefore, most , houses are
equipped with gas stoves, using bottled gas. All houses have
electric water heaters. All homes are provided with generators due
to these power outages. Electrical current fluctuates with recorded
highs of 250v and more frequently with lows of 180v. For expensive
electrical items bring an uninterrupted power supply, a surge
protector, and a voltage regulator, although in some cases the
latter may be cost prohibitive. When purchasing a surge protector,
shop around, as quality and prices can vary greatly. Purchase a
battery recharger/adapter and several rechargeable batteries for
flashlights, toys, and walkman stereo headsets. TV antennas are
available locally but better quality ones with antenna hookups
should be purchased in the U.S. and shipped in HHE.
If bringing TV, stereo, and other electrical equipment, bring at
least two spare fuses for each piece. If you bring a computer,
invest in an uninterrupted power supply for a computer. Antenna wire
and appropriate connectors for TV’s should also be purchased in the
U.S., as available electronic parts are limited in quality and
quantity. All equipment should be accompanied by schematic diagrams
in case minor repair work or servicing is to be done locally.
All houses are provided with water-storage tanks. Depending on
the situation for housing water at each location, the Embassy will
provide tanks to store 2,000–4,000 gallons. In some cases the water
storage system for a home will run the entire length and width of
the home, harboring the water underneath the house. Water tanks
depend on electric pressure pumps. Water is received at a gravity
flow type system. Low water pressure occurs frequently.
Food Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:56 AM
This post has neither a commissary nor military PX. A consumables
allowance of 2,500 pounds is provided.
St. George’s has several well-stocked supermarkets and suburban
Grand Anse has one. Small, family-run groceries abound. Supermarkets
normally carry a good supply of canned and packaged foods from the
U.S., Europe, and other Caribbean countries. Powdered and evaporated
milk and baby formula are readily available, as is ultra-high
temperature (UHT) milk in sterilized cartons, which does not require
refrigeration until opened. Grenada does not have any dairies, so
fresh milk as well as other dairy products are not available. Yogurt
and sour cream are sometimes obtainable from Trinidad and Barbados.
Imported butter, as well as a variety of margarines and cooking
oils, is available. Local eggs are fresh and of good quality. Meat
sold in supermarkets is of an indifferent quality and taste. Local
meats are tough; cuts differ from those in the U.S. Chicken,
varieties of pork meat, and beef cuts are also imported.
Supermarkets stock turkeys and hams. The wide variety of fresh local
fish includes kingfish, dolphin, tuna, ocean gar, red snapper,
Spanish mackerel, and flying fish. Seafood includes lobster and a
Grenadian specialty, lambie (conch). Shrimp imported from Trinidad
is occasionally available in season, but is expensive.
Mission personnel can order frozen meats and other provisions two
or three times a year through Visiting U.S. naval vessels.
Bottled baby foods are available but are limited to strained
fruits and fruit juices. Most Grenadian mothers use available fresh
fruits such as mangoes, paw-paw, citrus, and bananas to produce
their own blended fruit compotes. Fresh vegetables such as pumpkin,
callaloo (spinach-like leafy vegetable), breadfruit, carrots,
potatoes, and sweet potatoes can be used as a base. Bring a food
processor with a meat grinding attachment to prepare your own baby
foods. The Marketing and National Importing Board operates a small
store in downtown St. George’s that stocks large quantities of
fruits and vegetables. Many interesting syrups and jellies such as
nutmeg and guava make delicious alternatives to the traditional fare
available in limited quantities in supermarkets. Supermarkets carry
a limited selection of Mexican and Chinese specialty foods. Bring
your favorite cake and cookie mixes, as those found on supermarket
shelves may be old. All-purpose as well as whole wheat flour are
manufactured in Grenada. Both are of good quality.
Bread from local bakeries is good but limited in variety.
Pastries, cakes, and other sweets are available. Roti shells and
large sandwich buns can be ordered. Ice cream in a tantalizing
assortment of spice flavors such as nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as
some hard-to-find fruit flavors, are available. Candy is of English,
American, or Caribbean manufacture. The usual assortment of candy
bars, potato chips, and other snack items is available but
expensive. Cookies are imported from Britain and Trinidad and often
are not fresh. Children’s cereals are available.
Fruit juices, both imported and locally prepared, are available
but sweeter than U.S.-marketed varieties. TV dinners, diet foods,
and frozen fruits are not available. Some local fruits such as
passion fruit and sorrel can be made into delicious juices and
punches, Cottage cheese is available, and other (imported) cheeses
are available but are limited in variety and quantity. Packaged
processed cheese dips are available. Selection of French and German
wines is fair at reasonable prices. Excellent rums from Grenada,
Barbados, and Trinidad are marketed at a reasonable price. Wine
coolers are manufactured in Grenada in a variety of fruit flavors.
