A map of Jamaica The island nation of Jamaica is the third largest in the Greater Antilles. The Blue Mountains of Jamaica's rugged interior rise steeply in the east. Their slopes are covered by tropical scrubland and forests. At the coast, the land is flatter, fringed by sandy beaches in the north and west, and swamplands in the southeast. Much of Jamaica has a tropical climate. The capital, Kingston, is hot and sunny nearly all year round, while mountain regions are cooler and wetter.
Nearly all Jamaicans are descended from Africans who arrived on the island as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries. A small number have east Indian, Chinese or European ancestors. The most commonly-spoken language in Jamaica is “patois”—a form of English mixed with African and Native American languages. Jamaican patois, widely heard in reggae music, has become recognized all over the world.
With nearly 3 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous English-speaking country in the Americas after the USA and Canada.
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