Caricom Day is a public holiday observed annually in Guyana and some parts of the Caribbean on the first Monday of every July. This year, the holiday will be commemorated on July 3. The day commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on this day in 1973. The treaty established the Caribbean Community and Common Market, which is today known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The treaty was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago and came into effect on August 1, 1973, and it established the regional institution by replacing the Caribbean Free Trade Association. It also created the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.
History of Caricom Day
Caricom is a group of 20 Caribbean countries; it includes fifteen member states and five associate members. Caricom affects approximately 16 million citizens; more than half are under the age of 30. The group consists of people mostly from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese, and Javanese.
The 16 million people who compose Caricom make the intergovernmental organization highly multi-lingual. For ease of communication, English has been chosen as the main language, along with French and Dutch and variations of these. Today, many African and Asian expressions are also part of the Caricom. Caricom is in effect from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America. The group comprises states that are considered developing countries. Apart from Belize, in Central America and Guyana, and Suriname in South America, all nations of Caricom are island states.
But Caricom was not the first attempt at Caribbean integration. The British West Indies Federation was established in 1958 and lasted till 1962; the Caribbean Free Trade Association was formed in 1968. The founding member states of Caricom are Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and Guyana. The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas provides for consultations between governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations. This means Caricom facilitates tripartite social dialogue.
The day is truly important to these Caribbean countries and they even have a song — “Celebrating Caricom” which is sung to commemorate the day.
Caricom Day timeline
The organization is created with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, the agreement that establishes Caricom.
Haiti is offered provisional membership in Caricom and it is not until 2002 that it becomes a full Member.
With the Economic Partnership Agreements known as CARIFORUM signed, the Caricom-bloc and the Dominican Republic becomes tied to the European Union, granting all members of the E.U. and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment.
The "CARICOM-Cuba Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement" is incepted to facilitate closer trade ties.
Caricom Day FAQs
What is the significance of Caricom Day?
It promotes economic integration, cooperation, and cooperation of foreign policy for the Caribbean Community.
How is Caricom day celebrated in Guyana?
The festivities include beach parties, music festivals, and a ‘Wheat Up’ Caricom Day Cycling Classic.
Who is the current Caricom chairman?
The Prime Minister of Belize – John Briceño is the current chairman of Caricom.
How to Observe Caricom Day
Visit the Caribbean
Celebrate Caricom Day by setting off on a vacation to the Caribbean. See for yourself how life is in the Caribbeans and enjoy the best of everything that it has to offer. There is so much in store for everyone!
Enjoy all things Caribbean
If you are unable to travel to the Caribbean to celebrate Caricom Day, bring the Caribbean to you! Celebrate the day by enjoying food, music, and dance from the Caribbeans.
Spread the word
Not many people outside the Caribbean are aware of Caricom Day. Raise awareness for Caricom Day by posting about it on your social media accounts. Tell your friends why Caricom is important to the Caribbeans.
5 Facts About The Caribbean
It’s home to the world’s shortest runway
The airport at the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is only 400 meters long.
The region has only two seasons
The Caribbean region has only two seasons, summer and monsoon.
The biggest island in the Caribbean
About 75% of the Caribbean population lives in Cuba, which is the biggest island in the Caribbean.
Some islands are part of E.U.
Three Caribbean Islands — Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Martin — are part of the E.U.
It has the highest number of churches
With 64% of its citizens being Christians, Jamaica has more churches per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world.
Why Caricom Day is Important
It’s a celebration of the people
The day celebrates the many ethnic and racial groups that make up the unique population of the Caribbean. It’s also a celebration of their multicultural and multilingual heritage.
It is a public day
Caricom Day is a public holiday in all of Caricom’s member states. On this day schools and businesses are shut and people enjoy the day with their loved ones. A long weekend adds to the day’s festive spirit!
It is a day that encourages social dialogue
In the Caricom, provisions are made for consultations among governments, workers’, and employers’ organizations. This encourages a healthy social dialogue between all interested parties.
Caricom Day dates