Carib, the local lager, is good. Heineken and Red Stripe, made under
license in St. Lucia, are also available. The usual array of
nonalcoholic soft drinks such as Coke, Pepsi, Fanta, and recently,
at a price, individual cans of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, are
The style of cooking in Grenada is creole, and is similar to that
of other nearby islands, with one or two specialties such as lambie
found in abundance in Grenadian waters. On Saturday mornings you can
buy direct from conch boats at the Carenage. You can curry, fry,
grill in cheese sauce, or cream and bread it. It is a bit rubbery
but is savory. Rice is a staple and is often served mixed in a
chicken pelau. Grenadian cooks have a way with soups, and some
notable ones are callaloo, made from a green bush and added
seasonings; tannia soup, made from a root vegetable; and mixed
vegetable cream soup. Other island delicacies include crab-backs
(seasoned land crabmeat served hot in the crab shell), souse
(pickled pigs feet), and black pudding, which is excellent served in
hot rolls or for breakfast accompanied by fried eggs. Sea eggs (sea
urchin) are occasionally available and are delicious if properly
prepared; ask a Grenadian friend for instructions. Spiny lobster,
more expensive than lambie, is good and can be served in all the
Food prices are two to three times those paid for the same item
in the U.S.
Clothing Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:57 AM
Grenadians dress to suit the climate, but they are modest and
women rarely wear shorts or midriff garments downtown. All garments
must be of lightweight material; cotton or cotton-blend is the most
comfortable. With frequent laundering because of the heat and high
humidity, clothing wears out quickly. Bring enough clothes for the
whole family to last until your next home leave.
Bring a folding umbrella to carry in your bag or in the car for
the frequent showers during the rainy season. Raincoats and heavy
footwear are too hot and therefore impractical. Beachwear and shorts
are acceptable for men, women, and children in resort hotels and for
relaxation. Bring two to three swimsuits for each family member, and
beach wraps and sarongs for lunches on hotel patios.
Grenada has few high-quality clothing stores. Bring all clothes,
particularly shoes, as local brands are not of sturdy construction
and sizes are different from U.S. sizes. Shoes are wide and
generally larger. Durability of available shoes is questionable.
School uniforms can be sewn locally using available materials. St.
George’s has a few attractive boutiques, but stocks are limited and
prices are heavily inflated. Bring your favorite catalogs and order
spring and summer fashions. Dressmaking patterns and all notions
should be brought from the U.
Men Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:58 AM
Work attire for men is a shirt or “guayabera” and pants, or a jac
suit. A jac suit is a short-sleeved, open collar jacket, worn with
matching slacks. No shirt or tie is needed. A jac suit is
fashionable and practical. Few Grenadians wear a jacket and tie in
the office. The jac suit is also favored for informal receptions,
but a jacket and tie are equally acceptable. “Palm Beach” type
lightweight suits are ideal, as are polo shirts and cotton canvas
pants. Avoid clothes that need dry-cleaning. A lightweight tuxedo
might be worn for a formal occasion but is not a necessity, except
perhaps in the case of the Chief of Mission. Bring evening
accessories with you. Jeans, although heavy for the climate, are
fashionable in the Tropics for both men and women.
Bring all sport shoes, athletic and tropical weight socks,
thongs, and jogging shorts. Sweatbands and an extra supply of 100%
cotton T-shirts are useful if you plan to participate in athletic
activities, as the climate and perspiration will take its toll while
in Grenada. Underwear and sleepwear should be cotton or cotton
Women Last Updated: 5/13/2004 12:59 AM
Working attire for women is usually a modest, short-sleeved dress
or blouse with skirt or slacks, and a pair of sandals. Stockings are
not normally worn. Bring a good supply of cotton day dresses for
shopping, lunches, etc. Include some sleeveless ones for humid
months. Sundresses are ideal. Bring your favorite patterns and
bright, colorful fabrics and make your own. Hats are not normally
worn except occasionally to church, but pretty, locally made straw
hats protect you from the sun.
