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Guadeloupe MAP AND DESCRIPTION
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Guadeloupe - A Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 sq. mi) and a population of 400,000. It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. Its departmental code is "971". As the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe is also an integral part of the Republic. Besides Guadeloupe island, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are included in Guadeloupe. As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union and the Eurozone; hence, as for all Eurozone countries, its currency is the euro. However, Guadeloupe is not part of the Schengen Area. The prefecture and the capital of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, in Extremadura.

Located as the southernmost of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe comprises two main islands: Basse-Terre Island, Grande-Terre (separated from Basse-Terre by a narrow sea channel called Salt River) forming Guadeloupe proper.

The adjacent French islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante come under jurisdiction of Guadeloupe. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains.

Today the population of Guadeloupe is mainly of African or mixed descent and largely Roman Catholic. French and a Creole patois with an important European and Indian active population. There are also Lebanese, Syrians, Chinese and others, for example Carib Amerindians. On 15 July 2007 the island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were officially detached from Guadeloupe and became two separate French overseas collectivities with their own local administration. Their combined population was 35,930 and their combined land area was 74.2 km2 (29 sq mi) at the 1999 census. Guadeloupe thereby lost 8.5 percent of its population and 4.4 percent of its land area.

On 20 January 2009, an umbrella group of approximately fifty labour union and other associations known in the local Antillean Creole as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon (LKP) led by Élie Domota called for a €200 ($260 USD) monthly pay increase for the island's low income workers. The protesters have proposed that authorities "lower business taxes as a top up to company finances" to pay for the €200 pay raises. Employers and business leaders in Guadeloupe have said that they cannot afford the salary increase. The strike lasted for 44 days, until an accord was reached on 5 March 2009. Tourism suffered greatly during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.

Cuisine Guadeloupe's cuisine mirrors its many cultures. The local Créole specialties combine the finesse of French cuisine with the spice of African cookery and the exoticism of East Indian and Southeast Asian recipes. Fresh seafood appears on most menus. Other specialties include shellfish, smoked fish, stuffed land crabs, stewed conch, and curry dishes. Guadeloupe is considered one of the true culinary capitals of the Caribbean, with some 200 restaurants recommended by the Tourist Office.

Some are in hotels, some in lovely settings by the sea, and some on the front porches of the cooks' homes. Local rum drinks often precede a meal and imported French wines often accompany it. Prices for a three-course meal for one person, without wine, range from inexpensive to moderate to expensive. Guadeloupe's most colorful culinary event is the Fête des Cuisinières held annually in early August.

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