Antigua & Barbuda, also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.
Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish after an icon in Seville Cathedral, “Santa Maria de la Antigua” — St. Mary of the Old Cathedral. The name Waladli comes from the indigenous inhabitants and means approximately “our own”.The island’s circumference is roughly 87 km (54 ml) and its area 281 km2 (108 sq ml). Its population is approxiately 101,161.
The economy is mainly reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market.
Over 32,000 people live in the capital city, St. John’s. The capital is situated in the north-west and has a deepwater harbour which is able to accommodate large cruise ships. Other leading population settlements are All Saints (3,412) and Liberta (2,239), according to the 2001 census.
English Harbour on the south-eastern coast provides protected shelter during violent storms. It is the site of a restored British colonial naval station named “Nelson’s Dockyard” after Admiral Horatio Nelson. English Harbour and the neighbouring village of Falmouth are yachting and sailing destinations and provisioning centres. During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to take part in sporting events.
The country’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar. Given the dominance of tourism, many prices in tourist-oriented businesses are shown in US dollars. The EC dollar is pegged to the US dollar at a varied rate and averages about US$1 = EC$2.7.