Grenadian women are fashion conscious and like to dress up for
cocktails and dinner parties. A great deal of home entertaining is
done, and since it is a small society, you meet the same people at
many different functions. Bring a large selection of short cotton
cocktail dresses and evening pajamas, as well as a few more formal
short gowns. Avoid silk dresses, unless washable, or any other
clothes that need to be dry-cleaned, since St. George’s one
drycleaner does only a rudimentary form of dry-cleaning and steam
laundry. Bring several pairs of sandals, both dressy for evening
wear and casual for daywear. Espadrilles and huarache type shoes are
ideal. Roads in Grenada are rough, so if you are a walker, bring a
few pairs of sturdy, well-constructed athletic shoes with a good
supply of cotton socks. Stout canvas espadrilles are also good for
beachcombing and walking. Nights are occasionally cool so a
lightweight cotton sweater or shawl is useful. Women’s summer
fashions follow that of the major capitals. Bring all undergarments
and several cotton replacements with you as climatic conditions and
perspiration take their toll and replacements in Grenada are
expensive and hard to find. Bring plenty of Woolite for frequent
washing of these garments and for other fine washables. Lightweight
leotards come in handy for aerobics, swimming, and when combined
with a pair of shorts, can be used for tennis and running wear.
Children Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:00 PM
Normal U.S. summer wear is suitable, with a lightweight jacket or
cardigan for cool evenings and places with air-conditioning. Bring
plenty of socks, underwear, shoes, and sandals. Most Grenadian
schools require a uniform, which is available locally. The
International School of Grenada does not require a uniform; children
should be dressed the same as they would for attendance at U.S.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:01 PM
Supermarkets and pharmacies carry a limited range of everyday
toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc., but a
restricted supply of women’s cosmetics. Avon and Revlon both have
small retail outlets and prices are more expensive than in the U.S.
Selections are limited in some areas but overall, basics are
available. Finer brand cosmetics and French as well as U.S.,
perfumes are found in duty-free shops at the airport. Grenadians
make short shopping trips to Barbados and Caracas to buy these items
in well-stocked, duty-free, and other exclusive shops. Feminine
hygiene items, in particular tampons, are available and of varying
quality. The U.S.-manufactured Tampax and O.B. type are available
but expensive, so bring a 2-year supply. Disposable diapers are
available but are at least three times as expensive as the same
brand found in the U.S.
A fair range of home medicines, many of British manufacture, are
available. Bring your favorite remedies such as Alka Seltzer, cold
mixtures, etc. Bring cold remedies and pain relief medications for
infants and children as well as ear and eye drops. Baby wipes are
not available in Grenada so bring a supply.
Bring lots of small bottles of insect repellant and towelettes to
put in pockets and handbags when traveling or for walking in the
evenings and sitting on patios. Stock up on waterproof sunscreens
with SPF factors of 15 or more for small children, as higher SPF
numbers are not available and suntan lotions are expensive. Woolite
is available but expensive.
Bring gift wrapping paper, greeting cards, several pairs of
rubber thongs, several sets of water flotation arm bands for
children, and lifejackets for boating trips. Bring all Christmas
decorating supplies and adult and children’s gifts for parties.
Photographic equipment and film are limited in range as are all
sports and beach equipment. Bring a backup pair of sunglasses, a
good supply of basic hardware tools, including a power drill, and a
Sears or J.C. Penney catalog.
Basic Services Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:02 PM
Drycleaning service is available, but is of poor quality. The one
shoe repair shop is not up to U.S. standards. Downtown St. George’s
has a few good and reasonably priced tailors who can make simple
skirts, blouses, and the smart, practical jac suit. Dressmakers vary
in skill but are useful for casual sundresses and other wardrobe
accessories. Some dressmakers will take a piece of batik fabric and
design a one-piece maillot or a bikini. Several beauty shops are
available, but the one most used is connected with the Ramada
Renaissance, which has one hairstylist and two trained beauty
technicians. A wide range of services, including permanents, tints,
manicures, and pedicures, are available. Prices are competitive with
those in the U.S. Barbershops are adequate and charge reasonable
Some repair work is good, but the standard of most is uneven,
particularly if unsupervised. Progress is often slow and further
hampered by periodic unavailability of materials and power cuts.
Repair work on cars, electronic equipment, and household appliances
varies in quality, and lack of expertise and unfamiliarity with
certain electronic devices predominates.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:03 PM
Maids and cooks are available at reasonable wages. An experienced
cook or maid receives between EC$300 and EC$400 (US$112$149) per
month depending on duties and hours worked. An average working day
begins at 8 am and ends 2–4 pm. Live-in help is also available and
babysitting services can be arranged for a fee of EC$4–EC$10
(US$1.50–$3.70) per hour. Obtain references and offer a clear
indication of expected duties before hiring someone. Most people
employ a maid who cleans, washes (usually by machine), irons, and
prepares meals. Grenadian domestics are usually polite and obliging.
