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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

COUNTRY #211: Curacao

Welcome, country #211:


CURACAO POPULATION: 145,834



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 Background
Originally settled by Arawak Indians, Curacao was seized by the Dutch in 1634 along with the neighboring island of Bonaire. Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, Curacao was hard hit economically by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of the Isla Refineria to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. In 1954, Curacao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referenda in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.


The capital is Willemstad.  What can you do and see?  You can learn the salsa.  Visit a sea aquarium and ostriches.  Go for the Karnaval, around the same time as the Mardi Gras.  Stephani Rose Chang was Miss Curacao 2012:

Although in the Caribbean, Curacao is outside the hurricane zone.  The culture is Dutch creole.  While Creole is the official language, everyone speaks Engllish.  The Dutch Antilles Guilder or florin is the official currency, but the Euro and American Dollar are readily accepted.  The beer is Amstel Bright and the island is famous for Blue Caracao, which goes into the Hawaiian cocktail, Blue Hawaii.  Tapwater is safe.  There is a Hilton.  Safety is not a big issue. Just use common sense.  Aruba is only a few minutes away by air.

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