History & Culture

The Cape Verde islands were uninhabited until 1456, when discovered by portugese navigators, and went on to be the first european settlement in the tropics. 78% of today’s innhabitans derive from both portugese and africans, known as Creole, 28 percent is black African, and 1 percent is white.

In 1951, the Portuguese changed Cape Verde’s status from colony to overseas province and in 1961, granted full Portuguese citizenship to all Cape Verdeans. A war of independence was fought from 1974 to 1975 in Guinea-Bissau, another Portuguese colony on the mainland also seeking autonomy. The islands became an independent republic in 1975.

The official language of Cape Verde is Portugese. The spoken language is a Creole, which is portugese with a simplified vocabulary and influences from Mandingo and several Senegambian languages. Each island has its own distinctive Creole in which its inhabitants take pride.

Cachupa is the national dish of Cape Verde, consisting of stew of hominy, beans, and whatever meat or vegetables may be available. Vegetables like potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cabbage and dried beans are available during most of the year. Fruits like bananas and papayas are available all year around, while mangos and avocados are seasonal.


Further readings:
Lonely Planet
Cape Verde Travel Guide