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Curaçao

Curacao is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three are the Netherlands, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. Life in Curaçao is a colorful mash-up of cultures. Locals speak a multitude of languages (four is the norm), thanks to its Dutch and Spanish colonial history and the influence of nearby South America. One of the best ways to get to know Curaçao is through its cuisine, a mix of sights, smells and flavors.

The most plausible name derivation is that the island was designated Isla de la Curacion (Spanish meaning "Island of the Cure" or "Island of Healing") or Ilha da Curacao (Portuguese meaning the same) to reflect the locale's function as a recovery stop for sick crewmen.

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.

Languages include Papiamento (official) (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and, to a lesser extent, French, as well as elements of African languages and the language of the Arawak) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English (official) 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census). Religions include Roman Catholic 72.8%, Pentecostal 6.6%, Protestant 3.2%, Adventist 3%, Jehovah's Witness 2%, Evangelical 1.9%, other 3.8%, none 6%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)

The unicameral Estates of Curacao or Staten van Curacao (21 seats; members directly elected by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms). Elections were last held 28 April 2017 (next to be held on 2021); early elections are being held after Prime Minister Hensley KOEIMAN resigned on 12 February 2017, when the coalition government lost its majority.

Orange Liqueur as a group name. These are liqueurs, where citrus orange peels are being used as a base ingredient in the distillation process. Between the different brands, there are differences in types of oranges used, the combination of different oranges, what kind of alcohol is used, and of course all the other ingredients (sugar, herbs etc.) that ultimately comprise a recipe for an orange liqueur. Dutch trading companies made orange liqueur popular in the 17th century. They found fruits and herbs all over the world during their voyages, and used some to make etheric oils. But one was special: the Laraha orange, which was only found on the Caribbean island of Curaçao.





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