Bonuses are often given for food preparation and service at dinner
and cocktail parties. Gardeners are also hired weekly during the
rainy season and less frequently during the dry season; fees run
EC$25 (US$9.30) a day and up depending on size of the yard and
expected gardening responsibilities. A few extra dollars will ensure
a thorough car wash and a clean carport area.
A driver to and from work (usually less than 10 miles per
roundtrip) will charge about EC$300 (US$112) per month and up.
Various other taxi rides are expensive and should be negotiated
before departing for the destination.
Holiday and leave expectations vary for domestic help. Two weeks’
paid vacation is given after 1 year of service, as is a Christmas
bonus of 1 month’s pay. In addition, a maid/cook expects 1–2 days
off a week, with arrangements made for full weekends and holiday
times fixed by the employer at the time of hiring. National
Insurance Scheme (NIS) payments are required for servants and
The regional medical officer recommends yearly physicals for
domestic help who are employed to work in the home. The medical
examination should include a chest Xray, blood serological, and
stool examination if possible.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:04 PM
Grenada is predominantly Christian, with the largest
congregations being Roman Catholic and Anglican. Presbyterian,
Baptist, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, Mormon, and Berean faiths
also have places of worship. The Missionaries of Charity have a
small representation in Grenada. Grenada has no synagogue. One
mosque is available for individuals of the Moslem faith.
At Post Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:06 PM Schools in Grenada follow
the British education system; children enter primary schools at age
5 and take the Eleven-Plus exam at age 11 or 12 (6th grade). Pupils
successful in this exam may then enroll in government-run secondary
schools. They take the CXC or GCE “O” level exam at age 16. Few
students remain at school the extra 2 years to sit their “A” levels
Grenada’s education, from an American viewpoint, is basic. The
International School of Grenada (ISOG) is currently completing its
fifth year of successful operation. It is a coeducational
institution that offers an educational program from preschool
through grade 6. Seventh-grade students may apply. A U.S. curriculum
is followed based on U.S. texts with added input from the Broward
County/Miami Department of Education. Enrollment is about 25.
Normally, four full-time and three part-time staff members are
available. The school has a 5year (1985–1990) agreement with the St.
George’s University School of Medicine to house the school. No
permanent facility exists. Currently, the school consists of three
classrooms, library, and an administrative office. Play areas, in
addition to a large, all-purpose playing field, are available for
preschool and upper grades. Instruction is in English. Academic
areas include language arts, math, social studies, science, French,
art, music, computer, and physical education.
The school is in session from the last week in August until the
first week in June. Almost 70% of the school’s income is derived
from tuition. The school does not have facilities or personnel to
accommodate students with severe physical, behavioral, emotional, or
learning disabilities/handicaps. No curricular program for remedial
learning is available. Teachers, teaching assistants, specialty
instructors, and other resource individuals are recruited locally,
generally from the transient expatriate community.
No school clubs or organized competitive sports programs are
available. Many parents reinforce social and group activities at
school, in their own homes, and in informal gatherings of students
to engage in nature activities, Girl Guides, and Boy Scouts.
Transportation must be arranged individually to and from school.
Many parents form carpools. Textbooks are provided by the school,
but prospective student should bring a supply of looseleaf notebook
paper, a pencil sharpener and a lunchbox with thermos. B3 U.S.
standards, classes are small enabling students to get individual
attention. Often, only two to three students in each grade level
allow; for maximum interaction with other students. ISOG offers an
ideal situation for a student to foster skills in learning on an
independent, resource-building direction focusing on his or her own
creative element and direction. Another advantage to ISOG’s small
size is the individualized attention given schoolwide projects — in
which every student participates.
A good private primary school, Westmorland Primary, has an
average class size of 24. It has a few trained Montessori teachers
and takes children in nursery class; after nursery class they join
kindergarten and start basic reading, writing, and math. The school
year is divided into three terms, running from early September until
mid-July. Vacations are held at Christmas, Easter, and the long
summer holiday. Westmorland Primary is part of Westmorland School,
which is known to have the island’s highest standard of education,
based upon CXC results. The primary department has few vacancies and
securing a place may prove difficult. Government-run secondary
schools, designed for Grenadians, are not geared to U.S.
Away From Post Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:07 PM Parents of older
children may, in most cases, have no option but to send them to the
U.S. for secondary school. Make air reservations, in particular for
the Christmas vacation, as far in advance as possible.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:11 PM
Cricket and soccer are Grenada’s two most popular spectator
sports. A small tennis club with two concrete courts charges
reasonable rates and periodically sponsors tournaments and
barbecues. Temporary membership is available, and foreign visitors
are welcomed. A resident pro is available for lessons at major
hotels. Tennis courts at major hotels are made available to the
public for a fee of EC$10 to EC$25 (US$3.70–$9.30) per hour. Bring
all your equipment and attire with you.
