The tenacity, diversity and rich history of Caribbean people in America, has strengthened our country and enriched our traditions. Historically, Caribbean people have had a presence in the United States for centuries, beginning in the mid 1600’s. Some came to America’s shores through the bondage of slavery. Others willfully left their homelands behind in search of a better life in this country, known as the ‘land of opportunity’. Regardless of the circumstances that brought them here, Caribbean-Americans have played vital roles in the growth and development of the United States.