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The history of Klein Curacao

Klein Curacao is a small island which is close to the island of Curacao itself. Although this island is not that big and has not been on the map for very long, it still has a very interesting history.

 

The discovery of Klein Curacao

Unfortunately, the exact moment when Klein Curacao was discovered is unknown. However, we do know from when the island was put on the map. This was in 1871 by an English mining engineer named John Godden. However, he did not just put Klein Curacao on the map; he had a reason for this too. He thought the island was especially important enough to put on the map because of the phosphate that could be found on the island. This was a very popular product and so there was a lot of profit to be made here on Klein Curacao. In Europe it was used in fertilizers and animal feed, among other things.

 

How did Klein Curacao become like this?

Klein Curacao used to have many plants, but is now a barren, bare island. This is due to the phosphate extraction. For 15 years an enormous amount of phosphate has been extracted in Klein Curacao and then exported to Europe. The amount of recovered phosphate is estimated at 90 tons! As a result, the landscape on Klein Curacao has changed drastically, making it the barren, uninhabited island we know. However, there is now a Carmabi reforestation project. This will hopefully make the island a bit greener again.

 

Quarantine Island

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the West India Company traded extensively overseas. They also transported slaves. However, sometimes it happened that slaves were sick and then they did not want more slaves to get sick. This is how Klein Curacao came in handy for them. Before coming to Curacao itself, the sick slaves were taken to Klein Curacao so they could be quarantined here. They also used Klein Curacao as a place to bury the slaves, if there were sick slaves who did not survive.

 

The weather on Klein Curacao

The weather and climate on Klein Curacao are about the same as on Curacao. Klein Curacao, for example, has been relatively unaffected by hurricanes, although in 1877 a violent hurricane swept over the island. This hurricane destroyed the island’s first lighthouse. After this, a new lighthouse was built and it can still be visited. There have also always been a northeasterly wind and strong currents around the island. This has caused several ships to run aground on the island. These shipwrecks can still be seen today on Klein Curacao. For example, there is a French sailing yacht called Tchao, which came ashore on April 1, 2007.