About Caribbean Community Day
July 4th is CARICOM Day, memorialising the signing on July 4th 1973, of the original Treaty of Chaguaramas by prime ministers of the then four independent states: Errol Barrow for Barbados, Forbes Burnham for Guyana, Michael Manley for Jamaica, and Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago.
It has become customary to mark CARICOM Day on the first Monday in July. The only country that observes CARICOM Day as a public holiday is Guyana.
The adoption of the 1973 treaty was the birthplace of the Caribbean Community, which is the substitute for the more ambitious but ill-fated West Indian Federation.
What is CARICOM?
Caricom is a grouping of twenty countries: fifteen Member States and five Associate Members. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese.
The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.
Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all Members and Associate Members are island states.