Hundreds of Islands lie in the Caribbean Sea, east of the USA and Central America, and stretching west into the Atlantic Ocean. These Caribbean islands, also known as the West Indies, take their name from the Caribs, the original inhabitants of this region, until the Spanish arrived in 1492. Most islanders today are descendants of Africa who are slaves brought to work in plantains between the 16th and 19th centuries. The islands have a tropical climate, turquoise waters and fine beaches and have developed into booming tourist industry. However, many people are poor and live by farming. The warm tropical seas of the Caribbean provide ideal conditions for coral reefs, some of the Caribbean's volcanic islands, such as Barbados and the Cayman Islands, are fringed with coral reefs Which protect them against lashing waves. The inhabitants of the countries of Caribbean enjoy a warm, tropical climate.