Diann Black-Layne grew up in a single parent home with nine siblings on the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua. Still, life was easygoing and enjoyable, she recalls. For her, it was paradise.
Every year, the Caribbean's electric sector burns through approximately 30 million barrels of fuel. Overall, the region imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products annually.
With their islands devoid of rivers or streams, farmers in Antigua and Barbuda have been building dams and ponds for centuries, harvesting rainwater to irrigate their crops and provide drinking water for their livestock.
In drought-plagued Antigua, where water and energy top the list of most precious resources, one campaign is encouraging islanders to conserve both of these commodities.
With the exception of oil rich Trinidad and Tobago, most, if not all, other Caribbean islands are extremely vulnerable when it comes to the high costs of imported fuels that are easily disrupted by natural disasters and other phenomena.
Tourism-dependent Antigua may have been spared the ravages of superstorm Sandy, but the island is nevertheless feeling its effects on environmental, political and economic fronts.
Local scientists are warning the tiny 62-square-mile island of Barbuda is becoming one of the most vulnerable spots on earth to the consequences of climate change.
In the 1980's, Caribbean countries wanted to shore up their prospects of social and economic development in the coming decades, so they looked to the financial services sector to spur employment and development. They managed to develop a robust industry, particularly in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
As a boy, Hilson Baptiste remembers going to his neighbour's home and giving them a large slice of pumpkin grown in his family's backyard garden. In return, he would be given two fish for his family.
When scientists speak of the Sargasso Sea, which occupies part of the Atlantic Ocean, there is usually little mention of things drifting out because of the immobile currents.