The Grenada Golf Club, Woodlands, is in a beautiful setting
overlooking the sea. It is a 15-minute drive from downtown St.
George’s and has a nine-hole course that is in a rudimentary state
—i t may influence one’s handicap! The club holds tournaments year
round, often involving teams from other islands. Exchange visits, as
well as an occasional social event, are also organized. Current
membership is $48. Membership fees are EC$600 (US$223) per year with
an additional one-time entrance fee of EC$150 (US$56). Caddies are
available at EC$6.50 (US$2.40) per nine holes. A small bar is
located on the premises. Bring a good supply of golf balls and tees.
Grenada’s lush tropical rain forests and vegetation afford
splendid hikes for the outdoor enthusiast. The Grand Etang Lake area
is a government reserve, and the trails, although not well marked,
are easily passable. Avoid hiking in the rain forest during the wet
season and hire a guide for your first trip. The natural setting of
elfin woodland, dwarfed forests can be traced from a descent through
the mountain rain forest, to lowland dry forest, further down to
mangrove clusters. Natural waterfall settings amid 450 species of
plants and 150 different species of birds portray the diversity in
Grenada’s natural resources. The Lake Antoine Natural Landmark
exemplifies the formation of a crater lake formed by a volcanic
Sailing is popular and many large yachts visit Grenada, berthing
either in the harbor or at the Spice Island Marina located in a
residential section called Lance Aux Epines. The Grenada Yacht Club
has 200 members. Several types of memberships are available, but all
new members must have previously been nominated by a member and then
voted and approved by the Board of Members, a small governing body
composed of members. An initial entrance fee of EC$50 (US$18.59),
followed by a yearly fee of EC$100 (US$37.19) is required. Family
and other special rates are available. The Grenada Yacht Club
sponsors various offshore races, including the annual Easter
regatta, Round-the-Island Yacht Race, as well as other competitive
water activities that oftentimes are designed to entice yachters
from other Caribbean territories. The club has a Laser sailing
section. It has a snackette and bar, and provides the usual shower,
phone, and mail facilities for offshore visitors. It also serves as
a social club, holding a happy hour every Friday evening, and
various fund-raising dinners and barbecues year round.
The beautiful, crystal clear waters of Grenada, with its 40
different species of coral and up to 200 feet of visibility, make it
a water-lover’s paradise. Cruising up the Grenadines is especially
rewarding. Sailing enthusiasts will find a good selection of large,
well-equipped yachts available, sometimes with crew, at reasonable
rates for daily and weekly charter. Carriacou holds its annual
regatta the first week in August; races are held for workboats of
all sizes as well as for yachts. One area of interest to sailing
enthusiasts is the eastern coast of Carriacou; the small town of
Windward is the site of shipbuilding by traditional methods.
Villagers of mixed Scottish descent carry on the tradition of
building wooden schoonners, up to 100 feet in length, from local
white cedar that grows in curves and crooks. Large skeletons of
ships in various stages of assemblage are on display. These workmen
use only the most rudimentary of tools (axes, handsaws, braces, and
bits), complemented by only a few other hand tools.
A combination of clear aquamarine waters, coral reefs, and
gardens and tropical fish make scubadiving, spearfishing, and
snorkeling excellent around Grenada. A variety of dive packages,
including everything from beautiful coral reef dives, night dives,
wreck dives, and underwater photography dives, are available. A
certified dive instructor is on the island. Bring all diving
equipment, as well as extra “O” rings and essentials for necessary
repair work. Bring your own tank, as many of the tanks available for
rental are old and are not up-to-date on hydrostatic pressure
checks. Grenada has no facility available for this, so tanks must be
sent to Barbados to have equipment checked. Snorkeling can run EC$30
(US$11.15) per person, for 3 hours, including equipment, but bring a
well-constructed, good-quality set of snorkeling gear: a mask, fins,
and snorkel apparatus. A basic scuba dive for 2 hours costs US$40
per person, with equipment. A package of six dives is US$25 each.
Watersport facilities are available at many of the major hotels.
