Things you may or may not have known about the archipelago that is know as the Bahamas.
7. Lucayans (Indians who are believed to have migrated from South America) ruled the Bahamas for several hundred years before Columbus arrived in 1492. When he did arrive, he abducted and enslaved all the Lucayans to work and they died in the gold mines of Cuba, or diving for pearls in shark-infested waters. Spain had little interest in the islands, which had no precious metals or stones.
6. On October 12, 1492 Christopher Columbus (in search of China) changed the world when he dropped anchor on the island known as San Salvador (Holy Savior). The island was claimed for the King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabel.
5. On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas became a sovereign nation, being previously under British rule.
4. Its government is based on the Westminster model– including Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, a 2 chamber Parliament and an appointed Governor General, representing the symbolic head of state.
3. The archipelago (cluster of islands) consist of 700 islands, most are which uninhabited.
2. One of the local delicacies, known as the “snail of the sea” is conch. Conch is the firm white meat of a mollusk, and cooked any way you want it. It comes in conch fritters, conch chowder, conch salad, conch burgers, and even cracked conch. (Source)
1. Tourism is the driving force of the economy in the Bahamas. The tourism sector is worth an estimated $2.3 billion. A new resort mega resort, Baha Mar, is scheduled to open in December 2014.
EXTRA FUN FACT: The Bahamian tri-color flag: black stands for a unified people, gold is for the natural resources of the land and aquamarine is for the country’s ocean water.
“Pura vida” is Costa Rica’s unofficial national slogan that is used in everyday conversation. The literal translation to English “pure life” loses its essence as is common in word-for-word translations but it basically evokes the spirit that ´life is good.´ The expression conveys the state of happiness, peace and tranquility that the political stability and high quality of life bring to Costa Ricans (also known as Ticos/Ticas). Pura Vida celebrates the constant appreciation of the simple life void of unnecessary technological distractions. It values the fact that no matter how many deadlines, appointments and responsibilities are ahead life is still good. The phrase can be used as a greeting (in place of “hello” or “goodbye”) a response to “how are you?” or as a well-wish to someone at the end of a conversation. In essence, Pura Vida is a mentality, a daily reminder to take life easy and never lose sight of what’s really important in the bigger scheme of things.