Key Country Facts
Assomada, Cha de Caldeiras
Cabo Verde is also known as Cape Verde. It’s located on a volcanic archipelago off of the coast of Africa in the northwest. About 520,502 thousand people live here (2015) and the capital is Praia. The official language is Portuguese and the main religion is Roman Catholicism, which most of the population follows. The top exports are non-fillet frozen fish and processed fish, refined petroleum, railway cargo containers, and special purpose ships. The time is 3 hours ahead of EST.
Being in the islands, there is no shortage of scenic beaches to visit for a refreshing swim or a relaxing stroll. The white sands of the Praia de Santa Maria are gorgeous and calming to walk on, and the beach has nearby areas where travelers can walk on the pier, buy souvenirs, or grab a bite to eat.
In Cha de Caldeiras, it is an absolute must to go see the Pico do Fogo volcano. Despite its beauty, the volcano holds a sad significance due to the recent eruption in 2014 that forced many citizens to evacuate their homes and escape the damage.
Travelers looking to relax and get smooth skin can visit the Pedra Lume salt crate in Ilha do Sal; although the area is relatively empty apart from the lake, visitors can relax in the waters and cover their bodies in a dark mud-clay bath that will exfoliate the skin. The water is extremely salty, so prepare to float and try not to get a sunburn!
On a sunny day (be sure that the weather will stay sunny!), head to the Buracona bay area on the coast and look at the famously known “blue eye.” The coastline here is filled with jagged rocks and spectacular crashing waves, but the true breathtaking sight goes to the blue eye – a reflection of light on the water in a small lagoon that is absolutely incredible. Visitors are allowed to swim in the area, though it’s very important when visiting to wear water shoes or some other type of shoes that will get good traction. The rocks can get little slippery and hard to navigate, but the sight is completely worth it. If it is possible to swim underwater, seeing the blue eye from underwater is truly incredible.
My town books depicted Cabo Verde as spectacularly beautiful, however I would disagree. Perhaps Sal is but Santiago and the country’s capital city, Praia is not. It’s more of an industrial port city with a rather non-descript downtown area.
The highlight of my time here was driving 2.5 hours to the other side of the Island and visiting most cities between. Took a cool picture in Assomada. [Insert pic of Cross]/ However, my favorite was with the children who were walking to the beach [pic]
Over lunch, I had a long conversation with my guide, Aderito Alves, and I learned something new. Slaves were brought into North America in 1619, 150 years before the U.S became a country. I think many Americans believed that slavery was a uniquely American invention. Not even close of the 25 million slaves sent from Africa to the Americas, only 500K went to North America. Yes, the U.S. should own their part in this horrific era, however so too should the former colonial powers.
Americas shame isn’t that we created slavery—it’s that we were one of the last to abolish it. even though in early 1800s we outlawed accepting trans-Atlantic slaves, we didn’t abolish slavery until after the Civil War in 1865. [insert video talking Aderito].