Water-skiing, catamaran and speed boat trips, wind surfing, sunfish
sailing, and jet skis are available. Negotiate prices during the
off-season, as prices reported here are based on peak-season tourist
From November to March, Grenada’s waters offer good deepsea
fishing. You can charter a deepsea fishing boat for the day, week,
or month. Small, open boats take parties out for mornings or entire
days, fishing for snapper or grouper. Grenada Yacht Services is
headquarters for yacht charters and offshore fishing excursions. If
you plan to sail with small children, ensure the availability of
lifejackets. Bring lifejackets for small children and infants, as
these size requirements cannot be accommodated. The Grenadian 3-day
fishing tournament, held the last weekend in January, attracts many
large fishing cruisers, mainly from Trinidad. It is a popular
sporting event and social get-together for the two neighboring
Grenada has many attractive and secluded white sand beaches; the
largest is Grand Anse, just south of St. George’s, dotted with
several hotels and guest cottages. It employs no lifeguards (none of
the beaches in Grenada does) but is safe for bathing. Grand Anse Bay
is popular for wind surfing. The many beautiful, quiet coves are
good for picnicking, and many can be explored on foot or by car.
Many secondary roads, however, are in a state of disrepair.
Grenada has no public swimming pools or clubs with pool
facilities. Some hotels allow individuals to use their pools,
especially during the slow season.
Grenada has few official sports clubs. The Hash House Harriers
organize small runs around the island every other Saturday, followed
by an informal social gathering. These are popular among Grenadians
and expatriates alike. Local businesses sponsor occasional 5km and
l0km meets as fund-raising activities. Informally organized group
activities are the rule. Bring your favorite exercise videos and
start your own workout group. One weightlifting/body-building shop
has an expert available to design an individual program to meet your
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:13 PM
Neighboring Trinidad and Barbados afford relief from the quiet,
“small island” atmosphere of Grenada, and good shopping facilities.
Trinidad, 90 miles south of Grenada (flying time 35 minutes), has a
Hilton Hotel and a Holiday Inn, as well as various smaller hotels.
Port-of-Spain has several large shopping malls. Trinidad is renowned
for its colorful pre-Lenten Carnival. It is popular during Carnival
Week, so make hotel and air reservations early.
Barbados, 120 miles away (flying time 45 minutes), is an
attractive, bustling island, with good hotels and restaurants and a
lively nightlife. In the off-season, shopping is particularly good.
Duty-free shops stock a wide range of items that Grenada does not
have. Many fashionable boutiques sell colorful sundresses, sarongs,
and beachwear suited to the Caribbean climate.
Further north are Martinique and Guadeloupe, with their French
ambiance and delicious cuisine. While in Martinique, be sure to stop
at the St. Pierre Museum, an eerie monument to the 30,000 who died
when Mont Pelee erupted in 1902. In Guadeloupe take a day trip to
see the living volcano, La Soufriere.
Caracas, Venezuela’s sophisticated capital, with its eternal
spring climate, is another vacation spot for enjoying bright lights.
It has all the usual big-city amenities and is inexpensive. Shoes,
made of good-quality leather and manufactured under license from
major designers, are available at a fraction of their U.S. cost.
Clothing is also manufactured under license by some major designers
in Venezuela, and many bargains are found here. Dining out can be an
inexpensive treat, with restaurants serving delicious cuts of meat
and including wine with a meal for the price of a fast-food meal in
the U.S. The currency fluctuates daily, so find out the current rate
before planning your trip. Airlines often offer shopping specials to
Caracas around Christmas. Confirmed hotel reservations in larger
establishments, are essential.
The designated R&R point for a 2-year duty tour in Grenada for
authorized employees and dependents is Mexico City.
Entertainment Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:14 PM
St. George’s has limited formal entertainment. Several popular
discos are available, but apart from this, nightlife is nonexistent.
One poorly ventilated movie theater in St. George’s, which features
predominantly Kung-Fu and outdated “B” movies, caters mostly to
local tastes. Several video clubs exist.
Many local restaurants feature a local creole cuisine as well as
Western fare. Food preparation methods vary in consistency and
quality. The Boat Yard holds evening happy hours with snacks and is
a place for having a late-night snack and rum punch, while mingling
with people from visiting yachts. The Boat Yard also offers weekly
disco, jazz, and steelband musical nights. Some hotels have weekly
barbecues with accompanying steelband music for dancing.
Recently, Grenada has celebrated its annual Carnival in
mid-August. It is a pretty festival, smaller brother of the huge
pre-Lenten pageant held in neighboring Trinidad. Steelbands and
calypsonians vie for top prizes, and bands in colorful costume
parade down the streets of St. George’s, with visitors and
Grenadians alike “jumping up” to the calypso beat.
