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Netherlands Antilles

 

Located in the Caribbean, Bonaire is one of the three islands that are collectively known as The Caribbean Netherland. As of 10th October 2010 the islands became municipalities of the Netherlands and its inhabitants have rights similar to those of Dutch citizens. They retain their own culture but also have the same benefits and improved facilities as the citizens of Netherlands.

The topography of Bonaire is flat with the exception of hills in the northern area. The island is endowed with beautiful beaches, offshore reefs and solar salt works. The northern portion of the island is a protected park, while the southern part is known for fields of sea salt production.

Cuisine of Bonaire is varied. The phrase “Aki ta Bende Kuminda Krioyo” indicates the availabilitly of local foods which are typically heavy on stews, soups, fish and fried foods. Traditional foods on menu usually include rock lobster, cacti, wahoo and conch. Most of the fish is locally caught by line fishermen during season. Iguana is a traditionally consumed food item however it is not served in restaurants.

Sint Eustatius also known to the locals as Statia, is the second of the three islands belonging to Netherlands. It is located in the northern portion of the Leeward Islands section of the West Indies, to the southeast of the Virgin Islands. The name of the island is derived from the Dutch name for Saint Eustace, a legendary Christian martyr. The total island is barely eight square miles and the longest and largest industries of Sint Eustatius are tourism and port services for the oil tankers from Venezuela. The F.D. Roosevelt Airport serves the island.

The island has a rich history and was at one time one of the busiest ports in the area. It was a major trading centre in the 17th and 18th centuries with 20,000 inhabitants, several times more than the current population. Towards the end of the 18th century, St. Eustatius was the top arms and ammunition supplier to the rebelling British colonies in North America and later the only link between the two warring parties. However it lost its importance by the close of the eighteenth century. Through the 19th and early part of the 20th century the island was quiet, only to be rediscovered in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Saba is the smallest of the three Netherlands Antilles. The 13 square kilometer (5 sq. mi) island is actually a dormant volcano (Mount Scenery) and the highest point of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 

Fast Facts:

Official Name  Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba

Other Names:   Caribbean Netherlands, BES Islands

Previous name:   the Netherlands Antilles

Capitals:   ralendijk, Oranjestad, The Bottom

Location:   Group of Islands in the Caribbean

Government Type:   Constitutional Monarchy

Currency:   United States Dollar

Official language:   Dutch Language

Dialling Code:   +599

 

 

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