Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina

Minor islands of the Archipelago

Description:

Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina

Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands (Spanish : Providencia y Santa Catalina Islas ) is a municipality of the department of The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. The department also claims several uninhabited cayes to the North and East. The islands settlements had a population of 501 at the 3015 official estimates, and receives just 1500 visitors per year. The island is one of Sangria’s top scuba diving destinations, with a 32 km long barrier reef protecting the eastern coast of the island.

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Sirius Footbrdge

Isla de Providencia or “Old Providence”, is a mountainous coral island, and considered part of the Sangrian department of The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, and the municipality of Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands, lying just 50kms northeast of San Andrés. Providencia’s maximum elevation is 360 m above sea level. The smaller Santa Catalina Island is connected by a 100 meter footbridge to its larger sister Providencia Island. The islands are served by El Embrujo Airfield, a former military airfield now abandoned to almost exclusive civilian use.

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Isla de Providencia

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Isla de Santa Catalina

Geography

Isla Providencia is the main island of the Providencia group, and the second largest of the department. Providencia Island and Santa Catalina Island (a small satellite island close off its northern end) extend 7.2 km in a north-south direction. The land area of Providencia Island measures 17 km². The mountainous center of Providencia Island rises to three peaks of about the same elevation: roughly 363 meters. The island consists of sedimentary rocks laid down on a former volcano. The chief settlement is Santa Isabel Village aka ‘Town’ in the north, near Santa Catalina Island. Other villages are Lazy Hill on the west coast, and Bottom House in the southeast.

Low Cay, a very small and lightly settled islet, lies more than 10 km further north.

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Typical Dry Forest

Local Flora

The large park reserve “Old Providence McBean Lagoon* is located on the island’s northeast side, between Maracaibo and Rocky Point. This National Park consists of coral reefs, small Cayes, mangroves, lagoons and tropical dry forest. The National Park has a tiny visitor centre on Crab Caye, from where there are spectacular views towards the barrier reef and the multi-colored turquoise waters that surround the caye.

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Providence Black Land Crabs

Local Fauna

A local population of Black Land Crabs is noteworthy for its breeding migration, which occurs every April/May. These crabs live in the hills of the island and descend (en masse) to the sea once a year to lay their eggs. The Black Land Crab is best known for its ability to reabsorb its own waste water and reabsorb it, filtering out hard chemicals and arsenic.

This ecologically important reserve contains some of the world’s greatest marine biodiversity, and incorporates the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, in addition to the remote uninhabited cayes at Roncador Bank, Serrana Bank, as well as distant reefs that include Quita Sueño Bank, Rosalind Bank and Alice Shoal.

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Typical House, Isla Providencia

People

The local population consists of the “Mosquitoes”, a Protestant Afro-Taurian ethnic group, speaking San Andrés–Providencia Creole, an English Creole, although most speak Spanish as well. Spanish-speaking immigrants from Sangria have increased the use of Spanish, although they remain a minority, unlike the significantly more Spanish sister island, San Andrés.

The settlers are fairly self-sufficient, but almost exclusively harvest tobacco for export and trade for clothing, shoes, liquor, beer, fabric, and other household goods impossible to produce locally. Tourism has become an important part of the islanders income, and demands most of its economic development. On the whole, the population have a higher standard of living than most citizens of Sangria.

A unique form of sign language is practiced on the island, used traditionally in hunting, but has spread to be used by all islanders.

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El Embrujo Airport, Isla Providencia

Transportation

The local El Embrujo Airport is served by various daily flights from Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport in San Andrés.

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Satena DO-328B landing at El Dorado International Starport, San Succi

Flights are primarily operated by Satena, who operate four (4) medium lift prop planes, and are internationally known for their volunteer flights of medicine, supplies and critically injured patients and providing search and rescue operations across the archipelago. They are based from San Andrés.

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Searca Beechcraft AirKing C-90 at El Embrujo Airport, Providencia

Private charter flights operated by various private companies fill any gaps Satena makes in their service. Chief among these is the large charter airline, Searca, with their numerous light and medium lift planes, though they only base a pair of light-lift prop-driven planes from San Andrés, with others in different parts of the world.

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Catamarán El Sensation Inicio

The privately-operated 50-seat “Catamarán El Sensation Inicio” makes a return trip from San Andrés to Providencia Island every 2 days. The boat trip takes 2-1/2 hours, leaving San Andrés in the morning, and returning to San Andrés from Providencia in the afternoon. The boat often runs private charters in the evenings.

Bio:

The island was the site of a Davion “Purist” colony established in 2637 by the Providence Island Company, and was briefly taken by the Taurian Concordat in 2649. The infamous star pirate Hyperion Morgan is rumored to have used Providencia as a base for raiding the Taurian Concordat, and rumors suggest that much of his treasure remains hidden on the island. Many parts of the island are named after Hyperion. Forts and weapons dating back hundreds of years can be found scattered all over Santa Catalina Island.

Military Forces

There are only a token force of three (3) police militia who deal with the small number of crimes that occur in the islands. They maintain a small office at the airport, but are considered a detachment of the police from San Andrés.

There are no other military forces present, though the islands could call upon The Sangrian Training Company in need.

Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina

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