Grenada has an amateur radio club. Amateur radio enthusiasts will
enjoy Grenada because of its friendly ham radio community and its
terrain, which allows for excellent antenna siting in prescribed
areas. HF and 2-meter are both popular here. Permission to operate
is granted on presentation of a valid FCC license, and third-party
traffic is permitted. If your gear is 110v, bring an adequate
Grenada is a small island, with limited entertainment facilities
and little cultural or educational opportunities. Amateur drama
productions are occasionally presented at the Marryshow House. The
local Music Society puts on two shows annually and welcomes
interested new talent. Grenadians are friendly and hospitable, but
the educated professional community is small. Social contact is
therefore limited, and for single people, as well as dependent
spouses with young children, loneliness could be a problem. Bring
plenty of books, games for adults and children, records, sewing
patterns and fabric, etc. Bring all necessary materials, equipment,
and reference books to learn a new craft.
Among Americans Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:16 PM Most
entertaining, in the form of cocktail parties, small suppers and
barbecues, bridge parties, and informal buffet dinners, is done at
home. Grenadians enjoy a good fete and Americans are welcome in
their homes. Various clubs sponsor fundraising events. The social
tempo peaks at Christmas and Carnival time. The regattas and the
fishing tournament, with their influx of visitors from nearby
islands, also afford an excuse for partying.
The U.S. Mission is small. But compared to other foreign missions
in Grenada, the British High Commission, and the Venezuelan Embassy,
it is the largest. The international community is small, with
activities having a family focus. Welcome and farewell parties are
held regularly for U.S. personnel, both by their colleagues and by
Grenadian friends. When planning and attending cocktail parties,
remember the community’s size and that most people are related by
the close ties of friendship, if not by blood or marriage.
Grenada does not have an American Women’s Club, but the
International Women’s Club of Grenada meets the first Tuesday of
each month. The organization sponsors many fund-raising activities
and hosts’ the annual Christmas bazaar with crafts and a variety of
pastries and confectionary delights. Demand for voluntary workers in
Grenada is high, and interested spouses should contact any of the
following organizations to offer their special talents: the Red
Cross, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Missionaries of Charity, St.
John’s Ambulance Brigade, the Salvation Army, GSPCA, School for
Special Education, School for the Deaf, Kennedy Home for Handicapped
Children, Blind Workshop/Blind Welfare Association, Queen
Elizabeth’s Home for Children (orphanage), the Sapodilla Home for
Abused Children, Cadrona Home for the Aged and the General Hospital.
Activities for children are limited; however, organizations such as
Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, and Cub and Brownie troops are established
in Grenada. Some parents have found piano teachers and dance
instructors who are happy to accept new students. Teenagers will
find few organized activities available.
The Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation offers many
interesting programs free to the public. Spanish lessons are given
to adults at all levels of conversational and grammatical expertise.
Art exhibits, workshops, craft displays, and lectures on various
topics are also offered. Children’s language lessons accommodate
interested students after school.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:16 PM
The Chief of Mission and officers entertain and are entertained
by officials of the Grenadian Government, officers of the other
diplomatic missions, and leading members of the political;
professional, and business communities. Cocktail parties, buffet
dinners, and other forms of home entertainment are popular. Large
receptions on national days and other auspicious occasions by other
diplomatic missions and the host government are held. Semiofficial
functions are more numerous and embrace a wider contingent of
Social events here are informal. Suits and long dresses are worn
on only the most formal occasions. Jac suits or “guayaberas” and
slacks for men, and short cocktail dresses or dressy pantsuits for
women, are appropriate attire for most events.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:17 PM
Printed invitations are used for official and semiofficial
functions. Informals are also used for invitations to teas and
coffees and other informal occasions. Acceptances and regrets are by
telephone. Embassy officers should bring 100–200 calling cards as
well as a good supply of informals or other notepaper since local
printing is not up to U.S. standards.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:18 PM
Currently, official travelers to Grenada may use the direct
Miami-Grenada BWIA flight rather than go through Barbados, which
usually requires overnight accommodations. Connecting inter-island
flights to Grenada run out of several Caribbean islands daily. Check
seasonal timetables and flight information for more accurate
guidelines, as tourist season precipitates route variations. At
certain times of the year air reservations may be tight, so secure
yours as early as possible. This also applies to temporary quarters
and hotel reservations as well. Arrival airport is Point Saline.
The Embassy has Welcome Kits that include bedding, pillows,
towels, dishes, flatware, and kitchen utensils that may be used
until your HHE arrive. Include towels, baby items, toys, toiletries,
and other small household items in your airfreight. Airfreight from
the U.S. usually takes from 2 to 4 weeks. Surface shipments from the
U.S. normally take from 1 to 2 months. No restrictions are made on
the size of cartons, crates, or liftvans entering the port, but they
should fit inside a 20’ container. Wooden cases are preferable to
metal containers; both should be waterproof, and wooden cases should
be steel banded. The amount of pilferage and breakage is small.
