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  Geo-Cultural Advantages
 
Infrastructure and Quality of Life
Not small among Curaçao's advantages are what can best be termed its "geo-cultural advantages." Geographically, Curaçao lies 35 miles of the coast of South America. It is strategically located in the Southern Caribbean at the cross-roads of trade routes between South America, the United States and Europe. Good sea and air connections exist and the airport is undergoing major expansion. The Ports of Curaçao are all natural, sheltered ports that offer safe, fast, efficient and reliable handling of both ships and cargo. As part of the Netherlands Antilles, it maintains close business, cultural, and tourism ties with Holland, and has a stable parliamentary democracy. Curaçao maintains special access to the European Union and the U.S. Market.

Most importantly, however, is the diversity of its people. Five languages are spoken in Curaçao : (Dutch, English, Papiamento, Spanish, and Portuguese,), and most people speak at least four. Papiamento is a Creole language taken from Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Dutch and West African, that is believed to have originated in the 17th century to enable slaves from different regions in Africa and their masters, and the slaves among themselves to communicate with one another. This language dexterity makes residents of Curaçao truly citizens of the world and supports the development of Curaçao as a dynamic international service center.

Considering its small size, contemporary Curaçao has surprising ethnic and religious diversity. For much of its written history the island was home to just three major groups: the black majority, which was largely Catholic; the small Dutch Protestant aristocracy; and a small Sephardic Jewish elite. With the opening of the Royal Dutch Shell oil refinery (Isla) immigrants poured in from all over the world, recasting Curaçao as a multi-ethnic, diverse island. Each immigrant group has brought its own customs, food and religious practices, which have intermingled and adapted to local realities, creating a unique culture. Most groups are well-integrated into society today.

Curaçao clearly lies at the cultural cross-roads between Europe, Latin America, and North America. This cultural and geographic diversity supports the development of Curaçao as an international center of commerce, transshipments, education, fashion and retail, and entertainment, and creates the opportunity to leverage "cultural fusion" as a competitive strength.