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An archipelago in between: Cape Verde

Published May 27th, 2012

A complex of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic between Africa and America. A cross road that used to be that used to be uninhabited until the Portuguese discoverd and colonized the place in the 15th Century, making it important in the Atlantic slave trade for their location. The decline in the slave trade in the 19th century resulted in an economic crisis for the islands. With few natural resources, and without strong sustainable investment from the Portuguese, the citizens grew increasingly discontent with the colonial masters, who nevertheless refused to provide the local authorities with more autonomy. Tough economic times during the last decades of its colonization and the first years of Cape Verde's independence led many to migrate to Europe, the Americas and other African countries. This migration was so significant that the number of Cape Verdeans and their descendants living abroad currently exceeds the population of Cape Verde itself. Today the country has an estimated population (most of creole ethnicity) of about 500,000, with its capital city Praia accounting for a quarter of its citizens.

Each island is different when it comes to nature, people's attittude, colours. A trade off between authentic people, music, nature and tourism. Other areas like Sal and Boa Vista depends more on tourism while others like Santo Antao present a rural character economy. One picture is common throughout the islands: how children enjoy the sea, how free they feel to enjoy playing. Moreover, how much women take care of their children.

In the rural parts of the islands of Santiago and Santo Antao, away from the cities facilities can be minimum, houses are made of lava rocks, often in the middle of nowhere, roofs are made of grass tight up with nets to keep them safe from the wind blow. But colours are still bright opposed to the back lava background.

Markets although they vary from the sofisticated buildings in Mindelo to the street markets of Assomada they are lively places, full of colour and the smell of fresh fruits and fish. Fishing is also a common characteristic in all islands.The smell of garlic fried along with the fish is a smell that still reaches my nose. Fish is a big part of every day diet, either it comes to sofisticated marinated fresh tuna fish or to the low price "cavala" soup. Fish commerce is almost entirely a woman's world. Men are there to catch the fish, to clean and cut but not to sell. Apparently a matriarchic type of society originating back to the time that men were away at sea.

Music is everywhere in these islands. Someone can discover much more than just the barefoot diva, Ceasaria Evora. Music and dance is accompanied with grogue, the traditional rum of Cape Verde.

The islands have certainly a lot to offer it is up to the visitor to discover...

Fishing in colour

The colourful fishing vessels in Cape Verde. Here at Sao Pedro beach in Sao Vicente Island.

  • August 19th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 120mm / f/6.3 / 1/640 sec

Against the waves

Children in Cape Verde have a unique way to play with the water. No special equipment is required to enjoy the waves.

  • August 19th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 300mm / f/10 / 1/320 sec

Resting

Two children resting at the sand after long time playing by the shore.

  • August 19th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 300mm / f/9 / 1/200 sec

Putting everything in order

The fish market in Mindelo (Sao Vicente,Cape Verde) is mainly a woman's world. Behind the stalls women are in charge. Men usually do the dirty job, cleaning the fish for the customers.

  • August 19th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 10mm / f/6.3 / 1/40 sec

Lets play ball....

At the streets of Paul, Santo Antao, Capo Verde

  • August 22nd, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 70mm / f/8 / 1/250 sec

Beach games

I have never seen children enjoying the beach so much in any other place.

  • August 26th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 300mm / f/5.6 / 1/100 sec

Street fish market

Street fish market in Assomada, a small mountain town in Santiago Island. Cape Verde.

  • August 16th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D
  • 22mm / f/11 / 1/60 sec

Fishermen

The presence of women working at the fishery sector is a very common picture in Capo Verde. Here at Tarafal beach in Santiago island sorting the afternoon catch.

Makes you wanna dream

Just before sunset at Santa Maria de Sal beach.

  • August 25th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D������������������
  • 10mm / f/13 / 1/125 sec

Sharp eyes...

Taken at Santo Antao island on a cloudy afternoon

  • August 20th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 30D������������������
  • 22mm / f/4.5 / 1/5 sec

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