The Turks and Caicos in the Past and in the Present

A peaceful past enabled the Turks and Caicos Islands to preserve their traditions

Photo credit: © Ramunas Bruzas |

The Turks and Caicos Islands have one of the most peaceful and unique histories of all the Caribbean islands. Without major conflicts marring their past, the people of the Turks and Caicos have maintained their distinctive character as well as their ties to African traditions.

The islands are situated just southeast of the Bahamas, and are comprised of 40 islands and cays that total 238 square miles.  The islands are split into two separate groups: the Turks Islands, and the Caicos Islands.  There are only two islands inhabited in the Turks group, with a population of less than six thousand residents; while the Caicos group contains the six larger inhabited islands that are home to over 26 thousand residents. 


Visitors to the Turks and Caicos can explore the region's unique history by visiting local attractions and taking historical tours. Did you know the area was a pirate hideaway at one time, or that the islands have been passed around among several different governments? History tells us that economic stability led to political stability.  Today, Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory, whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.  The islands' have a British appointed governor, and follow British Common Law.


Their culture is, of course, influenced by their history, and African rhythms have played a large role in many aspects of the culture of the Turks and Caicos. Meanwhile, the fishingtrade has also influenced a large number of the islands' crafts and culinary offerings.


...economy has remained solid...


The economy has remained solid because of a trade in salt over the years. Even the abolition of slavery did not hurt the economy as much as it did in other colonies, and the Turks and Caicos have thrived over the centuries, with tourism becoming the newest moneymaker in the islands.  In fact, today tourism is the islands' top money-maker, and over 200 thousand vacationers visit Turks and Caicos each year. 

You'll find there's plenty to be discovered about these quiet islands. With the unusual element of stability behind them, the Turks and Caicos continue to be truly unique among the Caribbean islands.


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