Road hazard, island quirkiness, living Caribbean history…The Caribbean donkey is many things, I like to think of them as the first true castaways.
First brought to the Caribbean on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus, the donkey was used as the work horse (not a horse) for the exploring conquistadors. They would act as the beast of burden to carry supplies through dense jungles and unload heavy arms from tall sailing ships.
Once sugarcane was introduced to the Caribbean, donkey’s would help transport the cane to the mills for the processing of sugar and distillation of rum. On the arid, non growing islands, the donkeys would be used to in the blazing hot salt flats to carry the heavy mineral to the waiting ships for export to both the new and old worlds.
Now with tourism the main industry in the Caribbean, the donkeys have been left to the wild. They roam the islands freely, looking for their next meal and posing for vacation photos. A life much easier than that of their island ancestors. Today’s donkeys have caught on that limin’ is in fashion and that if you hang around the silly humans you might get a bite to eat.
Chillaxing on an island and eating, sounds like the life of a Castaway to me, minus the cocktails of course. Though something tells me a donkey or two probably has stumbled into an open bottle rum through the years. Yup, true Castaway after all.
(Photo credit goes toJeremyWilbur via Flickr)
Enjoy the weekend everyone.
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