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Elvira Bonafacio

2018-10-09 14:12 — Belfast, Ireland

Cura what? Where is that?

This is one of the first reactions I get when I tell people where I’m from. “Curaçao is an island in the Caribbean Sea, which used to be part of the Dutch Antilles and is situated at the North coast of Venezuela. Have you ever heard of the ABC islands?”. These are some of the explanations I use to describe where I’m from….but it’s a fact that Curaçao is an unknown island for the ones living in the Northern part of Europe.

Before I start writing about my experiences so far, my observations, similarities and cultural differences etc., let’s get acquainted, by answering the following questions: Where is Curaçao located, and what do the People of Curaçao know about Ireland?

Curaçao is an island with a land area of 444 square km, measuring 64 km in length. The highest point is not a mountain, but a hill and it is 372 meters high. This hill is called Christoffelberg (“Mount Christoffel”). Curaçao has approximately 160.000 inhabitants from different cultures. I live on a multicultural island, where the majority speaks 4 languages: Papiamentu, our main and native language, Dutch, English, and Spanish (which are taught in schools but can also be learned in the streets).

 

To me, my island is a replica of paradise. If you are wondering why, it’s because I can swim in a crystal clear sea, surrounded by turtles and tropical fishes. We have the option to sit either in- or outside our houses, any time of the year, as our climate allows us to do so. On average, the temperature back home is 27 degrees Celsius. Each morning I wake up to the sound of birds singing and the harmonious sound of the leaves that swing to the rhythm of the wind. Don’t you think that these are valid reasons to call it paradise? Do you want to know an interesting fact? Even though temperatures might elevate during hurricane season or drop during the rainy season, the weather will remain the same. In other words, Curaçao does not have different seasons. There, it’s always summer.

Keep in mind that it’s not only our location and whether that make our island a paradise but our landscape, our flora, and fauna are also part of it. They are simple, yet interesting, especially for an island with a dry tropical weather. Iguanas, ‘chuchubi’ (tropical mockingbird), ‘trupial’ (Troupial), deer and rabbits are some of the animals that can be found in the wild, but you can also find the fiercest of them all…

If I am not mistaken the fiercest animal on the island is the ‘Yu di Kòrsou’ (Curaçao native), which are our local people ……hahahahahha. The ‘Yu di Kòrsou’ can transform himself into something fierce, depending on his environment and impulse. This, simply because he is kind, multi-talented, friendly and loves to have a good time. Don’t you think that my island is truly a replica of paradise?

 

For more information on our island, visit https://www.curacao.com/ 

 

That was the answer to your first question, but there’s one more question: What does a ‘Yu di Kòrsou’ know about Ireland? I’ll let you know in my next blog.