Curaçao is a unique island strategically located in the Southern Caribbean, about 44 miles off the coast of Venezuela, and with neighboring islands Aruba and Bonaire. Together with Bonaire and Aruba the three islands form the Leeward Islands, often referred to as the ABC-Islands. Curaçao is the largest island of the ABC-islands. As one of the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), Curaçao have preferential arrangements when exporting to Europe.
Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curaçao is a constitutional democracy with members of parliament elected to four-year terms. The judicial system forms an integral part of the legal system of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The country of Curaçao includes the main island with an area of approximately 171 miles²/444 kilometers² (38 miles long, 9 miles wide) and the small island Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao). Klein Curaçao is an uninhabited island situated ten kilometers to the south-east off the coast of Curaçao. The highest point of Curaçao is the Mt. St. Christoffelberg 375 m (1,230 ft) above sea level and lies in the reserved wildlife park.
The population of Curaçao is about 153,000 inhabitants. Because of its history, the island’s population comes from many ethnic backgrounds. There is an Afro-Caribbean majority of Creole people. Furthermore there is also a sizeable minority of European Dutch, Asian, Portuguese, Surinamese, Colombian and Venezuelans people. The official languages of Curaçao are Dutch, English and Papiamento, the native language which is based i.e. on Spanish and Portuguese influences. Besides the official languages many people also speak Spanish.