Bring a supply of passport-size photos for a Grenadian drivers
license and for other needs that may arise, as the quality of
locally produced photos is poor.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:18 PM
Free-entry privileges have been granted on original entry to all
American personnel assigned to the Embassy, Peace Corps, and USAID.
No difficulties are expected for follow-on shipments.
Passage Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:18 PM
Official personnel — permanent duty or temporary duty — are
admitted to Grenada with a valid passport; no visa is required.
Pets Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:20 PM
The Government of Grenada will permit entry of pets with proper
documentation, including a health certificate and proof of recent
inoculation against rabies. The health certificate should state that
the animal is free from infectious diseases and rabies. It must be
issued by a licensed U.S. veterinarian, then stamped by a USDA
office, verifying the veterinarian’s license. Since the health
certificate is valid only for a short time, you must obtain the USDA
stamp quickly. If the pet is in the Washington, D.C. area, obtain
the health certificate from a Maryland veterinarian, then obtain the
USDA stamp at the Hyattsville USDA office. A health certificate
issued by a Virginia veterinarian must be validated by the USDA,
Richmond. In all cases, contact the Embassy GSO for all necessary
information involved in importing a pet.
Both Trinidad and Barbados have strict laws governing pets other
than those from Great Britain and Ireland. Pets being shipped to
Grenada may transit overnight in Trinidad, which has a clean,
well-run quarantine station and appropriate airport facilities. If
possible, transport pets as accompanying baggage rather than
airfreight, since customs clearances are easier. The pet must arrive
in an escape-proof cage. Dogs must be accompanied by a collar and
leash. Coordinate arrival plans with the U.S. Embassy,
Port-of-Spain, since a Trinidadian Government veterinarian and
quarantine guard must be present before the animal can deplane.
You can also transit animals through Barbados. Arrangements
should be made with the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown to obtain transit
permits. The island has no quarantine station, so should your get
arrive in Barbados too late for a connecting flight to Grenada, it
would run the risk of being destroyed.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:20 PM
Advise the post and request guidance if you want to import
firearms. Specify type, caliber, and model and serial numbers in
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
5/13/2004 1:22 PM
Local currency is the East Caribbean dollar, often referred to as
the EC dollar. Rate of exchange is EC$2.68=US$1. The bills are
printed in a series of colors. They are $1, $5, $10, $20, and $100.
Coins are minted in several denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, and
also $1. All currency bears the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
A local currency account, in addition to your U.S. checking
account, is useful since most businesses accept personal EC dollar
checks. As a special service to Embassy personnel, with proper
identification, Barclays Bank, St. George’s, will exchange U.S.
dollar checks drawn on U.S. banks for EC dollars. The Embassy
cashier will exchange personal checks once a week only, usually on
Do not depend on U.S. credit cards since not all hotels and few
shops accept them.
Some effort is being made to introduce the metric system, but
Grenadians still think in terms of pounds and miles rather than
kilograms and kilometers.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 5/13/2004
Tax- and duty-free status is accorded U.S. personnel assigned to
Grenada, with the exception of the valued-added tax paid on foods.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:25 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
History and General Brizan, George. Grenada, Isle of Conflict:
From Amerindians to People’s Revolution 1498–1974. ZED Books:
Devas, Rev. Raymond P., O.P. A History of the Island of Grenada,
1498–1796, With Notes and Comments on Carriacou and Events of Later
Years. Rev. ed. Careenage Press: St. George’s, 1974.
Key, Frances. This is Carriacou & This is Grenada. Caribbean
Sandiford, Gregory. The New Jewel Movement. FSI: 1985.
Sinclair, Norma. Grenada, Isle of Spice. Macmillan Books: 1987.
Zellers, Margaret. Fieldings Carribbean 1988. William Morrow and
Company, Inc.: New York, 1988.
Fiction Steele, Beverly and Bruce St. John. Tim Tim Tales From
Grenada. UWI Grenada Publications No.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 5/13/2004 1:27 PM
The following local holidays are observed:
New Year’s Day Jan. 1 Independence Day Feb.7 Good Friday Friday
preceding Easter Sunday Easter Monday Monday following Easter Sunday
Labor Day May 1 Whit Monday 50 days after Easter Corpus Christi
Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is Sunday after Whit Monday
Emancipation Day First Monday in August Day after Emancipation Day
Tuesday in August. Thanksgiving Day Oct. 25 Christmas Day Dec. 25
Boxing Day Dec. 26