Monday, January 6, 2014

Country Profiles: Curacao

Curacao is located in the Caribbean.
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.
CIA World Factbook
With an area of 444 sq km, it is more than twice the size of Washington,D.C.

Curacao is an island, and it is mostly low, hilly terrain.



People who live in Curacao are called Curacaon, which is also an adjective used to describe something from this country. As of July 2013, there are 146,836 people in Curacao. The ethnic groups that reside in Curacao are mostly Afro-Caribbean, with some Dutch, French, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, and Jewish. Several languages are spoken there: though Dutch is the official language, it is only spoken by 8% of the population. Majority of Curacoans speak Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) is spoken by 81.2%, while Spanish is spoken by 4%, and English is spoken by 2.9%. Roman Catholics make up approximately 80.1% of the population, while Protestants make up an additional 11.2%.

The country's official name is Land Curacao (or Pais Korsou in Papiamentu). The capital is Willemstad, and the country is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilders (abbreviated ANG), which stands at 1.79 ANG per USD as of 2011.



All of this information was gathered from the CIA World Factbook. For more information, check out these resources...

Curacao, CIA World Factbook

U.S. Relations With Curacao, U.S. Department of State

You can also check out the Country Studies tab on our Fed Docs libguide here for more resources on all of the countries.


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