Migration Essay

1797 words - 8 pages

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another (Merriam-Webster 2013). Migration has defined modern Caribbean features since colonization, slavery and indentureship (Nurse 2003). The Caribbean has one of the largest diasporic communities in the world, in proportion to population (Stalker 2003). For example, it is estimated that the Cubans and Dominicans in the USA are equivalent to 8% of their respective populations of origin (UNECLAC 2002: 237). And, in some of the mini states in the region like St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Belize, annual labour migration accounts for as much as 12% of their population, thereby transferring their population growth (Mittelman 2000: 60). ...view middle of the document...

Migration of Caribbean people is largely to North America significant margin, and is estimated to account for as much as 75% of the Caribbean-born and first generation diaspora (Segal 1996). The UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and France are also receiving countries of remittances.
The increasingly growing and most valuable capital flow and foreign exchange come from remittances. The rate of growth of remittances to the Caribbean between 2001 and 2002 was 20.7%, the highest rate for Latin America and the Caribbean (IAD, 2004). With the increase growth of remittances also increased development in the Caribbean region. Remittances, according to studies done are just as important to foreign exchange sources as tourism and agriculture. Remittances are a major source of income for many lower-income households around the region (Itzigsohn, 1995). In the case of Jamaica it is reported, “in some rural areas, 40% of households derive significant financial support from relatives working abroad or in one of the major cities” (World Bank, 2003: 45). Hence, the islands of Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti are said to be major receivers of these remittances. With an estimated of approximately US$5.7 billion in remittances were reportedly sent to the Caribbean in 2002 (Nurse, 2003). However, after expenditures on food, education and housing there often is not enough to be invested in productive assets although it is observed that remittances are being used to fund some small business investments (Chevannes &Ricketts, 1997). In addition, remittances encourage migrants rather than doing the opposite.
The Caribbean diaspora has been seen as an avenue in which cultures originated from the Caribbean region can be marketed. For instance, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago market their music in global cities like New York, Miami, Toronto, London, Paris and Amsterdam due to the number of Caribbean immigrants in these places. The remodelling of Caribbean carnivals like Labour Day carnival in New York and Caribana in Toronto the largest culturally based events in the diaspora have become a major aspect of strategic marketing for Caribbean cultures. Because, Notting Hill carnival in London attracts over two million people over three days of activities and is estimated to generate £93 million in total economic impact and is considered to be the largest festival of popular culture in Europe (LDA, 2003). Another source of export earnings is diasporic tourism. Orozco (2003), notes that in the case of the Dominican Republic diasporic tourism may account for as much as 40% of visitors. In addition, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago for example display festival tourism because of the number of visitors who come for their carnival and festivals. Diasporic visitors account for as much as 70% of the visitors and the visitor expenditures and arrivals have doubled in the period 1998 2001 to account for approximately 12% of the annual tourism economy (Nurse...

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