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Curaçao . Flag and Coat of Arms. The stars represent Curaçao and it’s sister island Klein Curaçao. The five points on the stars represent the 5 continents of which the inhabitants of Curaçao are from. Geography.

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Flag and coat of arms l.jpg
Flag and Coat of Arms

  • The stars represent Curaçao and it’s sister island Klein Curaçao. The five points on the stars represent the 5 continents of which the inhabitants of Curaçao are from.


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Geography

  • Curaçao is part of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) It is the largest and has the greatest population of the ABCs.

  • Curaçao is in the southern portion of the Caribbean Sea and just off the coast of Venezuela (40 miles)

  • Curaçao has an area of 444 square kilometers, which is smaller than any of the 50 United States of America.

  • The population of Curaçao is 138,000

  • Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, is said to quite the replica of a European town. This is due to the fact that there is such a strong Dutch influence.

  • Curaçao is known for relaxation. There are over 40 scuba diving and snorkeling spots around the island. The most popular of the diving spots are in the south of the island.


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Weather

  • Curaçao is a very dry country compared to most of the Caribbean, this is due to the trade winds from the west.

  • It stays around the same temperature all the time, all year. Curaçao has an average temperature of 82° F ( 27° C).

  • Curaçao is right outside of the hurricane belt. It still gets hit with some hurricanes, however, because of it’s location. Hurricane Felix in August of 2007 hit Curaçao and left hundreds without food and shelter.


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People

  • The people dress very casually in Curaçao do to their lifestyles and the weather.

  • They dress in casual beach/summer clothes but will dress up when going to a formal event.

  • The official languages of Curaçao is Dutch, English, and Papiamento.

  • 85% of the people are Roman Catholic. Other main religions are he Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Methodist.


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Random Facts

  • Curaçao is home to the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere, the Mikve Israel Synagogue.

  • The name Curaçao is said to come from the Portuguese word for heart, coração.

  • Prostitution is legal in Curaçao, just like in the Netherlands. The most famous brothel, “The Mirage”, is located near the main airport.

  • The main foods for Curaçao are seafood and some meat, considering there is water all around them.

  • The main dances of Curaçao are the Salsa and the Merengue.

  • Every February there is a carnival held at the capital, which is full of color and excitement.


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Government

  • The type of government Curaçao has is similar to the British parliament with a mix of our democratic methods, a constitutional monarchy.

  • They are ruled by the Netherlands Antilles, the government of the Netherlands.

  • The current Prime Minister is Emily de Jongh-Elhage

  • The Governor is Frits Goedgedrag.

  • The Queen is the Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands.

  • Executive power is vested by the government and the Legislative power is vested by the government and parliament.

  • The Judiciary power is not connected with the other two powers.


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Economics

  • The first profitable resource found in Curaçao was salt. Early settlers had some plantations, but found salt mining to be more profitable.

  • Curaçao was the center for slave trading in the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • In the 19th century, Curaçao moved to phosphate mining.

  • Curaçao’s deep water ports made it a fine location for trade.

  • Today the main industries in Curaçao are: oil refining, tourism, and financial services. Shipping at the port of Willemstad is also a highly profitable area.


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History

  • Curaçao was originally inhabited by the Arawak Indians.

  • In 1499, Alonso de Ojeda landed in Curaçao and killed off many of the Arawak with diseases brought over from Spain.

  • The Dutch inhabited the country in 1634 and founded the capital city, Willemstad.

  • Many colonists did not want to travel to Curaçao because it lacked plentiful gold deposits, but the Dutch saw that it could be used as a major trade port.

  • In 1662, The Dutch West Indie Company made Curaçao the center for the Atlantic Slave trade.

  • In the 18th and 19th centuries, Curaçao changed hands between the British, Dutch, and French several times. By 1815, after the Napoleanic Wars, the Dutch secured control over Curaçao once and for all.


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More History

  • Surprisingly, in 1863, the Dutch abolished slavery. This lead to an economic hardship that sent people looking in different directions for income.

  • In 1914 the first oil field was discovered in the town of Mene Grande. Royal Dutch Shell created a mass industry and turned the economy around for Curaçao.

  • A social movement occurred around May of 1969 which lead to the African-Caribbean people to gain more political power.



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