Want to experience peak Caribbean pride? Go to Grenada this year

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  • Published on March 4, 2024
  • In Culture

In time for its 50th anniversary of independence, Grenada is a prime destination to celebrate the Caribbean diaspora.

The moment I touched down in Grenada, my body buzzed with a sort of cellular-level recognition you’d feel when walking into your childhood home. The “at home” sensibility that’s embedded in your muscle memory. I’ve never been to the beautiful West Indian country before, yet my soul felt like Grenada was calling my name. 

Just after deplaning, I was greeted with the sweet tinkerings of steelpan-tinged melodies and broad smiles. 

“Welcome, sister,” an airport staffer said warmly as I gathered my luggage. I felt at home. 

I was brought there to celebrate Grenada’s 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain, a milestone moment that natives wore as a personal badge of honor. Everywhere I turned, I saw Grenadian flags flanking cars, hanging from the island’s characteristic pastel-colored buildings, and emblazoned on t-shirts. 

Grenadians officially ushered in its freedom moment at a powerful parade where prime ministers of St Lucia, St Kitts-Nevis, Dominica and St. Vincent convened to commemorate the rich history of the island and bright future. 

One of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere, Grenada sets itself apart from the rest of the Caribbean diaspora with its robust spice offering. The country is known  as the world’s second-largest producer of nutmeg and is a massive producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. 

Flanked by crystal blue waters, lush greenery and golden sun, Grenada is the ultimate destination for reconnecting with yourself while tapping into the excitement of Caribbean pride. Here’s everything I did while there. 

WHERE I STAYED 

Photo credit: Bronwyn Knight for Sandals Resorts

Sandals Grenada 

The all-inclusive resort is a town within itself, boasting quaint shops, award-winning eateries and thoughtfully designed villas. Most spaces are equipped with a living room, infinity pool, and outdoor bathtub. You ]also have access to a full-time butler that assists with anything you may need. 

Photo credit: Bronwyn Knight for Sandals Resorts

The resort boasts 257 rooms. The sprawling property is equipped with a currency exchange service, medical assistance, a transfer service, room service, a laundry service, a conference room and a lounge. 

Prices range from $354 PP/PN to $897 PP/PN. 

Photo credit: Bronwyn Knight for Sandals Resorts

WHAT I DID 

Snorkeling at Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park

I was able to visit the sculptures found in Grenada’s underwater park, which was first built in 2006. The powerful structures depict different important figures in Grenadian culture, including Jab, a form of costuming (horns, chains and black oil on the skin) characteristic to Caribbean freedom. The concrete and steel sculptures, 75 total, are hauntingly beautiful and a symbol of the enduring strength of the people of Grenada. 

Photo credit: R Gombarik/Shutterstock

Grenada Nutmeg Museum 

Known as the Spice Isle, Grenada’s output of nutmeg and other nutmeg by-products. Whole nutmeg comes from the seed of the evergreen nutmeg tree, scientifically referred to as Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is one of the most important economic exports for Grenada, but the spice is also pivotal to its cultural strength as reflected by the nutmeg on the country’s  flag. 

The history of the country’s relationship with the spice is thoughtfully outlined at The Grenada Nutmeg Museum, located at Diamond Street St. Mark’s. It is a hub for tourist visitors who aim to experience an authentic nutmeg production from farm to table experience. It’s also a great excuse to stock up on some high-quality spices. 

Golden Jubilee Independence Parade 

Thousands of Grenadians gathered for a traditional military parade, cultural activities and rousing remarks from the country’s beloved Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell in the official celebration of Grenada’s freedom. 

Marked by a military salute, elaborate drone light show and traditional dancing, it was a spirit-awakening experience that would make anyone feel proud to be in the country, particularly at this time. 

“Together, you have established Grenada as an exemplar of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” said Britain’s King Charles as read by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenad. 

“Together, you have risen to the most critical challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss by offering the world an example of leadership, resilience, and innovation,” he continued. “Together, you have given life to the words of your national anthem: ‘Aspire, build, advance!’” 

Overall, Grenada is more than just a vacation destination. It is a portal into deep pride, strength and more than anything, a home away from home. 

Jasmine Browley is the current Business Editor for Essence Magazine and is responsible for penning stories at the intersection of the workplace and Black culture.

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