Living and working in MARTINIQUE
A guide with information,advice and useful addresses

[Summary] - Cheaper travel with


1 - Political status
2 - Geographical situation
3 - Economy
4 - Agriculture
5 - Industry


Political Status : Martinique has been a French overseas department since the 19th March 1946.
The President of the General Council is Claude Lise (since 1992) and the President of the Regional Council is Alfred Marie-Jeanne (since March 1998).

Geographical Situation :
Martinique is one of the main Caribbean islands with a total surface of 1,102 square kilometers. At its extremes it measures 70 kms long by 30 kms wide.
The administrative capital is Fort de France.

Population : 394,000
GNP 1999 : in billions of dollars: 5.20
GNP per capita :$12,830
Unemployment : 29.2%
Inflation : 1.3%
Urban population : 93.94%

Economy :Tourism is the basis of the economy and brings in 1.7 billion francs. The General Council would like to improve the island's infrastructure in order to be able to receive more tourists. In particular the facilities for receiving cruise ships is inadequate, and at present cruises represent half of the stays.[Read]

Climate :From June to mid-December : 'hivernage' : winter (rainy season)
End of December to May : 'carême' : Lent (less rainy season)
It rains all year round, but only at the end of the afternoon, and the sea breeze keeps the temperature between 23 and 35°C.
During the 'winter' season the vegetation is at its most lush and the tropical rains keeps the temperatures cool.
Between August and October, there are sometimes hurricanes.


Health : There are no particular health problems in the country. Before going though, check that your tetanos, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations are up to date.
Watch out for the sun : use high protection cream and spread it on regularly.

Information :
- accras : delicious fish fritters
- catalous : herb soups
- mutton paté
- omelette with urchin eggs
- octopus stew
- crab paté
- Caribbean fish : sailfish, tuna... - lobster
- lanbis (conch shells), zabitans (shrimps), matoutou (crab fricassée)
- colombo (meat cooked in a spicy Indian sauce )

La Trinité

Observations :
Tourism Historical visits are limited, hurricanes regularly destroy all the architecture. The interest lies elsewhere : a lush vegetation, cascades of flowers, bougainvillea, hibiscus, orchids and oleander, beautiful landscapes, beaches which are sometimes black and volcanic, sometimes blindingly white, the greens and blues of the two seas, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, Creole cooking with all its savours and a permanent festive atmosphere... [Read]

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6 - Other sectors
7 - Population
8 - Language
9 - Religion
10 - Weights, measures and voltage
11 - Money
12 - Main towns
13 - Climate
14 - Insects

15 - Working
16 - Formalities
17 - Health

18 - Transport
19 - Time differences
20 - Telephone
21 - Airport
22 - Car rental
23 - Hotels and restaurants
24 - Your suitcase
25 - Information
26 - Banks
27 - Schools
28 - Guides
29 - Observations
30 - Useful addresses







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