Antigua, also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.
Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish after an icon in Seville Cathedral, “Santa Maria de la Antigua” — St. Mary of the Old Cathedral. The name Waladli comes from the indigenous inhabitants and means approximately “our own”. The island’s circumference is roughly 87 km (54 mi) and its area 281 km2 (108 sq mi). Its population was 80,161 (at the 2011 Census). The economy is mainly reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market.
Over 32,000 people live in the capital city, St. John’s. The capital is situated in the north-west and has a deep harbour which is able to accommodate large cruise ships. Other leading population settlements are All Saints (3,412) and Liberta (2,239), according to the 2001 census.
English Harbour on the south-eastern coast is famed for its protected shelter during violent storms. It is the site of a restored British colonial naval station called “Nelson’s Dockyard” after Captain Horatio Nelson. Today English Harbour and the neighbouring village of Falmouth are known as a yachting and sailing destination and provisioning centre. During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to play sports.
On 6 September 2017, the Category 5 Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the buildings on the island of Barbuda. Residents were evacuated to Antigua.